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In re Application for Reinstatement of Varriano

Supreme Court of North Dakota

April 10, 2018

In the Matter of the Application for Reinstatement of Richard D. Varriano, a Person Admitted to the Bar of the State of North Dakota Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court, Petitioner
v.
Richard D. Varriano, Respondent

          On Petition to Revoke Reinstatement.

          Ryan A. Heintz, Bismarck, ND, for petitioner.

          Richard E. Edinger, Fargo, ND for respondent.

          PER CURIAM.

         [¶ 1] Attorney Richard Varriano objects to a recommendation of a Disciplinary Board hearing panel to this Court that his conditional reinstatement to practice law be revoked and that he be required to petition for reinstatement. We reject the hearing panel's recommendation and continue Varriano's reinstatement subject to modified conditions.

         I

         [¶ 2] Varriano was admitted as an attorney in North Dakota on January 5, 1988. In In re Varriano, 2010 ND 12, ¶ 8, 777 N.W.2d 852, this Court reciprocally suspended Varriano from the practice of law for one year based on ethics violations in Minnesota involving conflicts of interest and misuse of a client trust account. See In re Varriano, 755 N.W.2d 282 (Minn. 2008). Varriano attributed the Minnesota ethics violations on his alcoholism. In 2015 Varriano petitioned for reinstatement. In Varriano v. Disciplinary Bd., 2015 ND 288, ¶¶ 3, 11-12, 872 N.W.2d 338, we noted Varriano had been sober since March 19, 2011, after he had been arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol, and adopted the hearing panel's recommendation that he be conditionally reinstated to the practice of law. Varriano's reinstatement was subject to the following conditions:

(1) that he pay for the costs of the proceedings;
(2) that he comply with the continuing legal education requirements of the admission to practice rules;
(3) that a limitation be placed on Varriano's practice requiring association with an experienced supervising lawyer;
(4) that he work with the supervising lawyer on the financial management of his law practice, fee agreements, avoiding conflicts of interest, and on having a manageable case load;
(5) that he work with the Lawyer Assistance Program and set up an individual assistance plan regarding maintaining his sobriety while practicing law;
(6) that he maintain his sobriety;
(7) that he attend Alcoholics Anonymous meetings on at least a ...

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