Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility filed a petition with the Supreme Court, alleging Kennedy had engaged in professional misconduct by that offer, and had done so while already on disciplinary probation.
The Minnesota Supreme Court recently indefinitely suspended atty Duane A. Kennedy of Rochester
A Rochester attorney’s ability to practice law has been “indefinitely suspended” after the Minnesota Supreme Court ruled that he failed to comply with a previous suspension order.
“The Minnesota Supreme Court recently indefinitely suspended attorney Duane A. Kennedy of Rochester,” Susan M. Humiston, director of the Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility wrote. “The discipline was imposed as a result of Kennedy’s failure to successfully complete the Minnesota Professional Responsibility Examination within one year of the Court’s Oct. 13, 2017, order.”
Kennedy was suspended from practicing law for a minimum of 30 days on Oct. 27, 2017, and was conditionally reinstated on Dec. 1 of that same year.
At the time of his suspension, the court ordered that Kennedy had until Oct. 13, 2018, to file proof that he had passed the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination, according to the ruling filed Thursday.
Kennedy did not file the necessary proof by the deadline and instead, filed a motion less than a week before the deadline seeking additional time citing health issues during the last half of 2017 and professional obligations in December 2017 and January 2018, according to the ruling.
On Thursday, the state’s supreme court denied Kennedy’s motion and revoked his conditional reinstatement. His indefinite suspension begins on Nov. 11. Kennedy does have the ability to apply for a reinstatement by submitting proof that he passed the required exam.
This is at least the fourth time Kennedy has faced repercussions for his actions.
In June 2013 Kennedy was placed on probation for a pair of unrelated infractions: his conflict of interest by representing a man in a criminal matter, even though he also represented a witness in the case; and failing to inform another client of a settlement offer in a criminal matter unless the client paid his attorney bill first.
While on probation for those cases, Kennedy represented an alleged victim of third-degree criminal sexual conduct.
A few months into the case, he sent three letters to the defense attorney. In them, Kennedy offered to have his client “act more favorably for the defendant as a witness in the criminal case” if the defendant paid the client $300,000.
As a result, the Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility filed a petition with the Supreme Court, alleging Kennedy had engaged in professional misconduct by that offer, and had done so while already on disciplinary probation.
In June 2015, the court agreed, and suspended Kennedy for a minimum of 30 days. During that suspension, a court found that Kennedy continued to practice law, which resulted in another suspension.