U.S. Supreme Court

Oops! Supreme Court suspends a prominent lawyer in a case of mistaken identity

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There are at least two lawyers named Christopher P. Sullivan, a fact that tripped up the U.S. Supreme Court.

One lawyer is Christopher Patrick Sullivan, a partner with Robins Kaplan in Boston and the president-elect of the Massachusetts Bar Association, report The Associated Press, the Boston Herald and the Washington Times. Another is Christopher Paul Sullivan, a disbarred lawyer from Rutland, Vermont, who was convicted of drunken driving in a fatal accident.

The Supreme Court wrongly suspended the Boston lawyer on May 15, a problem corrected on Tuesday in a brief order stating the problem stemmed from “mistaken identity.”

The Supreme Court routinely checks its roster of lawyers against state discipline records, and noticed that Christopher P. Sullivan had been disbarred in New York, Supreme Court spokeswoman Kathy Arberg told the publications. The Supreme Court mistakenly suspended the Boston lawyer and told him he had 40 days to show cause why he shouldn’t disbarred from Supreme Court practice.

The convicted Vermont lawyer was the Christopher P. Sullivan who was disbarred in New York. He is not a member of the Supreme Court bar. He did, however, attend the same law school as the Robins Kaplan partner—at Fordham University in New York.

Anthony Froio, the managing partner of Robins Kaplan’s Boston office said the Supreme Court, acted quickly to correct the problem. “It was clearly an honest mistake,” Froio told the Boston Herald.

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