On Tuesday, November 7, 2023, the Presiding Disciplinary Judge of the Supreme Court of Arizona suspended Attorney Jeffrey B. Brown for five years based on his resignation from practicing law in Utah due to misconduct.
The case is entitled “In the Matter of Jeffrey B. Brown,” with case no. PDJ 2023-9076..
Brown will not be allowed to practice law in the state for five years starting November 7, 2023. This comes after Brown resigned his ability to practice in Utah on June 20, 2023, while disciplinary charges were pending against him in that state.
In Arizona, resignations from practice in other states do not have an equivalent consequence. However, Judge Margaret Downie agreed with the State Bar of Arizona that a five-year suspension effectively mirrored the impact of Brown’s Utah resignation. This is because Brown is prohibited from applying for readmission to the Utah bar for five years from his resignation date.
Judge Downie’s order explains that lawyers regulated in multiple states are subject to reciprocal discipline based on misconduct findings in other jurisdictions. Lawyers can only challenge the imposition of identical or substantially similar discipline if they prove the other state’s process deprived them of due process, the misconduct findings lacked evidentiary support, equal discipline would cause “grave injustice,” or the proven misconduct warrants substantially different treatment.
However, Brown did not provide any evidence or argument to support challenging reciprocal discipline from Utah. The judge therefore concluded the Utah resignation “conclusively” established Brown engaged in attorney misconduct.
For the next five years, Brown is prohibited from practicing law in Arizona. He is also required to fully comply with posting and notification requirements that help inform the public and other lawyers of his suspended status. Brown was additionally ordered to pay $1,200 to reimburse the State Bar of Arizona for costs associated with the disciplinary matter.
According to avvo.com, Mr. Brown was an elder law attorney in Millcreek, Utah. He acquired his law license in Arizona in 2000.
A copy of the original filing can be found here.