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Tucson Attorney Suspended for Failing to Comply with Duties to the Court or Judicial Process

PHOENIX - June 7, 2012 - Attorney Creighton W. Cornell of Tucson was suspended from the practice of law for two years after violating several Rules of Professional Conduct and a separate Rule of the Supreme Court. The sanction was imposed by a three-member hearing panel led by the Presiding Disciplinary Judge of the Supreme Court of Arizona.

Following a three-day disciplinary hearing, the panel found that Cornell violated various Rules of Professional Conduct and a Rule of the Supreme Court.  The 101-page report and order reveals that Cornell filed repeated and sequential bias challenges against judges without conducting appropriate investigations to determine the truth of his allegations. He also filed repeated and sequential bias challenges against assigned judges because of unfavorable rulings, which embarrassed the judges, delayed the proceedings, wasted the courts' time and burdened other participants in the underlying criminal case. Cornell recklessly and without substantiation, made statements about a superior court judge's ability to be unbiased because of a perceived conflict of interest and knowingly failed to comply with a superior court judge's order.

The order also states that evidence revealed that Cornell failed to either comprehend or comply with his duties to the court or the judicial process or engaged in excessively zealous behavior, which resulted in unethical and unprofessional conduct in the superior court as well as in front of the hearing panel during the disciplinary proceedings.

It was ordered that Creighton Cornell be suspended from the practice of law for two years, effective June 24, 2012. He is also required to pay all costs and expenses associated with the disciplinary proceedings.

Both Cornell and the State Bar can appeal the panel's decision.

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