TOPEKA, Kan. (Legal Newsline) -- The Kansas Supreme Court has suspended former state Attorney General Phill Kline's law license indefinitely.
The high court released its decision Friday.
"As fully detailed below, after reviewing each instance of misconduct found by the panel, we find clear and convincing evidence that Kline committed 11 (Kansas Rules of Professional Conduct) violations," according to the court's per curiam opinion.
"In assessing discipline, we have considered the facts and circumstances of each violation; the ethical duties violated by Kline to the public, the legal system, and the legal profession; the knowing nature of his misconduct; the injury that resulted from the misconduct; the existence of aggravating and mitigating factors; and the applicable advisory American Bar Association Standards for imposing discipline.
"Ultimately, after applying that framework, we reject the Disciplinary Administrator's suggestion of disbarment and conclude Kline's misconduct warrants indefinite suspension, the discipline recommended by the panel."
In October 2011, a panel for the Kansas Board for Discipline of Attorneys recommended that Kline should have his state law license suspended indefinitely.
Kline served as the state's top lawyer from 2003 to 2007, and as Johnson County District Attorney from 2007 to 2009.
The three-member panel pointed to Kline's actions during investigations of abortion providers.
The former attorney general alleged illegal late-term abortions were being done at the Overland Park Planned Parenthood clinic and at an abortion provider in Wichita. He also alleged failure to report abuse at the two clinics.
However, the panel said Kline misled other officials to further investigations of the abortion providers.
Kline currently is a visiting professor at Liberty University in Virginia.
From Legal Newsline: Reach Jessica Karmasek by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.