A lawyer who comports himself as [Gregory] Mitts did is not only a hazard to clients, but also a menace to the profession and to the courts. Mitts’ actions consumed countless hours of this court’s and the district court’s time in dealing with his obstinate incompetence. If Mitts was so lackadaisical in [Rowan] Brooks’s case, we can only imagine what problems he’s caused, or is likely to cause, other clients. Potential clients, who will put their lives in Mitts’ hands, as Brooks did, are entitled to know that this lawyer ignores client inquiries, misses jurisdictional deadlines and does not own up to his mistakes.
I am unaware of any disciplinary action currently underway to address what appears to have been misconduct by Mitts. The State Bar of California may not yet be aware of Mitts’ behavior. Perhaps now it will be.
— Judge Alex Kozinski of the Ninth Circuit, firmly reprimanding California criminal-defense attorney Gregory H. Mitts in a concurrence to a three-judge panel’s finding that Mitts was grossly negligent in his representation of Rowan Brooks, an inmate who was attempting to appeal a murder conviction.
(Flip to the next page to see the full opinion.)