Washington’s highest court has ordered that Spokane attorney Steve Eugster be suspended from practicing law for 18 months.
But a deeply divided state Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that Eugster, a former city councilman who’s again running for a seat, should not be disbarred.
“We conclude that Eugster’s misconduct does not merit disbarment but suspend him for 18 months and impose additional conditions,” Justice Tom Chambers wrote for the majority.
Four of the justices said that the penalty should be harsher.
“The only conclusion that can be drawn from our well-settled sanction analysis and precedent is that Eugster should be disbarred,” wrote Justice Mary Fairhurst.
The state bar association had sought to have Eugster disbarred because of the way he handled the case of Marion Stead, an 87-year-old Colville widow who hired him in 2004.