Disciplinary rule hearing set in complaint vs Banes


Superior Court Associate Judge Joseph N. Camacho has set a disciplinary rule hearing in connection with a disciplinary complaint filed against lawyer David George Banes.

In an order issued after a status conference on Friday, Camacho said the court will hear aggravating and mitigating factor and recommendation from counsels on Nov. 10, 2015, at 2pm.

Camacho notified the CNMI Bar Association Disciplinary Committee that a disciplinary hearing has been set. The Disciplinary Committee, the judge said, may file a written recommendation on or before Oct. 13, 2015.

Camacho said prosecuting counsel Mitchell T. Thompson and Banes may file a written recommendation memorandum or brief on the appropriate sanction on or before Oct. 26, 2015.

Camacho ordered the parties to appear at the scheduled disciplinary hearing date.

Mitchell, who is based in Guam, may appear telephonically, Camacho said.

During Friday’s status conference, Thompson appeared telephonically from Guam. Banes appeared with his counsel, Robert J. O’Connor.

At the start of the conference, Camacho said the parties were informed that Banes failed to comply with disciplinary Rule 13(d) that requires a respondent to reply within 20 days after being served with a complaint.

Camacho said the deadline for Banes to file an answer was June 22, 2015. He said no motion or request for an extension of the deadline was filed or granted by the court.

The judge said Rule 13(d) states in part, “If the respondent fails to answer within the time allowed then the charges are deemed admitted.”

Thompon, who chairs the Guam Bar Association Ethics Committee, filed the disciplinary complaint against Banes for violating a provision of the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct when he allegedly revealed information learned in discussions with a prospective client. Amjad Farhoud filed the complaint with the Disciplinary Committee of the CNMI Bar Association in August 2011.

The court appointed Thompson to prosecute the matter.

Banes, through counsel O’Connor, has denied the allegations and asked the court to dismiss the complaint and rule that he did not violate any ethical rule.

Ferdie De La Torre | Reporter
Ferdie Ponce de la Torre is a senior reporter of Saipan Tribune. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and has covered all news beats in the CNMI. He is a recipient of the CNMI Supreme Court Justice Award. Contact him at ferdie_delatorre@Saipantribune.com

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