Defense lawyer Brian Bloomfield may yet avoid permanent disbarment after pleading guilty in a high-profile courthouse fraud.
A disciplinary panel of the State Bar of Nevada recommended a five-year suspension despite a strong push by the organization’s former chief prosecutor, David Clark, to take away Bloomfield’s license.
The panel’s 4-1 decision was filed late Tuesday with the Nevada Supreme Court, which has the last word.
“This is not the final decision,” Acting Bar Counsel Brian Kunzi said Wednesday. “It’s the position of the State Bar that we intend to ask the Supreme Court for disbarment.”
Bloomfield’s lawyer, William Terry, praised the panel’s work.
“We greatly appreciate the panel’s consideration and the fact that they did not recommend disbarment, and Mr. Bloomfield will comply with their directives,” Terry said.
The suspension is to run from the start of Bloomfield’s temporary suspension, which began June 24, 2014. That means he will serve less than a four-year ban from the profession.
Bloomfield must pass the Bar exam again before asking for reinstatement, and he must pay the costs of a June 19 disciplinary hearing, according to the panel’s 15-page decision.
“Considering all the testimony given and the remorse shown by the respondent, the majority of the panel ultimately believes there is a chance for respondent to redeem himself and become a valuable member of the legal community,” the decision said.
At the disciplinary hearing, an emotional Bloomfield said there was “no justification” for what he did. He sobbed repeatedly as he pleaded for a second chance and disclosed that he had considered committing suicide.
In December 2013, Bloomfield pleaded guilty to felony and gross misdemeanor charges and agreed to cooperate against his co-defendants. He admitted that he filed or helped file forged court records in 91 cases that falsely claimed a client had completed counseling or community service. He also admitted having office files destroyed to cover his actions. He is waiting to be sentenced.
Contact Jeff German at email@example.com or 702-380-8135. Find him on Twitter: @JGermanRJ