Attorney Has Spent Seven Years Fighting Six-Month Suspension
Williams further argued that the courts in New York and the District of Columbia should not have automatically suspended his license just because Connecticut did. He argues that he should have been allowed to argue his case in each jurisdiction. "It violates due process, because you aren't permitted to be heard in the reciprocal jurisdictions," Williams said.
He asked the U.S. Supreme Court to weigh in on that issue, but the high court refused to take the case. Last year, U.S. District Judge Robert Chatigny suspended Williams' license to practice in federal court for a period of six months. It's that decision that Williams most recently appealed to the Second Circuit.
Steven Seligman, a Hartford attorney who represents lawyers in disciplinary cases, looked over the appeal briefs filed by Williams. Seligman said the arguments raise some interesting questions about reciprocal discipline.
"Mr. Williams appears to be saying that these disciplinary decisions should not be rubber stamped, that there ought to be someone scrutinizing these decisions," said Seligman. "It's an interesting claim."
What is most astonishing to Dubois is the fact that the whole dispute started over a speeding ticket. It takes "a lot of principle" to fight such a case for so long, Dubois said.
But Williams doesn't see himself as idealistic. "I wish I could tell you that I was pursuing some great noble cause," he said. "At first, I simply was trying to get my Connecticut driving privileges reinstated and avoid having to pay the $125 reinstatement fee. But then I realized that I really had no choice but to see this through to its conclusion."•