Kansas City attorney Ryan J. McMillin has been disbarred following a June 27 Missouri Supreme Court opinion after he admitted he suffers from chemical dependency and abuse of alcohol and cocaine.
"McMillin claims his misconduct stems from a mental disorder, namely chemical dependency and abuse pertaining to alcohol and cocaine," the state Supreme Court's opinion said. "At the evidentiary hearing, an independent, licensed psychologist testified McMillin's mental disorders were 'completely responsible' for his misconduct."
The Office of Chief Disciplinary Counsel (OCDC) rejected a disciplinary hearing panel recommendation that McMillan be suspended for one year, according to information detailed in the high court's opinion. Instead, the OCDC asked the state Supreme Court to suspend McMillin's law license three years or to disbar him.
The state Supreme Court went with the latter recommendation. "Considering the egregious nature of McMillin's misconduct, as well as both mitigating and aggravating factors, this court orders McMillin disbarred," the court's opinion said.
The Missouri State Bar announced the discipline June 27 against McMillin, who was admitted to the bar in 1998.
In May 2013, the OCDC received notice that McMillin's client trust account was overdrawn, which prompted an investigation, according to information detailed in the state Supreme Court order. "Believing McMillin needed monitoring to correct his trust account practices, the OCDC entered into a diversion agreement with him in September 2013," the order said.
McMillin soon violated terms of that agreement, which was terminated in August 2014, and the OCDC continued to receive overdraft notices about McMillin's trust account into December of that year. The OCDC's investigation found McMillin was misusing three trust accounts "essentially using them as personal accounts", routinely commingling personal funds with client funds and making hundreds of cash withdrawals from the trust accounts, often near gambling facilities. "Moreover, the further the investigation proceeded, the less McMillin cooperated," the opinion said.
"Despite this hampering of the OCDC's efforts, client complaints revealed that, on several occasions, McMillin indeed withdrew client funds he had not yet earned or never earned."
McMillin also neglected his clients and, when he did communicate with them, inappropriate and abusive comments were noted.
McMillin admitted to much of the misconduct.