State Representative’s Law License Gets Suspended

Lawmaker's Law License Suspended Due To Conflict of Interest

( – When attorneys gain their law licenses, the bar holds them to a rigid set of guidelines. Failure to adhere to them could result in a suspension or the complete revocation of their license. One of the ethical guidelines is to recuse themselves from cases that pose a conflict of interest. A court found that a lawmaker failed to do so, and now he’s seeing the fallout.

The Kansas Bar Association recently suspended State Rep. Carl Maughan’s (R) law license for a year after the state’s Supreme Court ruled that he violated professional standards. The allegations stemmed from his defense of a man on trial for an automobile crash in 2016 that killed two men.

Maughan was representing 57-year-old Bret Blevins despite what was determined to be a conflict of interest. In separate cases, he had previously represented Tammy Akers, the man’s girlfriend, and is reported to have accepted money from her to take on Blevins’ case. She and Blevins were the occupants in the car that struck the van, killing two men inside.

In reviewing the case, the Kansas Supreme Court ruled that even though Blevins and Akers had signed waivers regarding the potential conflict of interest, Maughan didn’t fully inform them of the consequences or completely address the situation.

In 2017, a court convicted Blevins of second-degree murder charges and sentenced him to more than 60 years in prison. In 2021, the state’s Court of Appeals ruled that Maughan’s conflict of interest warranted a new trial for Blevins. Blevins then pleaded guilty to a watered-down charge and received a new sentence: 13 years. He’s now suing Maughan.

This incident wasn’t Maughan’s only legal trouble in recent months. In March, police pulled over the Kansas state representative and cited him for two traffic violations and two misdemeanors for driving under the influence, possessing a gun while doing so, failure to maintain safe passage from a single lane, and failure to signal a lane change. After his arrest, he dropped his reelection campaign and stepped down from his committee role as House Judiciary vice chair.

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