Ex-state Sen. Shannon Robinson disbarred - Albuquerque Journal

Ex-state Sen. Shannon Robinson disbarred

Copyright © 2022 Albuquerque Journal

The state Supreme Court on Tuesday decided to disbar former state senator and longtime attorney Shannon Robinson for spending settlement money intended for a client’s “horribly injured” daughter on his personal expenses, such as keeping his Albuquerque law practice afloat.

Despite a plea from lawyer Shannon Robinson for “mercy,” the court adopted the recommendation of a disciplinary board hearing panel to impose what Chief Justice Shannon Bacon described as “the ultimate penalty of disbarment.”

Robinson, 74, had two prior disciplinary offenses over his 48-year legal career in New Mexico, but those weren’t mentioned Tuesday during oral arguments prior to the court ruling. He served 20 years in the state Senate representing District 17 in Albuquerque as a Democrat before losing a reelection bid in 2009.

Shannon Robinson

Robinson contended he wasn’t dishonest when he spent about $43,000 from a client’s legal settlement reached in 2016. The client was caring for her daughter who he said on Tuesday was “horribly injured” in a motorcycle accident.

He attributed the lapse to poor record keeping and his attorney Charles Vigil told the justices that he tried to repay $35,000 four years later but his client wouldn’t take it. The client by that time had hired another attorney to file a malpractice case against Robinson.

Robinson was also faulted by disciplinary board assistant counsel Jane Gagne on Tuesday for waiting until disciplinary charges were filed against him to try to repay a portion of what he owed.

Gagne also told the court he exhibited a lack of cooperation in responding to requests for information about the missing money.

Bacon questioned how Robinson could not have had a “dishonest motive.”

And she noted the “harm” of Robinson depriving his client and her family of the “funds that haven’t been available to care for the child.”

“Where’s that money now,” Bacon asked, to which Robinson’s attorney Vigil responded, “I don’t know the answer.”

Robinson, in addressing the court, didn’t reply to the question. He said he had “tremendous regret” and “tremendous remorse that I used the funds to keep my practice alive.”

“I ask for your mercy,” he added.

He said he represented the family of the accident victim for “many, many, many years and I did a lot of things for them besides (representing them) in this accident.”

Robinson has explained his lack of communication about his accounting of the settlement money in part to being “too sick to get out of bed and having a hard time reading in late 2019 and early 2020,” Gagne told the court, adding that Robinson provided no medical evidence of his illness.

Court records state that one of Robinson’s prior disciplinary offenses involved a lawsuit he filed that had no basis. In the other, he received a formal reprimand for failing to promptly notify medical providers of settlements in four of his personal injury cases, the court record shows.

Home » ABQnews Seeker » Ex-state Sen. Shannon Robinson disbarred


Albuquerque Journal and its reporters are committed to telling the stories of our community.

• Do you have a question you want someone to try to answer for you? Do you have a bright spot you want to share?
   We want to hear from you. Please email yourstory@abqjournal.com

taboola desktop

1
NMSU coach 'apologetic' about deadly shooting
ABQnews Seeker
Takes responsibility; no comment on discipline Takes responsibility; no comment on discipline
2
State sues tobacco companies over settlement payments
ABQnews Seeker
Complaint notes that NM has lost ... Complaint notes that NM has lost out on more than $84M in the past 14 years
3
Could EV charging stations become targets?
ABQnews Seeker
Sandia researchers sound alarm on potential ... Sandia researchers sound alarm on potential cyberattacks
4
Saint Mary's to challenge unbeaten Lobos in a way ...
ABQnews Seeker
The unbeaten Lobos get tested Wednesday ... The unbeaten Lobos get tested Wednesday against a Saint Mary's team that takes away what UNM has been doing so well.
5
It's how we roll
ABQnews Seeker
Iconic figure has returned to his ... Iconic figure has returned to his perch along the north side of Interstate 40
6
UNM's Anderson School of Management names new interim dean
ABQnews Seeker
Current Dean Mitzi Montoya is departing ... Current Dean Mitzi Montoya is departing for a University of Utah job.
7
Holiday Wish Program is looking for sponsors
ABQnews Seeker
Families with limited resources and extensive ... Families with limited resources and extensive needs get help
8
Man accused of shooting at police drone, officers
ABQnews Seeker
Auto theft investigation led to chase, ... Auto theft investigation led to chase, shots fired
9
Old Town Boys Club faces another allegation of sexual ...
ABQnews Seeker
Four lawsuits filed against organization Four lawsuits filed against organization