As of Thursday, Andrew Thomas, Lisa Aubuchon, and Rachel Alexander no longer will be able to practice law in Arizona.
A disciplinary panel of the Arizona Supreme Court ordered the trio's disbarment on April 10, and court officials stated that the order would become effective on May 10. The former Maricopa County Attorney and his two female accomplices were found to have abused their power as prosecutors during their fight with county supervisors, administrators, judges, and lawyers.
Thomas and Aubuchon committed perjury, filed charges they knew were outside the statute of limitations, framed a Superior Court judge with bogus criminal charges, and were dishonest, the panel stated in their findings. In working on a federal racketeering lawsuit, all three were found to have filed the lawsuit to embarrass or burden the defendants (which included the entire Board of Supervisors), had conflicts of interest, filed a frivolous lawsuit -- and did so incompetently, to boot.
Alexander, who avoided disbarment but is having her license suspended for six months and a day, continued to run her Alexander Bankruptcy Law Firm as the clock ran down.
We called over there today to find out whether the firm would be closing up shop later this week as its lawyer, Alexander, turns into a non-lawyer.
A guy named Brian, presumably her business development manager, Brian Symes, says "We're still staying in business, as far as I know."
Asked how that would work, unless the firm employs another lawyer, "Brian" asks us to call Alexander's lawyer, Scott Zwillinger. We haven't heard back yet from Zwillinger.
Perhaps if Alexander adds more Jesus-fish symbols on her website, her business may be saved by deus ex machina.
Lisa Aubuchon, who set up a one-woman law firm in Tempe after she got fired from her job in 2010, argued recently in her appeal motion that she has "active clients and obligations including pending trials."
No stay on the disbarment order has been announced, so her clients will need another lawyer ASAP, if they haven't already found one.
Thomas also opened a law firm in late 2010, but the link to his former website, www.andrewthomaslaw.com, is as dead as legal career.
Thomas is hard at work on a book about his troubles, and he'll need to make it a bestseller to help pay for a possible half-million-dollar bill for his own disbarment.
He decided not to appeal his disbarment, even though he could have handled the appeal himself -- just as Alexander is doing.
Maybe Thomas -- one of Harvard's least-favorite grads, we'd bet -- believes he's not as good a lawyer as Alexander. More likely, he's made a career decision to play martyr.
Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.