Kansas City attorney reinstated after more than decade of disbarment

By Karen Kidd | Aug 22, 2018

JEFFERSON CITY (St. Louis Record) — Disbarred Kansas City attorney Roderick E. Smith has been reinstated and placed on probation following an Aug. 21 Missouri Supreme Court order.

"Having fully considered the petitioner's application for reinstatement after discipline and having considered the report and recommendation of the chief disciplinary counsel, the court doth order and adjudge that said application is hereby approved and that Roderick E. Smith is hereby reinstated to practice law in the state of Missouri as a member of The Missouri Bar in good standing," the high court said in its order.

Smith also was ordered to pay costs.

Smith had been placed on interim suspension and a trustee was appointed in January 2006, according to the office of the chief disciplinary counsel's report for that year. In an order issued the following May, the state Supreme Court disbarred Smith for allegedly violating professional conduct rules, including those regarding competence, diligence, fees, expediting litigation, candor toward the tribunal and declining or terminating representation.

Smith was admitted to the bar in Missouri on Dec. 20, 1995, according to his brief filed with the court during the proceedings that lead to his disbarment. In his brief, Smith urged the high court not to discipline him and denied that he violated any professions conduct rules as alleged. He also said in his brief that of the 5,500 cases in which he provided counsel between 1996 and 2006, 14 resulted in admonitions between 1999 and 2002.

Smith said the office of disciplinary counsel's brief in the proceedings against him "misstates the evidence and outright lies on some occasions" and that during the hearing asked him "fewer than six questions." 

Smith also argued in his brief that the alleged misconduct did not merit disbarment and that he did not "intentionally engage in any fraudulent acts, but attempted to serve every client in each situation."

In its own brief, the office of chief disciplinary counsel said Smith had "provided inaccurate information" to avoid discipline, that the public would be at risk if Smith were allowed to retain his license and urged that he be disbarred.

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Missouri Bar Missouri Office of Chief Disciplinary Counsel Missouri Supreme Court

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