Texas Bar suspends judge's law license

September 4, 2008 9:45:18 AM PDT
The State Bar of Texas has suspended District Judge Bruce Priddy's law license for three months for "professional misconduct," but he can continue to work as a civil judge. Priddy said he would seek a stay of the suspension and appeal the judgment by a state bar panel.

"I'm baffled" by the discipline, he said, adding that he thought he had an agreement with the Bar Association for a reprimand instead of a suspension, The Dallas Morning News reported Wednesday in its online edition.

The state bar panel issued the suspension Aug. 25 in response to a complaint that Priddy, while still in private practice, was hired to represent a client while on administrative suspension for nonpayment of Bar Association dues.

Priddy did not appear at the hearing and said he didn't know about it until after it occurred.

The suspension is to be followed by a 21-month "probated suspension."

Seana Willing, executive director of the State Commission on Judicial Conduct, said the license suspension is not a "constitutional disqualification" for his judgeship.

The suspension is the latest in a series of problems the judge has encountered.

In 2007, the Texas Attorney General's Office sued him for failure to file campaign finance reports with the Texas Ethics Commission, making him the first sitting judge to be sued by the AG's office, the newspaper said. He was fined just over $39,000.

Priddy owes the Ethics Commission two more reports and could face more fines if the reports are not filed, said Tim Sorrells, deputy general counsel.

Priddy said he thought all the reports had been filed.

Priddy was arrested in November on suspicion of driving under the influence. His trial is set for later this year. He told officers he has a motor-coordination problem and is diabetic.

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