In a stinging rebuke, the Nevada Supreme Court on Friday permanently disbarred defense lawyer Brian Bloomfield over his conviction stemming from a scheme to defraud the court system.
A state bar disciplinary panel recommended a five-year suspension for Bloomfield after he admitted that he had filed or helped file forged records in 91 court cases.
But the high court, in a four-page order signed by all seven justices, concluded the punishment wasn’t strong enough.
“Even considering the mitigating circumstances,” the court wrote, “we are convinced that based on the seriousness of the violations, the duties violated and the adverse effects on the legal process, as well as several aggravating factors, including dishonest or selfish motive and multiple offenses, disbarment is necessary to protect the public, the courts and the legal profession.”
The court ordered Bloomfield to pay the cost of the disciplinary proceedings against him within 30 days.
His lawyer, William Terry, could not be reached for comment late Friday.
The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported last week that Bloomfield spent just three days of a three-month sentence behind bars for his forgery conviction. He was released to house arrest.
Bloomfield, 40, had pleaded guilty to providing clients, mostly prostitutes, with phony certificates of completion for court-ordered counseling and community service to resolve misdemeanor cases.
At Bloomfield’s sentencing earlier this month, Chief District Attorney Marc DiGiacomo sought a four-year prison term, arguing Bloomfield wasn’t truthful with investigators and the State Bar of Nevada disciplinary panel.
DiGiacomo argued last month that Bloomfield lied under oath at a bar disciplinary hearing, and he accused Bloomfield of trying to disrupt the forgery investigation of another lawyer, Vicki Greco, who was indicted by a county grand jury in December on 139 felony and gross misdemeanor counts. Bloomfield was friends with Greco, who prosecutors allege also filed phony court certificates for her clients.
Bloomfield apologized at his sentencing for his actions and said many of his friends in the district attorney’s office, including District Attorney Steve Wolfson, were rooting for him.
District Judge Jessie Walsh ended up giving him 90 days behind bars at the Clark County Detention Center and then five years of probation.
Days after he was booked into the detention center, he was released to house arrest as part of an ongoing program to reduce the jail’s population.
Walsh had ordered a lesser defendant in the case, former counseling service owner Steven Brox, to serve two to five years in prison.
Contact Jeff German at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-380-8135. Find him on Twitter: @JGermanRJ.