Cited Article

Lawyer Distress: Alcohol-Related Problems and Other Psychological Concerns Among a Sample of Practicing Lawyers

Case Citation

State ex rel. Counsel for Discipline v. Thompson, No. 652 N.W.2d 593 (Neb.2002)

Background

Holding that an "attorney suffering from depression was suspended from the practice of law for a period of 120 days; suspension was to ensure there would be evidence of a meaningful and sustained recovery before the attorney was allowed to return to practice.”

Citing Quote

However,"the determination of an appropriate penalty to be imposed on an attorney requires consideration of any mitigating factors." State ex rel. Counsel for Dis. v. Apker , 263 Neb. at 749, 642 N.W.2d at 169. In this case, Thompson asserts his depression as a mitigating factor. Depression is a serious mental illness, and lawyers are not immune to its debilitating effects. In fact, a growing body of literature suggests lawyers are especially susceptible to experiencing depression. Connie J.A. Beck et al., Lawyer Distress: Alcohol-Related Problems and Other Psychological Concerns Among a Sample of Practicing Lawyers , 10 J.L. & Health 1 (1995-96); Patrick J. Schiltz, On Being a Happy, Healthy, and Ethical Member of an Unhappy, Unhealthy, and Unethical Profession , 52 Vand. L. Rev. 871 (1999). In a recent disciplinary case that, much like this one, involved attorney neglect and misrepresentations, the Iowa Supreme Court described the interaction of depression and attorney misconduct and how depression affects the disciplinary process.

Article Publication Date

1995

Volume

10

Issue

1