On December 29, 2023, the Supreme Court of the State of Minnesota issued an order in the matter of a disciplinary petition filed against attorney Michael B. Padden. The Director of the Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility had filed a petition and supplemental petition alleging Padden committed professional misconduct warranting public discipline.

The case is entitled “In re Petition for Disciplinary Action against Michael B. Padden,” case no. A23-0080.

The Court had referred the matter to a referee for findings of fact, conclusions of law, and discipline recommendations.

After a hearing, the referee found that Padden violated several Rules of Professional Conduct, including Rules 20:1.1 (competence), 20:1.4(a)(3) and 20:1.4(b) (communication with clients), 20:1.5(b)(1) (fees and expenses), 20:3.3(a)(1) (candor toward tribunals), 20:4.1(a)(1) (truthfulness in statements to others), and 20:8.4(c) (misconduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation), Wisconsin Supreme Court Rules; as well as Minnesota Rules of Professional Conduct 1.1, 1.3, 1.4(a)(3), 1.4(a)(4), 1.4(b), 1.5(b)(3), 1.5(c), 1.8(a), 1.15(a), 1.15(b), 1.15(c)(3-5), 1.15(h), 1.16(c), 1.16(d), 3.4(c), 4.1, 8.1(a), 8.1(b), 8.4(c), and 8.4(d) and Rule 25(a) of the Rules on Lawyers Professional Responsibility.

The referee recommended that Padden be disbarred and that he be immediately suspended pending the final resolution of disciplinary proceedings.

On December 3, 2023, Padden filed a petition seeking to avoid immediate suspension under Rule 16(e). He made additional filings on this issue on December 8, 11, 12, 13, and 15. However, on December 5, 2023, the Director responded by requesting Padden’s suspension under Rule 16(e) and arguing his petition did not provide good reason to deviate from the suspension.

In its December 29 order, the Court cited Rule 16(e) and ordered Padden’s temporary suspension from the practice of law effective immediately, pending the final resolution of the disciplinary matter. Padden was required to comply with Rule 26 and notify clients, opposing counsel, and tribunals of his suspension. The order was signed by Associate Justice Margaret H. Chutich.

The Court’s order imposes an automatic suspension on Padden as his disciplinary case continues, despite his attempts to avoid interim discipline under Rule 16(e). A final determination in the matter will be made at its resolution.

According to LinkedIn, Mr. Michael B. Padden is the owner of Padden Law Firm, PLLC serving St. Paul, Minnesota. He attended Mitchell Hamline School of Law. Padden has been licensed to practice in Minnesota.

A copy of the original filing can be found here.