SAN FRANCISCO (Northern California Record) — Minneapolis attorney Lynne Ann Torgerson faces reciprocal discipline following a California State Bar Court recommendation after her 2015 suspension in Minnesota.
Torgerson's clean disciplinary record in California played a part in deliberations in that state, according to the 22-page decision issued June 13 by the state bar court.
"In view of [Torgerson]'s misconduct and the evidence in aggravation and mitigation, including [Torgerson]'s almost 20 years of misconduct-free practice, this court recommends that [Torgerson] be placed on one year's stayed suspension with two years' probation with conditions of probation including, inter alia, a 30-day suspension from practice of law in California," the decision said.
The state bar's recommendation is pending final action by the California Supreme Court, an appeal before the state bar's review department or expiration of time in which parties can request further review within the state bar court.
Torgerson's recommended discipline was among the dispositions filed earlier this month by the state bar court's hearing department for June.
Torgerson was admitted to the bar in California on June 6, 1991, according to her profile at the state bar website. She was admitted to the bar in Minnesota in 1990, according to the Minnesota Supreme Court's opinion in her case.
Torgerson was suspended for a minimum of 60 days beginning in early November 2015 for multiple allegations of professional misconduct following a 24-page Minnesota Supreme Court opinion issued the prior month. The alleged misconduct included disobeying a court order, repeatedly making false statements, making unfounded accusations against a judge, acting belligerently toward a judge and court staff and charging a nonrefundable flat fee, according to the Minnesota court's opinion.
The allegations stemmed from five separate client matters and a disciplinary proceeding that involved another attorney.
In January 2016, Torgerson was conditionally reinstated in Minnesota and placed on two years' probation, which she has successfully completed, according to the California decision.
Discipline imposed against an attorney in a "sister state" doesn't mean that California has to impose the same discipline, the decision said. "Instead, this court must independently determining the appropriate degree of discipline to impose or recommend under California law just as it does in original disciplinary proceedings."