In re Ruffalo

PETITIONER: In Re Ruffalo
LOCATION: Jewelry Store/Post Office Contract Station # 7

DOCKET NO.: 73
DECIDED BY: Warren Court (1967-1969)
LOWER COURT: United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit

CITATION: 390 US 544 (1968)
ARGUED: Mar 04, 1968
DECIDED: Apr 08, 1968

Facts of the case

Question

Media for In re Ruffalo

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - March 04, 1968 in In re Ruffalo

Earl Warren:

Number 73, In the Matter of John Ruffalo Jr., petitioner.

Mr. Spangenberg?

Craig Spangenberg:

May it please this Honorable Court.

This case comes before you on a writ of certiorari to the Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit and you will review an order of disbarring petitioner, John Ruffalo Jr. in that court.

That order was in turn based upon action of the Supreme Court of Ohio, that action being not here for review.

Ohio had suspended Ruffalo on two charges.

The Court of Appeals found that one charge justified disbarment from its roles.

The District Court had earlier reviewed, the Ohio disbarment had found that neither charge justified the striking of Ruffalo from the rules, but after the Court of Appeals opinion, the District Court entered a second order saying that although still convinced that he was right, he would bow to the judgment of his superior court.

Potter Stewart:

Mr. Spangenberg, was this a disbarment in the Ohio Courts?

It was --

Craig Spangenberg:

No, suspension, Mr. Justice.

Potter Stewart:

And there is suspension in Ohio, isn't there or not?

Craig Spangenberg:

In words, no lawyer who has ever been suspended in Ohio has ever been reinstated as you may know.

But technically, after two years, he can apply for readmission.

He can take the bar again if he is given the right to, by the Supreme Court.

It is not total disbarment for life.

There is a right to reapply.

Potter Stewart:

After two years?

Craig Spangenberg:

After two years.

Potter Stewart:

This was a suspension --

Craig Spangenberg:

Yes.

Potter Stewart:

-- in Ohio, but a disbarment from the Court of Appeals?

Craig Spangenberg:

That's right.

Potter Stewart:

At the District Court also?

Craig Spangenberg:

That's right, sir.

Earl Warren:

Did I understand that you say that never in the history of Ohio have they reinstated a man who was suspended for two years.

Craig Spangenberg:

That is true, Your Honor.

Earl Warren:

Is that so?

Craig Spangenberg:

There is one pending now where there are some speculation he may be, and so it will be unique.

But the case involves chiefly one Michael Orlando.