On December 20, 2023, the Supreme Court of the State of Minnesota indefinitely suspended attorney Samuel A. McCloud of Forest Lake for violating multiple rules of professional conduct.
The case is entitled “In the Matter of Samuel A. McCloud,” with case no. A22-0800.
According to the Court’s decision, McCloud engaged in the unauthorized practice of law, failed to represent a client competently and diligently, and disclosed confidential client information to a third party. This violated Minnesota Rules of Professional Conduct 1.1, 1.3, 1.6(a), and 5.5(a).
The Court found that in early 2021, McCloud missed a scheduled Rule 8 hearing for a client, D.E., despite being retained to represent him. McCloud also e-filed a certificate of representation for D.E. while his license was suspended. Furthermore, McCloud left a voicemail for a prosecutor regarding a client matter while his license was suspended, which constituted an unauthorized practice of law.
In another matter, the Court determined that McCloud disclosed confidential information about his client J.O. to a bail bondsman without permission. During two phone calls, McCloud made disparaging remarks about J.O., including statements about his guilt and drug use. This violated McCloud’s duty of confidentiality under Rule 1.6(a).
Due to his violations, the referee overseeing McCloud’s case recommended a suspension of at least 90 days, followed by 2 years of supervised probation upon reinstatement. The Court agreed with this discipline but added that McCloud must also petition for reinstatement under Rule 18.
In its decision, the Court emphasized McCloud’s extensive disciplinary history as an aggravating factor. He has received multiple admonishments and suspensions dating back to 1986. Unfortunately for McCloud, this latest suspension continues his troubling pattern of professional misconduct. The indefinite suspension is meant to protect the public and preserve trust in the legal profession.
According to Avvo.com, Mr. McCloud was a criminal defense attorney in Cambridge, Minnesota. He acquired his law license in Minnesota in 1977.
A copy of the original filing can be found here.