On Monday, October 24, 2022, The Disciplinary Board of the Washington State Bar Association ruled on charges for attorney discipline against Moses Lake attorney Garth Louis Dano.
The case is entitled ‘In the matter of Garth Louis Dano’ with Case #2200054.
The charges cited rules of professional conduct 8.4 (g), 8.4 (d), 8.4 (h): 8.4 (g) which states:
It is professional misconduct for a lawyer to commit a discriminatory act prohibited by state law on the basis of sex, race, age, creed, religion, color, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, gender expression or gender identity, honorably discharged veteran or military status, or marital status, where the act of discrimination is committed in connection with the lawyer’s professional activities. In addition, it is professional misconduct to commit a discriminatory act on the basis of sexual orientation, gender expression, or gender identity, if such an act would violate this Rule when committed on the basis of sex, race, age, creed, religion, color, national origin, disability, honorably discharged veteran or military status or marital status. This Rule shall not limit the ability of a lawyer to accept, decline, or withdraw from the representation of a client in accordance with Rule 1.16.
It is professional misconduct for a lawyer to engage in conduct that is prejudicial to the administration of justice.
It is professional misconduct for a lawyer to: in representing a client, engage in conduct that is prejudicial to the administration of justice toward judges, lawyers, or LLLTs, other parties, witnesses, jurors, or court personnel or officers, that a reasonable person would interpret as manifesting prejudice or bias on the basis of sex, race, age, creed, religion, color, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, gender expression or gender identity, honorably discharged veteran or military status or marital status. This Rule does not restrict a lawyer from representing a client by advancing material factual or legal issues or arguments.
The rules of professional conduct can be found here.
The following are as alleged and summarized from the filing:
In May 2019, while representing the state, the prosecutor (Respondent), during his voir dire in a jury trial, introduced the topics of border security, illegal immigration, and crimes committed by undocumented immigrants including drug smuggling. Respondent repeatedly elicited potential jurors’ comments and views on these topics, referring at l one point to “100,000 people” “illegally” crossing the border each month. Respondent’s statements during voir dire could be viewed by an objective observer as appealing to racial or ethnic bias and stereotypes, and these statements prejudiced Zamora’s right to a fair trial.
The Supreme Court held that Respondent committed race-based prosecutorial misconduct by appealing to racial and ethnic bias and stereotypes during jury selection. The Supreme Court found that Respondent acted “apparently intentionally, The Supreme Court explained that this standard is an objective one and does not consider the prosecutor’s subjective intent. The Court held that the resulting prejudice to Zamora is incurable and reversed and Vacated Zamora’s convictions.
The filing states:
‘Respondent acted negligently in conducting a voir dire that caused interference in a legal proceeding. The respondent’s actions were a violation of a duty owed as a professional. Respondent’s actions caused injury to Zamora and the public’s perception of the criminal justice system, and interference with a legal proceeding.’
The parties stipulate that the Respondent shall receive a reprimand. Thus,
The Disposition states:
“On review of the October 24, 2022 Stipulation to Reprimand and the documents on file in this matter, It is ordered that the October 24, 2022 Stipulation to Reprimand is approved.”
The respondent’s info can be found at avvo.com. He attended Gonzaga University School of LawDano and practices in Moses Lake, Washington. He has been licensed in Washington, license #1126.
A copy of the original filing can be found here.