Arizona Attorney Disciplined For Misrepresenting Prior Discipline To An Employer

The presiding disciplinary judge has ordered a 30 day suspension of Patrick Camunez. The case is captioned In the Matter of a Member of The State Bar of Arizona, Bar No. 028662.

The attorney was previously disciplined. He then failed to accurately report the prior discipline when he applied for a general counsel position.

The decisions explains that: “Mr. Camunez’s transgressions arose when he misrepresented to a potential employer the substance of his prior disciplinary offenses. Mr. Camunez was admonished by the Attorney Discipline Probable Cause Committee on August 29, 2014, for “alter[ing] an e-mail he obtained from the Office of the Chief Counsel, National Guard Bureau, to help facilitate his efforts to secure a promotion while serving in the Arizona National Guard as a civilian government attorney.” While interviewing for a general counsel position in February 2015, Mr. Camunez misrepresented that he was disciplined in 2014 for failing to report a supervisor’s breach of attorney/client privilege, not for altering an e-mail.”

The decision explains the rationale for the discipline as follows: “The truth matters. The object of lawyer discipline is to protect the public, the legal profession, the administration of justice, and to deter other attorneys from engaging in unprofessional conduct. In re Peasley, 208 Ariz. 27, 38, 90 P.3d 764, 775 (2004). When the truth is not accepted, but instead covered over, then the insights of attorney discipline may never take root and grow. Whatever the cause, Mr. Camunez is encouraged to identify it, uproot it, and determine to be truthful. While attorney discipline is not intended to punish the offending attorney, the sanctions imposed may have that incidental effect. Id. As the proposed sanction of suspension and probation meets the objectives of discipline, it is accepted.”

This is a rare case where an attorney was disciplined for statements made to a potential employer.

Edward X. Clinton, Jr.

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