Supreme Court Disbars Former US Rep. Denise Majette

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(APN) ATLANTA — The Supreme Court of Georgia has disbarred former U.S. Rep. Denise Majette (D-Atlanta), who served nine years as a State Court Judge in DeKalb County before running for Congress in the 4th district.


 

According to the State Supreme Court opinion, Majette was disbarred in a ruling of 4 to 2 for “committing multiple violations of the Rules and Professional Conduct by submitting wholly unsupported and materially misleading timesheets and invoices to her client and misrepresenting her hours and fees to a court.”

 

In addition, “Majette has failed to express any remorse,” the Court wrote.

 

Majette was admitted to the State Bar in 1983 and at time was thought to have had a promising and noteworthy career, according to peers.

 

In 2008, her troubles began, as she started making her financial problems publicly known to her firm.  She was put on a case where the clients would be the beneficiaries of the case.  In a string of mismanaged invoices, timesheets, and claims, Majette had stated that she was owed anywhere from 38,000 to 130,000 dollars in earned hourly fees.

 

She filed a motion in court, over the lead lawyer of the case, in an attempt to collect those fees. Once the lead lawyer discovered her motion, he had it removed.

 

With all the discrepancy, the state Supreme Court assigned a Special Master to oversee Majette’s case.

 

The Special Master recommended disbarment and the State Bar agreed, even allowing for a three-year suspension in light of her “distinguished career.”  The Supreme Court majority opinion disagreed and officially disbarred Majette.  

 

The only dissention was from Chief Justice Hugh Thompson, who cited her career as the sole reason for keeping her as a member of the State Bar of Georgia.

 

Presiding Justice P. Harris Hines, and Justices Carol Hunstein, David Nahmias, and Keith Blackwell formed the majority, with Justice Robert Benham not participating in the decision.

 

In her infamous run and win against former U.S. Rep. Cynthia McKinney (D-GA) in 2002, Majette appears to have benefited from a large number of “crossover votes,” where Republicans in the Fourth Congressional District crossed over to vote in the Democratic Primary in order to ensure Majette’s win against McKinney.

 

The Fourth District is a strong Democratic district; voters kept McKinney in office for over a decade until the Republican coup in 2002.  McKinney at that time was one of the most outspoken members of Congress against the war in Iraq, during George W. Bush’s reign.

 

Majette left her U.S. House seat after two years to run for U.S. Senate.  Majette did not win the Senate seat.

 

In 2006, Majette ran for School Superintendent and lost.

 

Meanwhile, in 2004, McKinney re-gained her U.S. House seat, but lost it again in 2006 to U.S. Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA).

Last year, Atlanta City Councilman Lamar Willis (Post 3-at-large) was also disbarred.

 

(END/2014)

 

 

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