Don't Get Disbarred: Avoid Holiday Travel - Ethics - California Case Law
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Don't Get Disbarred: Avoid Holiday Travel

We try really hard not to fly during peak travel periods. Airports are never fun — other than San Francisco’s Terminal 2, which has both Pinkberry and a yoga room — but airports are particularly miserable during the winters. Sometimes, tempers flare and people lose it during holiday travel.

For example…

On Christmas Eve in 2010, former Los Angeles deputy city attorney Angela West went on a violent rampage with janitorial supplies at San Francisco International Airport, wielding a three-foot metal pole to smash merchandise, milk containers and food items at a Peet’s Coffee & Tea kiosk.

The San Francisco Chronicle reported:

An officer had to use a chair to fend off at least 10 blows, authorities said. West then calmed down and sat in a booth, only to start throwing items at the officers … When the officers tried to arrest her, she kicked one of them in the groin … After being subdued, West shouted out that she was a lesbian and that the officers “should stop trying to have sex with her.”

It sounds like she could have benefited from some zen time in the yoga room. Or some fro yo.

West was charged with drawing or exhibiting a deadly weapon other than a firearm in a rude, angry, or threatening manner and battery against a peace officer. She received a two-year suspended sentence, with credit for time served. More recently, however, the California State Bar Court disbarred her. (Brief thanks to Above the Law for the status update.)

Hopefully disbarment won’t disrupt West’s life. She became inactive in 1997, so perhaps she had already decided to change career tracks.

Even after her initial status change, West was “ordered inactive” in July 2011 after she failed to pay her bar member fees, and again in April 2012 as a result of this incident. Her disbarment becomes official on September 20.

If you think you might be prone to a high-stress airport flip out, maybe you should skip the plane and stay home. It could save your law license.

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