Legal Ethics

Another lawyer is disbarred in connection with Maricopa County conspiracy allegations

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A Montana lawyer has consented to disbarment in Arizona for his representation of a Maricopa County Deputy County Attorney whose conspiracy lawsuit was tossed out of court.

The Montana lawyer, Ed Moriarity, was accused of knowing that the suit he filed in August 2011 on behalf of Deputy County Attorney Lisa Aubuchon and a sheriff’s deputy had no factual or legal basis, report the Arizona Republic and Phoenix New Times. Moriarity is a former partner of famous trial lawyer Gerry Spence.

The 2011 suit alleged a conspiracy that included county officials, local media, the state bar and state judges. Moriarity admitted in a letter to the state bar that the suit was based on a conspiracy theory which was first aired in a 2009 racketeering suit filed by Aubuchon and former County Attorney Andrew Thomas, alleging corruption in funding of the South Court Tower in downtown Phoenix. The 2011 suit also alleged wrongful termination and retaliation, according to the Arizona Republic. Defendants in the suit included various county officials and two lawyers.

The 2009 racketeering suit was dropped a few months after it was filed, while Aubuchon’s 2011 suit was tossed by a judge who said it had no basis in fact and imposed a sanction of more than $200,000 on Aubuchon, Moriarity and the sheriff’s deputy, according to Phoenix New Times.

Aubuchon and Thomas were disbarred in 2012 based on findings that they abused their authority and acted to hurt political enemies in the 2009 racketeering case.

Prior coverage: “Ex-Maricopa County Attorney and Deputy Disbarred by Ariz. Disciplinary Panel; 3rd Lawyer Suspended”

ABA Journal: “The Maricopa Courthouse War”

ABA Journal: “The Prosecutor on Trial: Ex-Maricopa County Attorney Faces Disbarment for Political Acts” “Judge Tosses Maricopa County Suits, Warns About ‘Inflammatory’ Language in Redrafted Complaints” “Ex-Maricopa County Attorney Skips Ethics Trial as Defense Lawyers Imply Case Is Political Payback”

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