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District Attorney Linda Stanley's law license suspended

Linda Stanley is the elected district attorney for the 11th Judicial District which covers Chaffee, Fremont, Custer and Park counties.

CHAFFEE COUNTY, Colo. — The district attorney for the 11th Judicial District of Colorado, who is well-known for her involvement in the Barry Morphew case, is among several attorneys who had their law licenses suspended on Wednesday.

The Colorado Supreme Court said it suspended licenses of all attorneys who were non-compliant with their continuing legal education requirements for the three-year period between Jan 1, 2019, and Dec. 31, 2021, and who also failed to timely submit a makeup plan.

Linda Stanley, who was elected DA for the 11th Judicial District in November 2020 and took office in early 2021, was among that group, according to the court. The Attorney Regulation Council said "it is very unusual" for a district attorney to be on the list and went on to say they were not aware of any other elected DA on the list.

Attorneys who fail to meet the Dec. 31 deadline can apply for an extension but that must be made by Jan. 31 of the following year, according to the Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel. An "acceptable" make-up plan must also be provided.

Credit: KUSA
DA Linda Stanley

Stanley's license suspension is unrelated to her work on the case of Barry Morphew who was accused of killing his wife Suzanne who was last seen in May 2020. 

She has been criticized for her handling of that case and her office was sanctioned for a "continuing pattern" of failing to comply with obligations under Rule 16, which is their obligation to turn over discovery ahead of trial.

As part of the sanctions, 12 of the prosecution's 14 endorsed expert witnesses, were not allowed to testify at the trial in their capacity as experts. Ultimately, the charges against Morphew were dismissed without prejudice, which means charges could be refiled if new evidence is uncovered.

Barry Morphew's attorney responded Wednesday to Stanley's license suspension.

"It is no surprise that a District Attorney who so blatantly disregarded her ethical obligations in the failed and wrongful Morphew prosecution, is the same prosecuting attorney who violated the continuing education rules that all lawyers must adhere to which includes education on the ethical standards, rules, and professional standards," Iris Eytan said.

RELATED: Judge issues 'significant sanctions' to prosecutors in Barry Morphew case, trial still set to begin this month

Attorneys who have their licenses suspended can petition for reinstatement. According to Jessica Yates with the Attorney Regulation Counsel, that process is straightforward as long as compliance with requirements can be demonstrated.

The suspension does not impact deputy attorneys within Stanley's office. They are still able to appear in court and file papers on active cases, Yates said. 

9NEWS has reached out to the District Attorney's office for comment and asked if any cases would be impacted by the suspension. We have not yet heard back.

RELATED: Prominent Denver defense lawyer pushes for statewide prosecutor accountability law


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