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In re Reciprocal Discipline of Haderlie

Supreme Court of North Dakota

September 20, 2016

In the Matter of Reciprocal Discipline of Nicholas T. Haderlie, a Member of the Bar of the State of North Dakota

         Recommendation for Reciprocal Discipline.

          PER CURIAM.

         [¶ 1] On January 20, 2015, the Disciplinary Board notified the Supreme Court under N.D.R. Lawyer Discipl. 4.4(D) that it was recommending dismissal of this reciprocal discipline matter against Nicholas T. Haderlie, a member of the bar of North Dakota.

         [¶ 2] Haderlie was admitted to practice in North Dakota in 2012 and has been licensed since that time. He is also licensed in Colorado, Montana, Utah, and Wyoming. Haderlie was arrested on October 19, 2014, and later plead guilty to misdemeanor violations of Wyoming Statutes § 31-5-233, driving or having control of a vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or controlled substances and § 6-5-204(a), interference with a peace officer. The record reflects that on July 2, 2015, the Wyoming Supreme Court publicly censured Haderlie after he acknowledged his conduct violated Rule 8.4(b) and Rule 8.4(d) of the Wyoming Rules of Professional Conduct for Attorneys at Law.

         [¶ 3] Haderlie has no prior discipline in North Dakota, and no prior discipline in Colorado, Montana, or Utah before this matter. As a result of Haderlie's conduct, Haderlie stipulated to reciprocal discipline in Colorado and Utah. The matter was dismissed by the Montana Office of Disciplinary Counsel as a matter of law because the underlying convictions are not the type of conduct that normally give rise to discipline in Montana.

         [¶ 4] The record reflects Disciplinary Counsel served Haderlie notice under N.D.R. Lawyer Discipl. 4.4(B) that a certified copy of the Supreme Court of Wyoming order of public censure was received. The notice informed Haderlie that he had 30 days to file any claim that imposition of the identical discipline in North Dakota would be unwarranted and the reasons for the claim. On September 2, 2015, Haderlie filed a response to the notice stating that his conduct does not give rise to a lawyer disciplinary action in North Dakota, or alternatively, that his conduct warrants substantially different discipline based on North Dakota precedent and considering mitigating factors.

         [¶ 5] On April 12, 2016, the Disciplinary Board filed its recommendation to dismiss this reciprocal discipline matter against Haderlie. After consideration of the recommendation, this Court requested the parties file briefs on whether interference with a peace officer is an offense for which discipline might be imposed in North Dakota. On June 30, 2016, Haderlie and Disciplinary Counsel filed their briefs, both arguing discipline should not be imposed in North Dakota.

         [¶ 6] Disciplinary Counsel argued that neither of Haderlie's convictions constitute a serious crime under N.D.R. Lawyer Discipl. 4.1 and that neither crime is contemplated by N.D.R. Prof. Conduct 8.4(b) or 8.4(f) for purposes of discipline. Disciplinary Counsel argued discipline would not have been imposed upon a North Dakota practicing lawyer for Haderlie's convictions. Haderlie argued interference with a peace office does not give rise to discipline in North Dakota under N.D.R. Prof. Conduct 8.4(b) or 8.4(f). Haderlie argued, alternatively, that if this Court concludes interference with a peace officer is an offense for which discipline might be imposed, the absence of precedent disciplining a lawyer for similar conduct suggests a lesser sanction is warranted in North Dakota. He argued mitigating factors are present in his case that should weigh in favor of reduction of a sanction.

         [¶ 7] The Court considered the matter, and

         [¶ 8] ORDERED, that this reciprocal discipline matter against Nicholas T. Haderlie, is DISMISSED.

         [¶ 9] Carol Ronning Kapsner, Lisa Fair McEvers, Daniel J. Crothers

          Crothers, Justice, specially concurring.

         [¶ 10] I have signed the Court's decision and offer this separate writing to explain why I want to, but cannot, agree with the dissent.

         [¶ 11] I have high confidence that I speak for all of my colleagues in stating we do not condone Attorney Haderlie's conduct leading to his criminal charge of interfering with a peace officer. However, our application of law requires precision and the result here turns on the distinction between criminal activity and unethical conduct warranting lawyer discipline.

         [¶ 12] The North Dakota Rules of Professional Conduct specifically provides for discipline when a lawyer commits a crime. The Rule states "[i]t is professional misconduct for a lawyer to: (b) commit a criminal act that reflects adversely on the lawyer's honesty, trustworthiness, or fitness as a lawyer in other respects." N.D.R. Prof. Conduct 8.4(b). Even though Haderlie's lawyer discipline was for commission of a crime, Wyoming did not find a violation of this subsection. In the ...


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