Kansas Attorney Disbarred Over High Fee, Disrespect to Judge and Court Staff
The National Law Journal
The Supreme Court of Kansas has disbarred a Kansas City attorney for charging $3,500 an hour to handle a soldier's case and for making offensive remarks to a judge and court staff.
Carlos Romious lost his license on Monday after the Kansas high court found that he charged the inflated fee while representing a soldier facing drug possession charges in a military court. The court also found that during a three-year period Romious shouted profanity at court clerks, got into a brawl with a court security officer and accused a judge of being a pedophile.
In adopting a recommendation from a disciplinary administrator, the court in a per curiam decision concluded that the pattern of misconduct warranted disbarment.
"In summary, the respondent's conduct resulted in two criminal convictions, a contempt adjudication that led to 120 days in jail, minor injuries to a U.S. deputy marshal, and an adverse impact on a military career," the court said.
Romious could not be reached for comment.
Romious represented the soldier, referred to as J.J. in the decision, in a military action that arose from the soldier's arrest for drunken driving and drug possession. The court found that Romious initially took the case for a $3,500 flat fee but later claimed in a written agreement that his hourly fee was $3,500. The soldier eventually received a general discharge from the National Guard, an outcome that was "emotionally devastating" to the soldier and his family, the court wrote. It concluded that Romious' conduct toward the soldier's chain of command during the proceeding "materially contributed" to the outcome.
The court also considered the attorney's conduct when he tried to file court papers in the Shawnee, Kan., Municipal Court. There, he called a court clerk a "fucking bitch" and shouted that he was smarter than all the clerks, toward whom he repeated the profanity, the court said.
The court further noted that Romious shouted profanities at court security officers at the federal courthouse in Kansas City after he set off the magnetometer and shoved a deputy marshal. When the officer tried to subdue Romious, a struggle ensued and they knocked over the magnetometer. The officer suffered minor injuries.
Romious' conduct toward a judge also was a factor in his disbarment. In addition to disregarding a court order to appear after making improper comments to a Green County, Kan., Circuit Court judge, Romious' later asked the judge whether he was a pedophile, the court said.
Romious did not answer the disciplinary complaint and did not appear at a hearing before the panel of the Kansas Board for Discipline of Attorneys.