The Association of U S West Retirees



Complaint still hangs over judge
By Berny Morson
Rocky Mountain News
Thursday, October 23, 2008

A piece of U.S. District Court Judge Edward Nottingham's legal troubles is still unresolved before a state ethics panel, despite his resignation from the bench.

Nottingham stepped down Tuesday amid allegations of judicial misconduct involving a prostitute.  The allegations were being investigated by the 10th Circuit Court Judicial Council.

A Minnesota man who has tangled with Nottingham in a federal court case filed the same charges last April with the state's Attorney Regulation Council, which investigates ethical complaints against lawyers.

A negative ruling by that panel could be a roadblock if Nottingham decides to resume practicing law in Colorado.

Sean Harrington said he made the complaint because the state panel is supposed to protect the public from bad lawyers.

Nottingham's attorney did not return phone calls for comment.

John Gleason, who heads the Attorney Regulation Council, said he can't comment on the substance of the complaint against Nottingham but said the case will be investigated like any other complaint.

The panel, which is appointed by the Colorado Supreme Court, can impose penalties ranging from a letter of reprimand to disbarment.

The state agency declined to investigate in April when Harrington filed the case because of the 10th Circuit probe but did not rule out involvement later.

Harrington already has asked the ARC to take up his complaint.

Tenth Circuit Chief Judge Robert Henry said he would not have a statement about the case until Nottingham's resignation takes effect Wednesday.

Harrington, who represented himself in an interstate divorce proceeding, drew derision from the judge by filing a motion that was 2,600 pages long.

"It is impossible to follow or make sense of this heap," Nottingham wrote in an order dismissing Harrington's case.