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People v. Cookson

No. 20PDJ054.

July 2020

The Presiding Disciplinary Judge approved the parties’ conditional admission of misconduct in this reciprocal discipline matter and suspended Patricia Cookson (attorney registration number 13710) for 90 days. The suspension took effect August 20, 2020.

On April 29, 2020, the Supreme Court of Hawai’i entered an order suspending Cookson from the practice of law for 90 days. The sanction was premised on Cookson’s violation of Hawai’i Rule of Professional Conduct 1.1, which provides that a lawyer must provide competent representation to a client, and Hawai’i Rule of Professional Conduct 3.4(e), which mandates that a lawyer may not knowingly disobey an obligation under the rules of a tribunal. The Hawai’i court found that Cookson instructed her client to violate a valid court order governing visitation rights for the client’s child; Cookson did not thereafter take remedial action or otherwise recognize that she had no authority to advise her client to violate the court order.

Through this conduct, Cookson engaged in conduct constituting grounds for reciprocal discipline under CRCP 251.21. The case file is public per CRCP 251.31.

Official Office of the Presiding Disciplinary Judge proceedings can be found at the Office of the Presiding Disciplinary Judge website.

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