Attorney suspended more than a year ago | NevadaAppeal.com

Attorney suspended more than a year ago

by F.T. Norton

A Carson City attorney, arrested Wednesday for allegedly appearing in court drunk, was suspended from practicing law more than a year ago by the Nevada Bar Association, according to Supreme Court documents.

Patrick Walsh, 56, was suspended for failing to properly represent a client, a document filed with the Nevada Supreme Court by the State Bar of Nevada disciplinary board reveals.

In a hearing of the board Aug. 23, 2003, Walsh allegedly didn’t appear to answer to accusations that he wasn’t diligent and failed to communicate with a client for whom he was handling a divorce.

“Based upon the foregoing findings of fact, the (Disciplinary Board) unanimously concluded that suspension is the appropriate sanction in this case,” the ruling states.

Additionally, the document charges, Walsh failed to comply with some conditions set forth, including receiving counseling from a psychologist or psychiatrist certified in drug abuse counseling and waiving any doctor-patient privilege of confidentiality so the Bar could receive the results of testing.

According to Phil Pattee, assistant counsel to the Bar Association, Walsh is also suspended for failure to pay his dues and obtain additional education.

The dues including late fee total $1,251.

“If he wanted to get reinstated, he would have to pay those dues,” Pattee said.

Walsh would also have to fulfill the education requirements, he noted.

What sanctions can be levied, or possible charges against Walsh remains to be seen, Pattee said.

Walsh was charged with contempt of court Wednesday by Justice of the Peace John Tatro for allegedly appearing in court drunk as a defense attorney on behalf of a woman with a traffic citation. A preliminary breath test given to Walsh in court had a reading of .173, according to the contempt order filed in Carson City Justice Court. According to the document, Walsh admitted he had been “drinking a lot.”

The judge ordered Walsh to be taken into custody about 4 p.m. and the jail staff was instructed to administer breathalyzer tests on him every two hours until his blood alcohol content was at zero. He was released at 1:29 a.m. Thursday.

Walsh, who was first licensed to practice law in Nevada in 1974, led an unsuccessful bid against Noel Waters for the office of district attorney in 1994. He was a deputy attorney general from 1974 to 1978 and was at one time a pro tem magistrate for Carson City district, justice and juvenile courts.

Contact F.T. Norton at ftnorton@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1213.