Kansas City attorney, former Gov. Blunt deputy legal counsel disbarred in separate Supreme Court orders

By Karen Kidd | Apr 30, 2019

JEFFERSON CITY (St. Louis Record) – A Kansas City attorney and former Gov. Matthew Roy Blunt's deputy legal counsel who now lives in Utah were disbarred following separate orders recently handed down by the Missouri Supreme Court.

Kansas City attorney Jennifer L. Dodson was disbarred and Scott Jay Eckersley, currently living in Midway, Utah, has been reciprocally disbarred following respective April 2 and April 3 Supreme Court orders.

The state Supreme Court handed down its discipline against Eckersley after he was disbarred by the Fourth Judicial District Court for Utah County in Utah, according to the court's order. Eckersley is alleged to have violated professional conduct rules in Utah regarding competence, diligence, communication and fees and regarding trust account and property of others in Utah and Missouri.

Eckersley also failed to respond to the Missouri Supreme Court order to show cause issued in February, according to the court's disbarment order.

Eckersley's disbarment comes less than a year after he was reprimanded by the Supreme Court. In its May 2018 order, the high court reprimanded Blunt's legal official after an investigation found "there is probable cause" to believe he was "guilty of professional misconduct." Eckersley failed to attend a hearing that followed an investigation prior to his reprimand, according to the 2018 order.

Eckersley's time as deputy general counsel and policy adviser to Blunt, in office from 2005 to 2009, was marred by his firing by the then-governor's chief of staff anda complaint filed with the office of disciplinary counsel alleging Eckersley had violated legal ethics codes. The office of chief disciplinary counsel cleared Eckersley 2009. Eckersley also filed a defamation lawsuit, which reportedly was settled for approximately $500,000.

In 2010, Eckersley ran unsuccessfully as a Democrat for Missouri’s 7th Congressional District seat, losing to Republican Billy Long, who stills holds the seat.

In an unrelated order, the state Supreme Court disbarred bankruptcy attorney Dodson by default after she failed to respond to allegations against her. Dodson was alleged to have violated professional conduct rules regarding diligence, communication, trust account and property of others, declining or terminating representation, fairness to opposing party or counsel and misconduct.

Dodson's Better Business Bureau profile lists her practice has having a "pattern of complaint."

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