Lawyer Loses License for Using a Bat on His Client | Courthouse News Service
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Lawyer Loses License for Using a Bat on His Client

(CN) - A West Virginia attorney who beat a client with a baseball bat cannot get his license back without undergoing a psychological evaluation and anger management, the state's Supreme Court of Appeals ruled.

The Lawyer Disciplinary Board found that Joshua Robinson beat his client, David Gump, with a wooden bat on Robinson's front porch on Dec. 2, 2009, and then chased the man down the street.

After Gump fell down, Robinson continued to clobber Gump in the head, chest and back, according to the board's hearing panel subcommittee (HPS).

Robinson pleaded guilty to unlawful wounding, and the board's Hearing Panel Subcommittee recommended annulling the lawyer's license as a sanction.

Robinson argued that Gump was a drug addict who showed up at his house to demand money for drugs. He said he used the bat in self-defense only after Gump broke the window panes on his door.

The West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals adopted the sanction recommendations Thursday.

"In addition to considering his guilty plea to unlawful wounding, the HPS listened to hours of testimony and reviewed voluminous documents that clearly established Mr. Robinson's culpability in this crime," the unsigned opinion states. "Therefore, there is no need for this court to disturb the board's findings that Mr. Robinson violated the Rules of Professional Conduct."

The decision notes that Robinson had previously pleaded guilty to wanton endangerment in Kentucky after he threw a propane tank through the windshield of his wife's car.

Before Robinson can petition to reinstate his law license, he must pass a psychological evaluation, complete an "extensive course" in anger management and pay for the costs of the disciplinary hearing, according to the ruling. If reinstated, he will also need supervision of his practice for two years.

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