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