Legal Ethics

No-Drinking Rule Nixed for Administrative Law Judge, Absent Evidence of Drinking Problem

An administrative law judge was appropriately reprimanded for violating his probation when he tested positive for alcohol after a misdemeanor case in which he was convicted of operating a motor vehicle while impaired and ordered to abstain from drinking as a condition of probation.

However, there was no basis for the Attorney Grievance Commission to require William A. Sundquist to abstain, since experts had determined that he was not dependent on alcohol, the State of Michigan Attorney Discipline Board ruled in an opinion (PDF) last week.

“There is no evidence that respondent lacks the ability to moderate or stop his drinking as necessary or appropriate to abide by applicable law and function professionally,” the board wrote.

Hat tip: Legal Profession Blog.

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