A Rochester attorney who was suspended for making derogatory statements about a female judge has had his license to practice conditionally reinstated.
The Minnesota Supreme Court handed down a minimum of 60 days suspension order in April for attorney William L. French following a petition for disciplinary action filed by the Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility.
Late last month, French was conditionally reinstated to practice law in Minnesota on the conditions that he successfully complete the written exam on professional responsibility by the State Board of Law Examiners and provide proof of it by April 2020.
Before the high court's April suspension ruling, French “unconditionally” admitted to allegations that he made derogatory statements about a judge that he knew were false or were made with reckless disregard for the truth and that impugned the impartiality and qualifications of the judge, according to the Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility.
French also admitted that he referred to a fee as “earned upon receipt,” which is prohibited, and that he did not promptly refund unearned advance fees when a relationship with a client ended.
French received two admonishments in April 2016, one in April 2000 and one in September 1995. In June 2015, the state’s Supreme Court publicly reprimanded French and placed him on a year of probation.