ST. LOUIS (AP) — A St. Louis County municipal judge has seen her law license suspended for at least two years for mismanaging an account that held the funds of several clients.
The Missouri Supreme Court on Tuesday suspended the license of Jennifer Fisher. The case against Fisher was opened after the Office of Chief Disciplinary Counsel received notice of an overdraft on Fisher’s client trust account, according to a case summary issued by the state's high court.
An audit revealed the trust account's balance frequently fell below the amount necessary to pay settlement proceeds to clients and that funds were withdrawn from the account before being earned by Fisher.
A disciplinary panel had recommended a year’s probation for Fisher, but the disciplinary council’s office rejected that plan, saying lawyers can’t qualify for probation when the violation includes the misappropriation of funds.
Fisher’s attorney, Bernard Edwards, had argued that Fisher was facing numerous personal challenges, including caring for two family members with physical and mental issues. Fisher also suffered from a medical condition that caused her sleep deprivation, headaches and pain, Edwards said.
A message left Wednesday with the Missouri Municipal and Associate Circuit Judges Association seeking information on whether the suspension will affect Fisher's ability to serve as a municipal judge was not immediately returned.