An Arizona attorney was found to have repeatedly violated his duty to his clients by “knowingly abandoning” them and misappropriating funds for his personal use, but the state high court nevertheless decided against disbarment.

The presiding disciplinary judge of the Arizona Supreme Court approved an agreement for discipline by consent for a four-year suspension of Christopher Lamont Barr, though senior bar counsel noted that disbarment is “generally appropriate” in these types of cases. The State Bar of Arizona was represented in this matter by Senior Bar Counsel Hunter S. Perlmeter, who wrote in the agreement that the decision to hand Barr a suspension rather than disbarment was “based in part upon the significant medical issues documented” in an exhibit that was kept under seal.