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In re Richards
New Mexico Supreme Court
943 P.2d 1032 (1997)
Attorney Robert Richards represented himself in a lawsuit against Arthur Adair involving an incident in a nightclub. When Richards noticed a deposition of a nightclub representative, no representative appeared. Richards filed a show-cause motion directed to the nightclub. Adair and his attorney, George Scarborough, filed a motion requesting lost wages and attorney’s fees for the time wasted preparing for and attending the scheduled deposition. The court held a hearing and awarded Adair lost wages and fees over Richards’s objection. Richards appealed, alleging he objected to hearing that motion on the same day as his show-cause motion, and submitted a hearing transcript. However, in his appellate brief, Richards quoted an objection based on Scarborough purportedly representing adverse parties, used ellipses to omit the grounds, and said he had objected on notice grounds instead. The disciplinary board charged Richards with violating the ethics rule that requires candor to the court. Richards claimed he meant to object on both grounds but the trial judge interrupted him and that a party need only make an objection known to the court to preserve the question for appeal. From that Richards argued that the trial judge knew he was objecting to hearing Scarborough’s motion that day because the judge had said she was going to hear it. The disciplinary board nonetheless found Richards had knowingly made a false statement to the appellate court in violation of the ethics rule and recommended public censure. Richards appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Per curiam)
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