On Wednesday, October 25, 2023, the Minnesota Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility filed a petition for disciplinary action against Attorney Catherine A. McEnroe, a former assistant Hennepin County attorney, for professional misconduct during a criminal trial.
The case is titled ‘In Re Petition for Disciplinary Action against Catherine A. McEnroe, a Minnesota Attorney’.
According to the filing, McEnroe violated rules 3.3(a)(1), 4.1, and 8.4(c) and (d) of the Minnesota Rules of Professional Conduct (MRPC), which relate to candor toward the tribunal, truthfulness in statements to others, and engaging in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation.
The Minnesota Rules of Professional Conduct can be found here.
The disciplinary action stemmed from an incident that occurred in court on January 5, 2023. According to the stipulation filed with the Supreme Court, Attorney McEnroe knowingly made a false statement to the presiding judge while presenting arguments in a criminal case. To cover up this false statement, she then induced another individual to write a new note containing false information and submitted it to the court.
On January 6, after admitting the truth to her supervisors, Attorney McEnroe confessed her dishonesty to the court and opposing counsel. She then recused herself from the trial, which was ultimately dismissed by the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office.
Rather than requiring a disciplinary hearing before a Lawyers Professional Responsibility Board Panel, Attorney McEnroe chose to stipulate the allegations and waive her right to contest the petition for disciplinary action. In the stipulation signed on October 24, 2023, Attorney McEnroe admitted to the allegations of misconduct and acknowledged the Supreme Court had the authority to impose sanctions.
The Director of the Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility and Attorney McEnroe jointly recommended a 60-day suspension as the appropriate discipline. If accepted by the Supreme Court, the suspension would take effect immediately upon issuance of the order. Reinstatement after the suspension is conditioned on Attorney McEnroe paying $900 in costs, complying with rules for suspended attorneys, passing the professional responsibility exam, and fulfilling continuing legal education requirements.
By signing the stipulation, Attorney McEnroe accepted responsibility for her actions and waived various procedural rights. She will now await the Supreme Court’s final ruling on the recommended 60-day suspension for knowingly making false statements in court and attempting to cover up that misconduct.
The charge reads:
“WHEREFORE, the Director respectfully prays for an order of this Court imposing appropriate discipline, awarding costs and disbursements pursuant to the Rules on Lawyers Professional Responsibility, and for such other, further or different relief as may be just and proper.”
According to LinkedIn, Attorney Catherine A. McEnroe is a civil and commercial litigation lawyer. She attended the Mitchell Hamline School of Law, graduating in 1991. According to the filing, she was admitted to practice law in Minnesota on October 25, 1991.
A copy of the original filing can be found here.