CNMI Attorneys Suspended

March 24, 2013

On Friday, three CNMI attorneys were suspended from practicing law in the federal court – Antonio Atalig, Reynaldo Yana and Stephen Woodruff. All are also prohibited from practicing law in the CNMI courts.

Yana and Atalig were suspended indefinitely by the CNMI Superior Court in May 2012 for refusing to return $1.1 million in attorney fees. Woodruff was suspended indefinitely by the CNMI Supreme Court in February 2013 for over a dozen disciplinary actions filed against the attorney.

NMI District Court Judge Ramona Manglona directed the three attorneys to explain why they should not be suspended from practicing law in the District Court of the NMI.

Attorney Woodruff was known for representing foreign workers. The court order for Attorney Woodruff states:
Respondent shall comply with all requirements of LDR 17, including but not limited to giving notice to clients, moving for leave to withdraw from pending cases, not accepting new cases, filing an affidavit of compliance, and maintaining records as a condition precedent to any petition for reinstatement. 
Respondent shall provide the Chief Judge with a certified copy of any order of the Commonwealth Supreme Court lifting or modifying the interim suspension or imposing other discipline, or any final order of the Commonwealth Superior Court in his disciplinary proceedings, within ten days of the issuance of such an order.
Respondent may petition for reinstatement upon the lifting of the interim suspension by the Commonwealth Supreme Court or six months after the effective date of this Order, whichever is sooner. 
The Clerk is directed to publish notice of the suspension in the Saipan Tribune and the Marianas Variety, and to transmit a certified copy of this Order to all judges within this District and to all courts to which Respondent has been admitted. 


Anonymous said...

Stephen was a con artist. He wasn't the brightest lawyer maybe even on par with Joey Arriola. Well, not that incompetent. I saw him out there during the unity marches waving around, shouting and looking at hundreds of new clients. If he got just one thousand new CW clients, set up a lead organizer (think Rabby) and charged just $600 per CW to "represent" them he would have made 600k. The other two who should be investigated by the Federal government are Kara and Mailman. The Federal USCIS lady stopped short of calling both of them scam artists, warning CWs not to give their money to lawyers who claim that they can "help" them with the process.

Anonymous said...

Is this the same Stephen Carl Woodruff that used to practice in Hawaii from 1994 and has been suspended from there?
He went to the University of Hawaii, Manoa Campus, Richardson School of law
How long has he been in the CNMI?
Is he one that was "grandfathered" in or did he actually pass the CNMI Bar at one time?

Wendy Doromal said...

12:45 Anyone who preys on the most desperate and vulnerable needs to be held accountable. You cannot take money from people and promise them a service (any service) and then fail to perform. I know some people who paid Woodruff and he did not even show up in court. That is inexcusable. By the way, Woodruff was not a friend of the United Workers Movement.

Anonymous said...

Woodruff was right there with the United Workers Movement hand in hand with Tina Sablan and Glen Hunter. He was the CWs go to lawyer and maybe made a lot of money off of them (CWs). I still don't know why Tina and Glen get close to some of the scummiest lawyers like Woodruff and Jorgensen. Baffles the mind but then again I am not surprised one bit.

Everything you said above is correct Wendy. I do believe that the CWs have been taken advantage of by all of them.