Colorado Disciplinary Hearing Brings Courtroom Fireworks - Strategist
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Colorado Disciplinary Hearing Brings Courtroom Fireworks

A Colorado lawyer is facing discipline from the state bar -- and he may have made things worse for himself by his conduct at his disciplinary hearing.

According to State Bill Colorado, the attorney, Mark Brennan, represented William Cadorna, a former Denver firefighter, in a federal age-discrimination suit against the city. At the 2006 trial, Brennan's courtroom tactics were allegedly "abusive" and "disruptive," according to the Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel, which brought the disciplinary action. Repeatedly butting heads with Judge Robert Blackburn and even drawing a contempt citation, Brennan nevertheless won a verdict in favor of Cadorna.

That verdict was later thrown out upon the city's motion because, according to Judge Blackburn, Brennan's conduct had been so outrageous as to prejudice the jury. Given a chance to try the case over again, the city agreed to a settlement with Cadorna.
But that didn't end the story for Brennan. The OARC, using the new-trial order as a basis, brought its disciplinary complaint against Brennan, and last month Brennan went before a panel of judges to face those allegations.

Brennan represented himself at the hearing, and at times his contempt and rage were on full display: not only did he draw multiple contempt citations from the disciplinary judge, but at one point he and OARC counsel Kim Ikeler actually had a physical confrontation at the lectern. (Video below, with a warning that Brennan lets loose with an angry curse word at one point. It should also be noted that, posting in his own defense at My Shingle, Brennan vigorously denies that he was the aggressor in the confrontation.)


Brennan clearly feels targeted and picked-on in this matter, and his case is interesting in that the alleged problem -- that his conduct prejudiced the jurors -- is belied by the fact that no one seems to be able to find a juror from the trial who agrees that his conduct was over the line or prejudicial.

A ruling is expected in two to four months. OARC has requested that Brennan be punished with an indefinite suspension.