The D.C. Court of Appeals has pulled G. Paul Howes’ D.C. law license, pending a final decision on what discipline the former federal prosecutor should receive.
In a Sept. 30 per curium order, the court suspended Howes’ license starting that day. As previously reported by The National Law Journal, Howes, a partner at Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd in San Diego, served as a federal prosecutor in Washington during the 1980s and 1990s, handling high-profile drug, homicide and gang cases.
Bar counsel has alleged that he issued thousands of dollars in witness payments to individuals who were not entitled to receive them and of intentionally failing to disclose the use of the vouchers to defense counsel.
Howes has admitted to six ethical violations, including false statement of material fact to a tribunal, failing to timely disclose evidence that tended to negate the guilt of a defendant and engaging in conduct that interfered with the administration of justice. He contests a seventh count. But he has said his misconduct warrants no more than a 30-day suspension, because he was acting for the public good.
The Board on Professional Responsibility’s July 27 recommendation to the court was highly unusual in that there was not a majority opinion on what sanction Howes should receive. Four board members voted for disbarment. Three recommended a three-year suspension with no requirement to show fitness before reinstatement. And two recommended a one-year suspension, also without having to show fitness.
Howes is being represented by Paul Knight, a partner at Nossaman. Neither Howes or Knight immediately returned calls for comment.