We all know that the founder of the Oath Keepers, Stewart Rhodes, is a far-right paranoid lunatic. He’s also an attorney — but probably not for long, because the ethical watchdog for the Montana Supreme Court is calling for him to be disbarred.
Not because he’s a paranoid lunatic, though. No, they want him disbarred because he’s apparently incapable of keeping oaths, and is known for abandoning his clients.
Irony? Why do you ask?
Can’t keep an oath
Stewart is a man with a Yale education, and started his political career as so many young white men do: by rooting for Ron Paul. He still believes in Paul; earlier this year, he called for McCain’s execution, in part because McCain “torpedoed” the Ron Paul convention in 2008.
He founded the Oath Keepers after President Obama was elected, to keep the Commander-and-Sharia Law and his Kool-Aid drink, Prius-driving, city-dwelling liberal parrots from destroying the United States.
That’s Rhodes’ extracurricular activity, though; his day job is being an amazingly bad attorney notorious for bailing on clients:
1) On April 28, 2014, a federal judge in Arizona filed an ethics grievance against Rhodes for appearing in court “without license or an application to appear pro hac vice.” The latter is a requirement for lawyers who want to practice in a federal court located in a state where the attorney isn’t licensed. Rhodes did not respond to the Judge’s grievance.
2) On May 12, 2014, Rhodes’ Arizona client Michael Roth lodged a complaint against his lawyer, stating that Rhodes had provided incompetent representation and had abandoned him in his civil suit in federal court. Rhodes did not respond to his former client’s complaint.
3) On July 30, 2014, the Commission on Practice set a hearing date for Rhodes to answer to these grievances in person. That date was later adjusted by a day in an amended order. Rhodes did not show up for his hearing.
According to federal court records, Rhodes had a second Arizona client, Jennifer “Jade” Jones, who also found herself without a lawyer in the middle of a civil case in federal court. While it does not appear that she filed a complaint with the ODC, she complained to the federal court. ”I am the plaintiff the above titled action,” she wrote the judge. “I have been unable to reach my attorney, Elmer Stewart Rhodes, for several weeks.”
Of course, he likely won’t be an amazingly bad attorney for long. The Montana Supreme Court’s Office of Disciplinary Counsel called on Thursday for Oath Keeper founder, Elmer
Fudd “Stewart” Rhodes, to be canned:
Based upon the foregoing factual findings and legal conclusions, the Commission makes the following recommendation:
1. That Elmer S. Rhodes be disbarred;
2. That he be required to comply with the notice provisions of Rule 30, MRLDE upon disbarment; and
3. That he be assessed the reasonable and necessary costs of these proceedings in accordance with Rule 9A(8), MRLDE.
Just how bad of an attorney is he? He bailed on two actual clients — John and Jennifer Jones — and was taken off their case, just so he could represent another, pro bono:
04/18/2014 ORDER, Mr Rhodes is discharged from representing Plaintiffs in this matter; the Court will send a letter to the Montana State Bar Association regarding Mr Rhodes’ failure to represent his clients and respond to court orders; Plaintiffs Jennifer Marie Jones and John Lavern Jones are now unrepresented in this matter[.]
The judge booted him off the case because Rhodes didn’t appear for a telephone conference. As Forbes notes, it would have been very difficult for Rhodes to be there on that day, since he was busy playing amateur secessionist with Cliven Bundy’s merry band of anti-government thugs, thieves, and terrorists.
Clearly, a man who understands his priorities.
Feature image via YouTube screen capture