“These violations include demands for additional fees to continue a lawsuit that was paid for on a flat-fee basis, filing a lawsuit and a lien against a client who refused to pay him additional fees, a deceptive attempt to compel settlement, failure to obtain consent for a conflict of client interest, and other deceptive practices,” wrote Justice James Johnson. “These facts are accompanied by multiple aggravating factors, including prior discipline for similar conduct.”
Marshall challenged the court’s decision, which he said was based on a biased investigation by the Washington State Bar.
“I’ve done some unpopular things,” he said. “As a result, I’ve become a target.”
Those cases include a class-action lawsuit against the city of Seattle over alleged racial profiling, and a hard-fought wrongful-death action against King County over the controversial 2002 shooting of Robert Thomas by an off-duty sheriff’s deputy while Thomas was parked in his neighborhood.
The city now tracks the race of people its officers stop. In the end, the deputy in the Thomas shooting, Mel Wilson, was cleared of wrongdoing.
Marshall said he intends to appeal his disbarment to the U.S. Supreme Court and challenge the bar’s system of discipline, which he said has been criticized by the American Bar Association for not building a firewall between the administrative and disciplinary function.
“What I’m going to do is demonstrate in a court of law that the system is flawed,” he said.
Over the years, Marshall has been involved in a number of high-profile cases and has held himself out as a civil-rights and sports-management attorney.
He has taught ethics and business law at Seattle Pacific University and sports-management law at the University of Washington. He also has represented professional athletes, including basketball players Clifford Robinson and James Edwards.
But he’s also been the target of numerous allegations of impropriety and two other disciplinary actions by the Washington State Bar, which in 2006 opened the investigation that led to Marshall’s disbarment Thursday. The bar suspended his legal practice in 2007 for 18 months while its investigators and hearing officer concluded Marshall should lose his license.
The hearing examiner recommended Marshall be disbarred, which then went to the Supreme Court.
Complaints against Bradley date back years. In 1995, he was sued for sexual harassment by a paralegal. Bradley’s efforts to conceal that lawsuit — he paid the accuser in exchange for her agreement to seal the case — was detailed in The Seattle Times’ investigative series, “Your Courts, Their Secrets.”
That article notes that Marshall a few years ago commissioned an 80-foot mural for his office memorializing his legal career.
The justices concluded, “Mr. Marshall attempted to squeeze his clients for additional fees. … He tried to bully his clients into settling their claims, despite their express desire to proceed to trial. There is no reason to depart from the hearing officers’ and the unanimous Board’s recommendation to disbar.”