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You can search the entire site. or go to the recent opinions, or the chronological or subject indices. In Re Reinstatement of Wiederholt (03/28/2008) sp-6243

In Re Reinstatement of Wiederholt (03/28/2008) sp-6243, 182 P3d 1047

     Notice:   This opinion is subject to correction  before
     publication  in  the  Pacific  Reporter.   Readers  are
     requested to bring errors to the attention of the Clerk
     of  the  Appellate  Courts, 303  K  Street,  Anchorage,
     Alaska 99501, phone (907) 264-0608, fax (907) 264-0878,
     e-mail corrections@appellate.courts.state.ak.us.


            THE SUPREME COURT OF THE STATE OF ALASKA
               
In the Reinstatement Matter )
Involving ) Supreme Court No. S- 12785
)
JON E. WIEDERHOLT, ) ABA File No. 2006R001
)
Petitioner. ) O P I N I O N
)
) No. 6243 March 28, 2008
Appeal from the Alaska
          Bar Association Disciplinary Board.

          Appearances:   Terry  C. Aglietti,  Aglietti,
          Offret  & Woofter, Anchorage, for Petitioner.
          Stephen  J. Van Goor, Alaska Bar Association,
          Anchorage.

          Before:    Fabe,  Chief  Justice,   Matthews,
          Eastaugh, and Carpeneti, Justices.   [Bryner,
          Justice, not participating.]

          PER CURIAM
          EASTAUGH,   Justice,  with  whom   CARPENETI,
          Justice, joins, dissenting.


          Jon  E. Wiederholt was disbarred by order of this court
in  1994.1   He  unsuccessfully petitioned for  reinstatement  in
1999,  2002, and 2005.2  In 2006 Wiederholt again petitioned  for
reinstatement.   A panel of the Area Hearing Committee  conducted
an  evidentiary  hearing and recommended that he be  reinstated.3
The   Disciplinary   Board  rejected  this   recommendation   and
recommends that Wiederholt not be readmitted.4
          Under  Alaska  Bar Rule 29(c)(2) it is  incumbent  upon
this  court to either accept or reject the recommendation of  the
Disciplinary  Board  concerning  a  reinstatement  petition.   We
exercise  our judgment concerning a recommendation independently,
and  also independently review the entire record.5  But we afford
          great weight to the Boards findings of fact.6  The deference owed
to  such  findings  derives  from the responsibility  to  conduct
disciplinary  proceedings which this court has delegated  to  the
Bar  Association.7  There is a presumption against  reinstatement
after disbarment8 and the petitioner has the
          burden   of   demonstrating  by   clear   and
          convincing evidence that (s)he has the  moral
          qualifications, competency, and knowledge  of
          law required for admission to the practice of
          law  in  this  State  and  that  his  or  her
          resumption  of  the practice of  law  in  the
          State   will  not  be  detrimental   to   the
          integrity and standing of the Bar, or to  the
          administration of justice, or  subversive  of
          the public interest[.][9]
          
          Wiederholt  made a persuasive showing before  the  Area
Hearing Committee that he satisfied the requirements of Bar  Rule
29(c).   This  court is particularly impressed by his  record  of
community service as an emergency medical technician.10  But after
hearing Wiederholts testimony under oath, the Disciplinary  Board
concluded  in  essence  that Wiederholt lacks  insight  into  the
reasons  for the conduct that led to his disbarment.   The  Board
was  therefore  unable to conclude that Wiederholts reinstatement
to  the  bar  would  not be detrimental to the administration  of
justice or subversive of the public interest.
          In  light of the customary deference afforded  by  this
court  to  the Disciplinary Boards findings, and in view  of  the
presumption against reinstatement and the heavy burden imposed on
a  petitioner  seeking  reinstatement,  this  court  accepts  the
recommendation of the Disciplinary Board.11
          The petition for reinstatement is DENIED.
EASTAUGH,   Justice,  with  whom,  CARPENETI,   Justice,   joins,
dissenting.
          Disbarred  attorney Jon Wiederholt again petitions  for
reinstatement and this court, accepting the adverse findings  and
recommendation  of  the  disciplinary  board,  again  denies  his
petition.   Because  I do not agree with the disciplinary  boards
adverse   findings,  I  respectfully  dissent  from  the   courts
acceptance of the boards recommendation.  In my view, the  proper
result is Wiederholts conditional reinstatement.
          After  conducting a 2006 evidentiary hearing  at  which
eight  witnesses (including Wiederholt) testified in person,  the
area hearing committee issued thorough findings, conclusions, and
recommendations.   Applying the appropriate  multi-factor  test,1
the  area  hearing  committee recommended  reinstatement.   Among
other  things,  it  found  that Wiederholt  had  established  his
acceptance  of  his past wrongdoing with honesty  and  sincerity;
that  by  clear and convincing evidence Wiederholt had proved  he
has the present moral fitness to be reinstated to the practice of
law; and that by clear and convincing evidence he had established
that  his  resumption  of  the  practice  of  law  would  not  be
detrimental  to  the bar or the administration  of  justice,  and
would  not subvert the public interest.  It therefore recommended
reinstatement.  The area hearing committee was not unanimous; one
member dissented.
          After  reviewing  the area hearing committees  findings
and  recommendations and questioning Wiederholt  in  person,  the
disciplinary  board  in 2007 recommended against  reinstatement.2
It  did  so  because it ultimately was unable to  find  that  Mr.
Wiederholt accepts his wrongdoing with honesty and sincerity,  or
that  he  has the present moral fitness to be readmitted  to  the
practice of law.  The disciplinary board accepted all of the area
hearing  committees  findings, except  those  on  the  topics  of
acceptance  of  wrongdoing with honesty  and  sincerity,  present
moral  fitness,  and  proof that Wiederholts return  to  practice
would  not be detrimental to the bar or the public.  As to  those
topics  the disciplinary board made its own findings.  They  were
unfavorable  to  Wiederholt.   Three disciplinary  board  members
dissented; they recommended reinstatement subject to a reasonable
period of supervised practice.
          My  starting  point is the standard of review.   In  re
Reinstatement  of  Wiederholt  (Wiederholt  II)  held  that   the
disciplinary  boards  findings of  fact  are  entitled  to  great
weight.3  But we also recognized in that case that this court has
the authority, if not the obligation, to independently review the
entire   record.4   And  we  also  stated  that  [w]hen  deciding
appropriate  punishment,  we  need not  accept  the  Disciplinary
Boards recommendation but may exercise independent judgment.5   I
agree  with  the  position taken by Justice  Carpeneti,  who,  in
dissenting  from this courts 2004 decision denying  reinstatement
to  Wiederholt,  would  not have given  the  disciplinary  boards
factual  findings  the  usual  great  weight  because  we  review
disciplinary  board recommendations de novo and  because,  unlike
the  area hearing committee, the disciplinary board saw and heard
none of the witnesses except Wiederholt.6
          In   my   view,  the  customary  deference  given   the
disciplinary boards findings should not supersede the exercise of
our  independent  judgment  on reinstatement  matters.   That  is
especially so here because the area hearing committee heard eight
witnesses   in   person,   including  Wiederholt,   whereas   the
disciplinary  board  heard  only  one  witness,  Wiederholt;  the
disciplinary  board was not in a superior position  to  the  area
hearing committee to assess all the evidence.
          It  is  also  useful to note how the relevant  evidence
came to the disciplinary board.  The area hearing committee heard
live  testimony  from  witnesses who favorably  addressed,  among
other   things,   Wiederholts  remorse  and   acknowledgment   of
wrongdoing.  The area hearing committee issued a twenty-five page
document    containing    its    findings,    conclusions,    and
recommendations; attached was one members nine-page dissent.7  At
its hearing, the disciplinary boards members heard arguments from
Wiederholts  lawyer, who then, without first  directly  examining
Wiederholt,  made Wiederholt available to answer any question  of
the  disciplinary  boards  members.  Although  it  is  true  that
disciplinary   board  members  asked  Wiederholt   very   pointed
questions and that his responses were not necessarily compelling,
I  do  not regard his answers to be vague and equivocal   as  the
disciplinary   board  characterizes  them   and  thus   damningly
unpersuasive.
          The  disciplinary  board reasons that Wiederholt  could
have  been expected to formulate the best possible answer to  the
fundamental question, what did you do wrong and how  do  we  know
you  wont  do  it  again.  But the peculiar  way  Wiederholt  was
offered  to  the disciplinary board to answer its questions  left
him  without the usual opportunity on direct examination to begin
his  testimony  with  answers logically addressing  each  of  the
reinstatement  criteria.8  What instead occurred was  a  form  of
group  cross-examination in which eight of the nine  disciplinary
board  members  took turns asking him questions.  Nonetheless,  I
read  most of his testimony to confirm unequivocally and directly
the   area  hearing  committees  findings  on  his  remorse   and
recognition  of wrongdoing.  A few passages are less direct,  but
in context, his testimony before the disciplinary board convinces
me  that  Wiederholt indeed recognized that his conduct had  been
wrong  (and  even recognized that he had been wrong to previously
minimize his misconduct), that he was indeed remorseful, and that
he poses no risk of future misconduct.
          The  disciplinary boards decision to recommend  against
reinstatement  appears to be based on Wiederholts  extemporaneous
responses  to  the boards questions regarding the  forgery  of  a
clients  endorsing  signature on a check.9  In  response  to  the
disciplinary  boards questions, Wiederholt, among  other  things,
stated:
          The  long and the short of it was  is that  I
          the  money wasnt his.  The method by which  I
          chose  to  get it back, to keep it, was  what
          was   that  was  what was unethical.  I  dont
          believe  to  this  day that [my  client]  was
          entitled  to  the money.  What I should  have
          done  is sequester  a fee arb with him, thats
          what I should have done.  It was a quick  and
          efficacious  way,  or so I thought,  to  deal
          with it.
          
The  disciplinary board interpreted this particular  response  as
evidence  of  Wiederholts  present  inability  to  see,   or   to
articulate,  the  wrongness  of  his  conduct  and  stated   that
Wiederholt  expresses no remorse at how his conduct affected  his
own  client.10  It interpreted this testimony as indicating  that
Wiederholt still fails to recognize that the fee money covered by
the check was not his.
          I   disagree  with  these  findings.   Even  taken   in
isolation,   his   particular   answer   should   not   foreclose
reinstatement.  And taken in context, it certainly should not  do
so.  Wiederholts testimony before the disciplinary board does not
show  that he lacks remorse for his actions or that he  fails  to
recognize  his  earlier wrongdoing.  When the disciplinary  board
asked  Wiederholt  whether  he had a  problem  admitting  to  the
conduct that led to his disbarment he replied no.  And when asked
whether  he would repeat the behavior that led to his disbarment,
Wiederholt stated that he would not: I can give you my word  that
Im  a  much better person than I used to be. . . . Im kinder  and
gentler and Im more reasonable . . . .
          Furthermore, the record before the disciplinary  board,
and  this  court,  shows that Wiederholt is remorseful   and  not
merely remorseful about getting caught and disbarred.  Wiederholt
testified before the area hearing committee as follows:
          Q:   In   the  October  2002  hearings,   you
               expressed  remorse  over  each  of   the
               incidents.  Do you still feel  that  way
               today?  Do  you  honestly and  sincerely
               regret  the  harm that you caused  to  a
               variety   of   different   people    the
               lawyers,  the  clients, the  court,  the
               Bar, the public?
               
          A:   I regret . . . two things.  I regret the
               harm  that it caused and I think in some
               sense to a greater degree, what I regret
               more so is my inability to see that.
               
His  affidavit supporting his reinstatement petition  also  shows
remorse:  I have no words to express my regret for my  errors  in
judgment.  I remain true to my offer of profound remorse for  the
conduct  precipitating these proceedings.  And, in light  of  his
lengthy  contextual discussion of the forgery, his  responses  to
the  disciplinary  boards  questions, if occasionally  imperfect,
were  appropriate  and  unremarkable.   In  my  view,  Wiederholt
answered  the  disciplinary boards questions in  the  context  in
which  they  were posed and his answers do not in context  reveal
that  he was not taking responsibility for what he did, including
the forgery.
          If  members of the disciplinary board had doubts  about
whether  Wiederholt  was  truly  remorseful,  one  would   expect
          specific questions addressing that issue.  Each member of the
disciplinary   board  had  an  opportunity  to   ask   Wiederholt
questions.   Eight  members  did  so,  but  because  no   members
specifically  asked him about remorse, Wiederholt should  not  be
faulted  for any perceived failure to demonstrate remorse  beyond
what  the record, including his area hearing committee testimony,
already demonstrated.11
          Moreover,   it   also   seems  significant   that   bar
disciplinary  counsel,  who  was  articulate  and   forceful   in
protecting  the  publics interest at all earlier  stages  of  the
disciplinary  proceeding and Wiederholts  multiple  reinstatement
proceedings,  was neutral before the area hearing  committee  and
the  disciplinary board,12 and presented the disciplinary  boards
position to us without personally urging denial of reinstatement.
          Because   the   record  contains  ample   evidence   of
Wiederholts remorse and acknowledgment of his wrongdoing, I think
that  the disciplinary boards recommendation should not be  given
deference.   In my independent judgment Wiederholt  has  met  the
requirements  for reinstatement under Alaska Bar Rule  29(c)  and
Wiederholt II.13  The record shows that Wiederholt has diligently
worked  on  his  rehabilitation, that he is remorseful,  that  he
accepts  responsibility for his actions, that he is not still  at
risk  of committing a new forgery, and that, for the first  time,
bar  disciplinary counsel is not personally advocating for denial
of  reinstatement.   To me, the evidence discussed  by  the  area
hearing committee is persuasive.
          For  these  reasons  I respectfully  dissent  from  the
courts opinion.
               BEFORE THE ALASKA BAR ASSOCIATION
                       DISCIPLINARY BOARD


In The Reinstatement Matter    )
Involving                      )
                               )
     JON E. WIEDERHOLT,        )
                               )
     Petitioner.               )
                               )

ABA Membership No. 8312172
ABA File No. 2006R001

          FINDINGS, CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATION OF
                       DISCIPLINARY BOARD

          This  reinstatement matter came before the Disciplinary
Board  of  the Alaska Bar Association on January 25,  2007.   The
Board, having considered the report of the area hearing committee
filed  October  31, 2006, and the presentation  of  the  parties,
hereby  denies Mr. Wiederholts request for reinstatement for  the
reasons set forth below.
                       FACTUAL BACKGROUND
          The  procedural history of this matter is  restated  in
detail   in  the  Findings  of  Fact,  Conclusions  of  Law   and
Recommendations of Area Hearing Committee.  On January  25,  2007
the  matter  came before the Disciplinary Board for hearing.   On
that  date, the Board denied the request for reinstatement,  with
an opinion to follow.
                       STANDARD OF REVIEW
          While the Area Hearing Committee is charged with making
findings,  conclusions, and recommendations in this  matter,  the
Disciplinary  Board must review its findings and  recommendations
de  novo  and  may,  if  it determines to do  so,  make  its  own
findings, conclusions, and recommendations.1
                        FINDINGS OF FACT
          The  Area  Hearing  Committee  did  not  make  separate
findings  of  fact.   Its  findings  are  contained  within   its
conclusions  of  law, under its analysis of  the  factors  to  be
considered  on  a  petition for reinstatement.  The  Disciplinary
Board  accepts  all  of  these findings, with  the  exception  of
paragraphs  4.g., i., and j.  These items will  be  discussed  in
detail below.
                       CONCLUSIONS OF LAW
          The  legal  standard to be applied to  a  petition  for
reinstatement  after  disbarment have been restated  and  refined
during  the  long  history of this case.  The Supreme  Court  has
adopted  a  presumption against reinstatement.2  In order  to  be
reinstated,  the  disbarred  attorney  must  show  by  clear  and
convincing  evidence  that he or she meets  the  requirements  of
Alaska   Bar  Rule  29(c)(1),  which  are  moral  qualifications,
competency,  and  knowledge of law . . .  and  that  his  or  her
          resumption of the practice of law in . . . the State will not be
detrimental  to the Bar or the public.3  The Court  also  adopted
the analysis of the South Dakota Supreme Court set forth in In re
Pier4  to  evaluate whether the applicant meets these  criteria.5
This  analysis has been referred to as the Pier review.6  In this
case,  the  Hearing  Committee  analyzed  the  facts  within  the
framework of the Pier criteria.
          After reviewing the entire record, and considering  the
arguments  and  testimony of counsel and Mr.  Wiederholt  at  the
hearing  before the Board, the Board makes the following findings
and  conclusions on:  a) acceptance of wrongdoing with b) honesty
and  sincerity;  present moral fitness; and  c)  proof  that  the
Petitioners return to the practice of law will not be detrimental
to the integrity and standing of the Bar or the administration of
justice,  or subversive of the public interest.  As to the  other
Pier  factors,  the Board adopts the findings and conclusions  of
the committee.
          A.     Acceptance  of  wrongdoing  with   honesty   and
sincerity.
          The  Area Hearing Committee majority concluded that Mr.
Wiederholt established his acceptance of his past wrongdoing with
honesty and sincerity.  The majority of the committee found  that
his witnesses believed him to be sincere in his remorse, and that
he  now  appreciated  that  he  had  previously  demonstrated  an
inability  to  see how his conduct affected others.   This  Board
disagrees.
          The   Board  elicited  additional  testimony  from  Mr.
Wiederholt  at the January 25 hearing on the issue, particularly,
of  the  Metcalf  matter.  The Metcalf matter  involved  a  check
issued  to  the  client,  Mr.  Metcalf,  and  his  attorney,  Mr.
Wiederholt,  for partial attorneys fees awarded to  them  against
the Republican Party.  Mr. Wiederholt first became involved in  a
heated verbal dispute with Mr. Metcalf over the fees, then forged
Mr.  Metcalfs name to the joint check in order to be in a  better
position  to obtain the fees he believed were owed  to  him.   At
this  latest hearing before the Board, Mr. Wiederholt  was  asked
how it was he came to forge the clients signature on a check made
out  to  the client and to himself, and how he views his  conduct
now.   Mr.  Wiederholt testified that the reason this  misconduct
occurred  was his inability to see a bigger global picture.   How
my actions affected more than just my relationship between me and
Mr. Metcalf. He further testified that
          [t]he long and the short of it was  is that I
          the  money wasnt his.  The method by which  I
          chose  to  get it back, to keep it, was  what
          was   that  was what was unethical.   I  dont
          believe  to  this  day that Mr.  Metcalf  was
          entitled  to  the money.  What I should  have
          done  is sequester  a fee arb with him, thats
          what I should have done.  It was a quick  and
          efficacious  way,  or so I thought,  to  deal
          with it.
          
          Mr.   Wiederholts  testimony  on  this  subject,  taken
          together with other statements he has made on this and other
subjects  over  the  history of this case,  leads  the  Board  to
conclude  that  Mr.  Wiederholt  has  not  shown  by  clear   and
convincing  evidence that he accepts his wrongdoing with  honesty
and  sincerity.   His statement that the problem arose  from  his
inability  to  see  the  bigger picture illustrates  his  present
inability to see, or to articulate, the wrongness of his conduct.
          One  of  the issues in the Metcalf matter was that  the
dishonest  and aggressive manner in which he dealt with  the  fee
dispute was aimed not at an opposing party but at his client,  to
whom he owed the greatest ethical duty of loyalty.  The harm done
in  that  instance was not so much the global picture or how  his
actions affected more than just [the] relationship between  [him]
and Mr. Metcalf.  His conduct was directed at his client, whom he
threatened and from whom he attempted to obtain money by  fraud.7
The  original  hearing  committee concluded  that  the  money  in
question  was not Mr. Wiederholts, but Mr. Metcalfs, a  fact  Mr.
Wiederholt  apparently continues to dispute.  Mr. Wiederholt  now
expresses  no remorse at how his conduct affected his own  client
or  how  it was inconsistent with his ethical duty to his client;
his remorse is directed at how his conduct reflected on the legal
profession,  and how it affected others outside the  relationship
with  his client.  He plainly continues to feel at least somewhat
justified in his conduct with respect to his client, because  the
money wasnt his.8 He never expresses understanding or regret that
he  created a situation between himself and his own client  where
he first cursed his client over the issue of whether and how much
he should be paid,9 then forged his clients signature in order to
ensure that he was paid.10 There were many ways in which he could
have  avoided  the  fee  dispute, by reducing  the  agreement  to
writing, for example.  Even now, in 2007, his view of the  matter
is that [t]he method by which I chose to get it back, to keep it,
was  what  was  that was what was unethical.  I dont  believe  to
this  day that Mr. Metcalf was entitled to the money. When  asked
directly how he could have made the mistakes he did in the  first
place,  he responded in part that there were all kinds of reasons
at  the time that that seemed like the right thing to do . . .  .
It was an inability to see the whole picture.
          A   similar   concern  is  raised  by  Mr.  Wiederholts
statement  to  the Board that Dr. Wolf, in all candor,  left  the
last hearing telling my counsel that he thinks he might have made
a  mistake back in 1992, at the first hearing.  Dr. Wolf did  not
testify  to this on the record.  Mr. Wiederholts statement  seems
to  be  one  more  attempt to minimize or  re-frame  his  ethical
lapses, without fully appreciating the harm that he caused.
          The  Board  remains  unconvinced that  Mr.  Wiederholts
conviction that but for my excesses, I believe that I was a  good
lawyer  .  . . demonstrates a real understanding of the  harm  he
caused  in the Metcalf matter and in other matters, or a  genuine
feeling  of  remorse that he came to cause harm.  This conclusion
is not much different than, although based on different evidence,
the conclusion reached by the Supreme Court in Wiederholt II.11
          B.   Present moral fitness.
          Present  moral  fitness  is  inextricably  related   to
          acceptance of wrongdoing.  As this body has previously observed,
Wiederholts  failure to acknowledge wrongdoing  in  the  face  of
overwhelming evidence to the contrary is evidence that Petitioner
has  no  greater  understanding of  his  responsibilities  as  an
attorney for trust, candor and honesty than he did at the time of
disbarment.  12   The  Boards  reasons  for  finding   that   Mr.
Wiederholts appreciation of his own wrongdoing is inadequate lead
us  also  to  the  conclusion that his current moral  fitness  to
practice  law  has  not  been  proven  by  clear  and  convincing
evidence.
          The  Hearing  Committee  relies  on  certain  facts  to
support its conclusion that moral fitness has been established to
its  satisfaction.  These include the satisfaction of his current
employer with his performance as a paralegal; his performance  in
his  volunteer work as an EMT; and Dr. Wolfs professional opinion
that  Mr.  Wiederholts  mental health has  improved  since  1992.
While all of these are admirable and evidence that Mr. Wiederholt
is  avoiding,  in his current life, the types of  misconduct  for
which   he   was   disbarred,  it  is  insufficient   under   the
circumstances,  as  this  body  previously  observed:  disbarment
conclusively proves lack of moral fitness to practice law at  the
time of disbarment and, while not determinative in reinstatement,
it  continues  to be evidence of lack of moral fitness  at  later
times.13
          Most important to the Boards finding in this respect is
Mr.  Wiederholts continuing inability to articulate, in  response
to very pointed questions from the Board,
where he went wrong, and how he believes things are now different
and  unlikely  to  go wrong again.  To every  such  question  Mr.
Wiederholt equivocates:
          I  wasnt  a  bad  person.  I made  some  real
          mistakes  in judgment.  For reasons  of   but
          for  pride and arrogance, I either chose  not
          to  look  at.  I dont believe I had then,  or
          have   now,   a   deep  seated  psychological
          difficulty with telling the truth . . . .
          
          . . . .
          
          I  do  not  believe that I was less a  decent
          person  then,  and  Im certainly  capable  of
          making  a  right decision.  And I  cant  tell
          you,  except  for  as to time and experience,
          as  far beyond the practice of law, that have
          made me realize that as smart, as slick as  I
          thought  I was back then, that I wasnt.   And
          if I had to look at a single issue, I couldnt
          give you any.  Its been a long time.
          
          . . . .
          
          So if I had to guess  if I had to go back and
          analyze  it,  it was my inability  to  see  a
          bigger  more global picture.  How my  actions
          affected   more  than  just  my  relationship
          between me and Mr. Metcalf . . . .  I want to
          give   you  a  better  answer.   It  was   an
          inability to see the whole picture.
          
          . . . .
          
          . . . [B]ut for my excesses, I believe that I
          was a good lawyer, which is to say my clients
          were (indiscernible).
          
Given that Mr. Wiederholt has devoted untold hours to his pursuit
of reinstatement, and given that he has known, at least since the
Supreme Courts opinion in 2001, what standard would be applied to
the  issue  of  reinstatement, he could  have  been  expected  to
formulate  the best possible answer to the fundamental  question,
what  did  you do wrong and how do we know you wont do it  again?
His  vague, equivocal answers under these circumstances leave the
Board  with  the uncomfortable conviction that Mr. Wiederholt  is
still unable to formulate an acceptable answer to that most basic
of  questions, an answer that would assure the Board that he  has
the  current  moral fitness to be readmitted to the  practice  of
law.   Mr.  Wiederholt has failed to sustain his heavy burden  of
persuasion on this issue.
          C.   Proof  that the Petitioners return to the practice
               of  law  will not be detrimental to the  integrity
               and  standing of the bar or the administration  of
               justice, or subversive of the public interest.
               
          The  ultimate issue, whether Petitioners return to  the
practice  of law will not jeopardize the Bar, the administration,
or  the  public  interest, is also inextricably  related  to  his
acceptance  of wrongdoing, and his present moral fitness.   Being
unable  to  find that Mr. Wiederholt accepts his wrongdoing  with
honesty  and sincerity, or that he has the present moral  fitness
to  be  readmitted  to  the practice of  law,  the  Board  cannot
perforce  find  that  his  readmission will  not  jeopardize  the
interests  of  the  Bar,  justice,  or  the  public.   While  Mr.
Wiederholt  has,  as many have commented, many talents  and  many
positive qualities, the equivocal and contradictory nature of his
explanations for the events that lead to his disbarment leave the
Board unconvinced.  Because the standard of proof is by clear and
convincing evidence, this is considerably short of that standard.
                           CONCLUSION
          The  Disciplinary Board concludes that  Mr.  Wiederholt
has failed to meet his burden of proof to show his entitlement to
reinstatement  to the Bar.  The Board recommends to  the  Supreme
Court  that he not be readmitted to the practice of law  at  this
time.
DATED this 7th day of June, 2007 at Anchorage, Alaska.

Allison Mendel
Member
Disciplinary Board

Joined  by:  Joe Faulhaber, Chris Cooke, John Tiemessen,  Michael
Hurley, William Granger

Not participating:  Phillip Pallenberg, Mitch Seaver
In re Wiederholt
Matthew  W. Claman, joined by Sidney K. Billingslea and Jason  A.
Weiner, dissenting,

          In  2002,  disbarred attorney Jon Wiederholt petitioned
for  reinstatement.  An Area Hearing Committee  recommended  that
the  Alaska  Supreme Court reinstate Mr. Wiederholt.   A  divided
Board  of  Governors,  acting in its role as Disciplinary  Board,
recommended  against  reinstatement.  Mr. Claman  dissented  from
that recommendation:
               Viewing  the  evidence in light  of  the
          Pier factors, it appears that Wiederholt  has
          sought  to satisfy these 10 factors, and  the
          Board  has then responded by explaining  that
          Wiederholts efforts to satisfy these  factors
          is simply not good enough.
          
               In  short,  I  believe the  majority  is
          looking  for reasons to deny Wiederholts  re-
          application  for  re-admission  in  light  of
          compelling    and    largely   uncontradicted
          evidence that supports his readmission.
          
In  re  Wiederholt,  89 P.3d 771, 793 (Alaska  2004)  (Wiederholt
III).
          By  a  2-1  vote,  two justices not participating,  the
supreme  court  adopted the recommendation  of  the  Disciplinary
Board  and  denied  Mr. Wiederholts petition  for  reinstatement.
Wiederholt III, 89 P.3d at 771.  Justice Carpeneti dissented:
          I  have concluded that Wiederholt has met the
          high   standards   that  we   determined   in
          Wiederholt  II  that  the  law  imposes   for
          reinstatement. . . .  Almost ten  years  have
          elapsed since the original discipline in this
          case was imposed. Because Jon Wiederholt  has
          met   the  standards  for  reinstatement,   I
          believe  that  his petition for reinstatement
          should be granted.
          
Wiederholt III, 89 P.3d at 799-800 (Carpeneti, J., dissenting).
          In   2006,   Mr.   Wiederholt  again   petitioned   for
reinstatement.   The  Area  Hearing Committee  again  recommended
reinstatement.   Almost 13 years have passed  since  the  supreme
court  disbarred  Mr. Wiederholt.  A divided  Disciplinary  Board
again  recommends  against reinstatement.  We  dissent  from  the
Disciplinary Boards recommendation.
          The  written record submitted to the Disciplinary Board
overwhelmingly  supports reinstatement.  The  weakness  that  the
majority identifies in recommending against reinstatement is  Mr.
Wiederholts  testimony under oath before the Disciplinary  Board.
One  can  reasonably  criticize Wiederholts  responses  as  being
unpolished and imperfect.  Viewing this testimony in the  context
of  the strong record that supports reinstatement, however, we do
not  believe that the imperfections in Mr. Wiederholts  testimony
are  sufficient  to  overcome  the  strong  record  in  favor  of
reinstatement.
          For  the reasons set forth above, the reasons set forth
in  Mr.  Clamans  dissent  in Wiederholt  III,  and  the  reasons
articulated  by  Justice Carpeneti in Wiederholt III,  the  court
should reject the Disciplinary Boards recommendation.  The  court
should  approve Wiederholts petition for admission subject  to  a
reasonable period of supervised practice.

2 July 2007                             Matthew W. Claman
                                   Disciplinary Board Member

Joined by Sidney K. Billingslea and Jason A. Weiner.
                BEFORE THE ALASKA BAR ASSOCIATION
                     AREA HEARING COMMITTEE
                     THIRD JUDICIAL DISTRICT

In The Reinstatement Matter        )
Involving                          )
                              )
     JON E. WIEDERHOLT,       )
                              )
          Petitioner.              )
                              )

ABA Membership No. 8312172
ABA File No. 2006R001

FINDINGS OF FACT, CONCLUSIONS OF LAW AND RECOMMENDATIONS OF AREA
                        HEARING COMMITTEE

          On  September 11, 2006, a hearing was held  before  the
Area  Hearing Committee Panel (the Panel) assigned  to  hear  the
above-referenced  Petition  for  Reinstatement.  Based  upon  the
testimony  of the witnesses, the record of the prior proceedings,
the  briefing and arguments of counsel and all other  matters  in
the record, the Panel hereby makes the following Findings of Fact
and  Conclusions of Law, and Recommendations to the  Disciplinary
Board:
                       FINDINGS OF FACT
          1.    Petitioner, Jon E. Wiederholt, was disbarred from
the practice of law in the State of Alaska by Order of the Alaska
Supreme  Court,  dated  July  8, 1994.   The  factual  basis  and
circumstances leading to the Courts action are set forth  in  the
case   of   In   Re  Disciplinary  Matter  Involving   Wiederholt
(Wiederholt I), 877 P.2d 765 (Alaska 1994).
          2.     Since  the  date  of  his  disbarment  in  1994,
Petitioner  has filed four Petitions for Reinstatement  with  the
Alaska Bar Association.  This is Petitioners fourth Petition  for
Reinstatement.   The  procedural  history  of  this   matter   is
summarized below for ease of reference:
                                      
Date    Pleadings                     Action
                                      
33947   Area Hearing Panels           Upheld Grievances
        Decision on Bar Association
        Grievances
                                      
34021   Area Hearing Panels           Recommended Disbarment
        Findings and
        Recommendations on
        Sanctions
                                      
34129   Disciplinary Boards           Adopts Hearing Panels
        Recommendations               Recommendation of
                                      Disbarment
                                      
34522   Alaska Supreme Court          Affirms Disciplinary
        Decision                      Boards Recommendation of
        877 P.2d 765 (Alaska 1994)    Disbarment
        (Wiederholt I)
                                      
                                      
                                      
36332   1st Petition for              
        Reinstatement
                                      
36558   Area Hearing Panels           Recommended Denial of
        Decision on 1st Petition      Reinstatement
        for Reinstatement
                                      
36594   Disciplinary Boards           Adopts Findings and
        Findings, Conclusions, and    Conclusions of Area
        Recommendation on 1st         Hearing Committee, and
        Petition for Reinstatement    Recommends Denying
                                      Reinstatement
                                      
37056   Alaska Supreme Court          Affirmed Disciplinary
        Decision                      Boards Decision Denying
        24 P.3d 1219 (Alaska 2001)    Reinstatement
        (Wiederholt II)
                                      
                                      
                                      
37313   2nd Petition for              
        Reinstatement
                                      
37573   Area Hearing Panels           Recommended Reinstatement
        Findings of Fact,
        Conclusions of Law, and
        Recommendations of Area
        Hearing Committee Panel
                                      
37752   Disciplinary Boards           Rejects Area Hearing
        Recommendation on 2nd         Committees
        Petition for Reinstatement    Recommendation;
                                      Recommends Denying
                                      Reinstatement
                                      
38159   Alaska Supreme Court          Affirmed Disciplinary
        Decision                      Boards Decision Denying
        89 P.3d 771 (Alaska 2004)     Reinstatement
        (Wiederholt III)
                                      
                                      
                                      
38507   3rd Petition for              
        Reinstatement
                                      
38547   Alaska Supreme Court          Rejected or Dismissed 3rd
                                      Petition as untimely
                                      under Bar Rule 29
                                      
                                      
                                      
38829   Motion for Summary            
        Reinstatement filed with
        Alaska Supreme Court
                                      
38889   Alaska Supreme Court          Denied Summary
                                      Reinstatement and
                                      Remanded to Bar
                                      Association for further
                                      proceedings
                                      
38897   Motion for Summary            
        Reinstatement  4th Petition
        for Reinstatement
                                      
39020   Area Hearing Panels           Majority recommends
        Decision on 4th Petition      reinstatement
        for Reinstatement
          3.    Prior  to the hearing in this matter,  Petitioner
filed   a  motion  for  summary  judgment  regarding  psychiatric
stability  and  fitness  to practice.  The  motion  requested  to
summarily  establish  five elements with respect  to  Petitioners
reinstatement:  (1) that sufficient time has  elapsed  since  his
prior  hearing in 2002 to adequately evaluate Petitioners  mental
health for purposes of these proceedings; (2) that Petitioner has
fully  complied with the supreme courts directive to seek, obtain
and  successfully  complete counseling; (3) that  Petitioner  was
mentally fit to practice law as of the hearing in 2002; (4)  that
Petitioner  was  mentally fit to practice law  as  of  Dr.  Wolfs
September 2004 affidavit; and (5) that Petitioner is today  fully
mentally fit and capable of practicing law.  The Panel deferred a
ruling on this motion until after the hearing.
          4.    More than five years has passed since Petitioners
disbarment   in  1994,  and  the  Petitioner  was   last   denied
reinstatement on 6/22/04.  Pursuant to Alaska Bar Rule  29(c)(2),
more  than  two  years must pass before the petitioner  can  seek
reinstatement after a reinstatement petition has been denied.  As
more  fully set out in Conclusion of Law No. 1, the Hearing Panel
finds  that, pursuant to Alaska Bar Rule 29(b)(5), more than  two
years  has  passed since the effective date of  the  Courts  most
recent order denying reinstatement, and therefore, Petitioner  is
factually  and legally eligible to be considered for  readmission
to the practice of law.
                     Summary of Testimony
          5.     Petitioner  presented  testimony  from   several
witnesses at the hearing, who testified to the following:
               a.    Josh  Fink.   Mr. Fink is the  head  of  the
Office  of  Public Advocacy (OPA) and has employed Mr. Wiederholt
as a Paralegal II for approximately two years.  During that time,
Mr.  Wiederholts  duties have included performing  criminal  case
assignments, legal research and drafting, as well as  supervising
the   civil   paralegal   I,   and   assisting   her   with   the
child-in-need-of-aid and juvenile delinquency  cases.   According
to  Mr.  Fink, Mr. Wiederholt divulged his disbarment  background
during  his initial interview for the paralegal position, and  at
that  time,  appeared to be remorseful for his bar  difficulties.
Because  Mr.  Fink  was not previously aware of  Mr.  Wiederholts
disbarment  history, Mr. Fink then specifically followed  up  and
researched  Wiederholts background regarding the disbarment,  and
subsequently  decided  to hire Mr. Wierderholt  as  the  criminal
paralegal for the office.  Upon hiring Mr. Wiederholt,  Mr.  Fink
placed Mr. Wiederholt on probation for six months, because he was
concerned about the conduct discussed in the Court opinions,  and
wanted  to  see  if  Wiederholts performance matched  the  Courts
discussed behavior, or rather matched or was consistent with  Mr.
Finks  reading of Wiederholts apparent rehabilitation.  Mr.  Fink
testified  that  Wiederholt passed [his  probation]  with  flying
colors,   so   Mr.  Fink  made  Wiederholts  paralegal   position
permanent.  In his daily duties, Mr. Wiederholt performs criminal
case  intake,  conflict checks with the public defender,  contact
with  agency  contract counsel, and has substantial contact  with
clients, many of whom were incarcerated.  When asked if Mr.  Fink
would  be comfortable sending this type of conflict work  to  Mr.
Wiederholt  should  he  be reinstated and subsequently  left  the
agency to work independently, Mr. Fink testified:
          I  would.   Hes worked with criminal clients,
          my most difficult clients who call regularly.
          Theyre  often  unhappy  with  their  counsel,
          their  counsel  theyre not paying  for.   And
          many  of  them have mental health issues  and
          substance   abuse  issues   and   will   call
          repeatedly  and same complaints, and  he  has
          worked   with  them  well.   He  is  patient,
          listened to them, been a calming influence in
          many  cases, directs them where they need  to
          go,  briefs  me to the extent I  need  to  be
          briefed so I can contact them and follow  up.
          Hes done a good job working with the clients.
          
          Despite  the  trying nature of the client contact,  Mr.
Fink observed that Mr. Wiederholt always treated the clients with
respect and dignity, which, Mr. Fink explained, was not always an
easy  task.   Mr.  Fink further stated that  Mr.  Wiederholt  was
better  at  communicating  with the  clients  than  some  of  the
attorneys in the office.
          With  regard  to  how Mr. Wiederholt handled  the  high
stress environment in the OPA office, Mr. Fink stated:
          .  .  .  [i]t  can  be  a fairly  high-stress
          environment  in our office with many  demands
          on  your  time,  not the least  of  which  is
          responding to these clients.  And he . . .  I
          mean,  Ive  witnessed it in a very  stressful
          situations   where  were  just  swamped   and
          overloaded.  He has maintained a professional
          demeanor and handled himself with the clients
          very well and interacted with them very well.
          
          Mr.  Fink  indicated that part of his job  as  the  OPA
supervisor  is  to  evaluate  the  performance  of  numerous  OPA
employees,  and  that  in  the past, he  has  had  to  fire  some
employees.  Mr. Fink testified that Mr. Wiederholt is a very good
employee who has excellent research and writing skills, and  that
if  Mr.  Wiederholt was reinstated, Mr. Fink would be willing  to
initially refer OPA misdemeanor and Class C felony cases  to  Mr.
Wiederholt  as  outside  legal  counsel,  until  he  gained  more
experience.   Mr.  Fink stated that he believed  Mr.  Wiederholts
acceptance  of  his wrongdoing was sincere, and that  he  had  no
reservations in recommending Mr. Wiederholt for reinstatement.
               b.    William Gamble.  Mr. Gamble works  full-time
as an air traffic controller at the FAA in Anchorage, and also is
the    District   Fire   Emergency   Services   Chief   for   the
Matanuska-Susitna  Borough.  He supervises two fire  departments,
which include four fire stations and approximately 4060 paid  and
on-call  volunteer  responders.  Mr. Gamble testified  about  his
work  relationship with Mr. Wiederholt, and stated that he  first
met  Mr.  Wiederholt  in August 2000, when Mr.  Wiederholt  began
volunteer  work  as an Emergency Medical Technician  I,  and  has
continued  to  work with Mr. Wiederholt up to the  present  time.
Mr.  Gamble  testified that in addition to Mr. Wiederholts  full-
time  day  job  at OPA in Anchorage, Mr. Wiederholt  works  three
evening  shifts  per  week  (6:00 p.m.  to  6:00  a.m.,  Tuesday,
Saturday,  and  Sunday) as a volunteer EMT in the Valley.   Chief
Gamble stated that during the last six years, Mr. Wiederholt  has
continued his EMT training, so that now Mr. Wiederholt is one  of
the few volunteers who has achieved the EMT III level, as well as
being trained as a rescue technician who is qualified to use  the
jaws  of  life in automobile crash situations.  In addition,  Mr.
Wiederholt has also started additional training as a firefighter.
          Regarding  Mr. Wiederholts quality of work, Mr.  Gamble
testified  that  Mr. Wiederholt wears a 24-hour pager,  and  will
always  go  on  call and will stay until the work is  done.   Mr.
Gamble  testified that Jack is the go-to guy in  the  department,
who  is  always  willing  to do the difficult  assignments.   Mr.
Gamble  further testified that Mr. Wiederholt has spent thousands
of  hours since 2000 working as a volunteer medic, and is  now  a
lead  medic  in  the  department.  Mr.  Gamble  stated  that  his
paramedics regularly experience extremely stressful situations on
a daily basis.  He has been with Mr. Wiederholt in numerous life-
and-death  situations, and has observed that  Wiederholt  handles
stress  better  than  most, and has always acted  in  a  rational
manner  and never showed any anger management issues.  Mr. Gamble
has  found  Mr.  Wiederholt  to  be compassionate,  patient,  and
understanding of the patients pain, and believes that Jack is the
last person to quit working on a patient.  Mr. Gamble stated that
as  paramedics, he and his crew are constantly placed  in  danger
from  patients who are often violent due to meth labs, injury  or
drug overdose, and because of this, they take care of each other.
Based  upon  Mr.  Gambles work experience with  Wiederholt  as  a
paramedic,  Gamble testified that he would trust  Mr.  Wiederholt
with his (Gambles) life.
          Mr.  Gamble  testified that in the last six months,  he
has  discussed with Mr. Wiederholt his actions that  resulted  in
his  disbarment,  and  that Gamble believes Mr.  Wiederholt  took
unqualified   responsibility   for   his   actions    in    those
conversations,  and did not blame others for his  mistakes.   Mr.
Gamble believes that the disbarment was a humbling experience for
Mr.  Wiederholt, and that in his (Gambles) opinion,  he  believes
that   Mr.  Wiederholt  has  sufficient  moral  backbone  to   be
reinstated as a lawyer.
               c.   Laurel Peterson.  Mr. Peterson is an attorney
in  Anchorage and has been admitted to practice since  1974.   He
served as a District Court Judge in the mid- 70s, and has been in
private  practice since then.  He has known Mr. Wiederholt  since
approximately 1993, and has testified twice before on his behalf.
Prior  to  1994, he had contact with Mr. Wiederholt  as  opposing
counsel,  and  found Mr. Wiederholt to be overly  aggressive  and
harsh,  both  personally  and in his  written  work.   After  Mr.
Wiederholts  disbarment, Mr. Wiederholt began  to  work  for  Mr.
Peterson as a paralegal performing research and writing.  At  the
beginning of their association, Mr. Wiederholts legal writing was
not up to Mr. Petersons standards, in that the writing was overly
harsh  and  aggressive,  and  personally  attacking  to  opposing
counsel.   Over the years of their association, Mr. Peterson  has
counseled  Mr. Wiederholt on neutralizing his writing style,  and
believes that Mr. Wiederholt has listened and incorporated  these
suggestions,  and  ultimately has changed his writing  style,  so
that  Mr. Peterson has continued to use Mr. Wiederholt on several
projects.   And,  although the press of  work  created  stressful
situations  at times, Mr. Peterson never observed Mr.  Wiederholt
to  exhibit  an  anger management problem.   Mr.  Wiederholt  has
expressed remorse to Mr. Peterson for the conduct leading to  his
disbarment, which Mr. Peterson believes to be sincere.  Over  the
last  six years of working very closely with Mr. Wiederholt,  Mr.
Peterson believes that Mr. Wiederholt has been rehabilitated, and
has the legal ability, skills, and moral fitness to be reinstated
to   the  practice  of  law.   Mr.  Peterson  believes  that  Mr.
Wiederholts disbarment has caused Wiederholt to learn to  reflect
on  his conduct, which has had a beneficial effect on Petitioner.
Mr.  Peterson does not believe that the public is at risk if  Mr.
Wiederholt is reinstated.
               d.    Ron  Offret.  Mr. Offret is an attorney  and
partner in the law firm of Aglietti, Offret, and Woofter, and has
been  admitted to practice since 1974.  Mr. Offret testified that
he  did not become acquainted with Mr. Wiederholt until the  last
10 years, after the disbarment.  He testified that he has had Mr.
Wiederholt work with him performing legal research and writing on
a  few cases, and that Petitioner is currently assisting him with
an  appeal  to  the  9th Circuit Court of Appeals.   He  has  not
previously testified in any Wiederholt proceeding.  He has  found
Mr.  Wiederholts work to be competent and thorough.   Mr.  Offret
was  familiar  with Mr. Wiederholt during his  first  and  second
petitions for reinstatement, and believes that in the intervening
years,  that Mr. Wiederholt has changed.  Mr. Offret  trusts  Mr.
Wiederholt and believes him to be an honest person, and testified
that  he  would hire him as a lawyer in his office.  He  believes
that  Mr.  Wiederholt has accepted responsibility  for  his  past
actions,  and  that he has the moral fitness to be reinstated  to
the   practice  of  law.   Mr.  Offret  does  not  believe   that
reinstatement  would be detrimental to the bar,  public,  or  the
administration of justice.
               e.    Robert Woofter.  Mr. Woofter is an  attorney
and partner in the law firm of Aglietti, Offret, and Woofter, and
has been admitted to practice in Alaska since 1986.  He has known
Mr.  Wiederholt  since the mid-80s, and at that time,  found  him
abrasive, arrogant, and difficult to deal with, describing him as
a real jerk.  He became reacquainted with Mr. Wiederholt in 2002,
when  Mr.  Wiederholt  began  working  with  other  attorneys  in
Woofters office, and in course of Petitioners working on cases in
the   office,  found  Mr.  Wiederholts  legal  skills  more  than
competent.  Mr. Woofter testified that when Mr. Wiederholt  began
working  in  the office, he was a bit wary of him,  and  that  in
their discussions about Mr. Wiederholts disbarment situation,  he
(Woofter) consciously tried to determine if Wiederholt was  truly
remorseful,  or only sorry because he got caught.  After  working
with  and  observing Mr. Wiederholt over the last few years,  Mr.
Woofter testified that he personally found Mr. Wiederholt  to  be
forthcoming  about  the facts of his disbarment,  and  felt  that
Wiederholt has really shown true remorse.  He also believes  that
he   can   now  see  an  element  of  compassion  in  Wiederholts
personality that was not there before.  In Mr. Woofters  opinion,
he  believes that Mr. Wiederholt is morally fit to return to  the
practice  of law and does not believe that any harm would  happen
to   the  Bar  Association  or  the  public  if  Wiederholt   was
reinstated.
               f.   Lisa Behrens.  Ms. Behrens also works for the
FAA  in  Anchorage and as an EMT in the Mat-Su Valley.   She  has
known  Mr. Wiederholt since 2002, and became acquainted with  him
when  he was her EMT instructor.  During the course of their  EMT
work together, they have become romantically involved.  Once  she
learned  of  his disbarment, she researched and read  the  Alaska
Supreme  Court  legal  cases and familiarized  herself  with  the
underlying conduct leading to the disbarment.  She has  discussed
the disbarment situation with Mr. Wiederholt and he has expressed
remorse  which  she  believes is sincere,  in  that  he  accepted
responsibility and understood that other people got hurt from his
conduct.  She testified that as EMT IIIs, they handle many  types
of  stressful situations, including responding to emergency calls
where  they  routinely  clean up vomit,  urine,  and  other  body
fluids, and often are unable to save patients.  Through their EMT
work together, she has had many opportunities, including life-and-
death  situations, to observe how Mr. Wiederholt handles  stress,
and  believes he handles stress very well.  She agrees  that  Mr.
Wiederholt  is the go-to guy in the department, in that  he  does
not  avoid combative patients and does not cherry-pick  the  easy
emergency  calls.  She testified that he has always  treated  the
patients  with  patience  and respect, and  has  never  seen  him
exhibit  anger problems.  In Ms. Behrens experience, she has  not
seen Mr. Wiederholt exhibit the type of conduct discussed in  the
previous  court  cases, and believes that it is  highly  unlikely
that he would repeat similar conduct.
               g.    Aaron  Wolf.  Dr. Wolf is a psychiatrist  in
Anchorage,  where  he  has practiced  for  many  years.   He  has
submitted  materials  and  testified  in  every  disbarment   and
reinstatement  proceedings involving Mr.  Wiederholt.   He  first
evaluated  Mr.  Wiederholt  at the  request  of  the  Alaska  Bar
Association  in  the  context  of the  disbarment  proceeding  in
approximately  1992.  In that proceeding, he testified  that  Mr.
Wiederholt  suffered from a personality disorder that caused  him
to  be  rigid, hostile, lacking in trust, and making it difficult
for  him  to compromise.  When confronted with disagreement  over
issues,  Petitioner  could become aggressive  and  argumentative.
Subsequently,  Dr.  Wolf performed a further  evaluation  on  Mr.
Wiederholt  in  1999,  this time at Mr. Wiederholts  request,  to
support  his  first  petition  for reinstatement.   In  the  1999
report,  Dr. Wolf stated that in his opinion, Mr. Wiederholt  had
improved medically, and could return to the practice of law,  but
Dr.  Wolf  recommended  that he be supervised  and  not  practice
alone.  In response to the first petition for reinstatement,  the
Alaska  Supreme Court denied Wiederholts . . . petition in  2001.
Shortly thereafter, and in response to the Courts comments in the
opinion, Mr. Wiederholt then began professional counseling  on  a
once or twice a month basis, with Dr. Wolf.
          Mr.   Wiederholt  then  filed  a  second  petition  for
reinstatement in 2002, and Dr. Wolf again met with Mr. Wiederholt
to prepare his evaluation.  Dr. Wolf then testified at the second
petition for reinstatement hearing in 2002, and provided a  third
opinion  concerning Mr. Wiederholts progress.   During  the  2002
hearing,  Dr. Wolf testified that Mr. Wiederholt had  matured  in
the   previous  10  years  since  the  disbarment  hearing.   Mr.
Wiederholt  had  initiated  his  paramedic  training,   and   had
progressed  from  an EMT I to an EMT II at that  point,  and  was
learning  how to be part of a team and be on the giving  side  of
others.   Dr.  Wolf felt that Mr. Wiederholt had made significant
changes  in his life, and had grown as an individual since  1999,
and  now  felt that Mr. Wiederholt would be safe to practice  law
and  act  as  a  sole  practitioner.  In Dr. Wolfs  opinion,  Mr.
Wiederholt  was symptom-free, and that mental health-wise,  there
was no medical impediment to Mr. Wiederholts reinstatement.
          With   regard  to  the  current  fourth  petition   for
reinstatement, Dr. Wolf again was contacted by Mr. Wiederholt  to
perform  an  updated  evaluation of him as  of  2006.   Dr.  Wolf
testified  that  he  had  met  with Mr.  Wiederholt  for  several
sessions  in  order  to  evaluate his mental  health  status  and
provide his opinions during this reinstatement hearing.  Dr. Wolf
testified that as of the 2006 evaluation, he found Mr. Wiederholt
to  exhibit  a calmer demeanor and to be doing very well  from  a
mental  health  standpoint, and that he doesnt  need  any  mental
health intervention.  In the course of their counseling sessions,
Dr.   Wolf  believed  that  Mr.  Wiederholt  had  fully  accepted
responsibility for the harm he caused to clients, other  lawyers,
the Bar Association, and the public in general.  Dr. Wolf stated,
               Mr.  Wiederholt . . . has done  a  great
          deal  of  maturing  over  these  years.   The
          diagnosis of personality disorder is one that
          if  you take a snapshot, its not supposed  to
          go away, if you will.  But what Ive seen with
          Mr. Wiederholt is that sort of snapshot of my
          initial  thing [sic] showed somebody who  was
          in   an   immense  amount  of  turmoil,   not
          functioning very well.  And then by the  time
          that I then saw him at the end of the 90s and
          from now on has really matured, grown up, not
          showing any of that behavior and/or types  of
          thinking that he had 15, 16 years before.
          
And,  regarding Mr. Wiederholts ability to deal with a  stressful
environment, Dr. Wolf went on to state:
               He  now has a history of working for Mr.
          Fink and his agency in a pressure cooker kind
          of environment and, at least according to Mr.
          Wiederholt, he has been enjoying that and his
          perception  is  that hes been doing  well  in
          that  without any rising of the old kinds  of
          feelings.
          
In  Dr.  Wolfs  opinion,  there was no  medical  reason  why  Mr.
Wiederholt could not return to the practice of law.
               h.    Jon Wiederholt.  Mr. Wiederholt testified in
this proceeding, and on many points, his testimony was similar to
the  testimony given in previous reinstatement proceedings.   His
testimony in this proceeding differed from his testimony in  2002
because  he appeared either to have gained more insight into  the
reasons  for  his  prior  misconduct,  or  was  better  able   to
communicate his feelings about his lack of previous insight.   He
testified  that  he believed that his personality characteristics
of arrogance and pridefulness contributed to his past misconduct,
and  that  he hoped he was a better person now than he was  then.
In  attempting  to  explain  his prior  demeanor  and  misconduct
towards others, he stated:
               . . . if I could step out of my skin and
          look  back at myself, if you derive a measure
          of  success from being a bully in law and you
          keep  having success because you do that,  it
          doesnt  change.  You get worse.  So the  time
          to  get it is  is early on. . . . The problem
          lies  in getting that lawyer to listen, which
          was my problem.
          
When  asked  by  counsel if he still felt that his arrogance  and
pridefulness   were   qualities  that  caused   his   misconduct,
Wiederholt stated:
               I  guess  that I would add to that  some
          measure  of blindness.  I  my oldest son,  no
          offense,  but I see in him a person that  was
          very much like the person I was, where I knew
          more  than  anyone could tell me  and  I  was
          right  and  no  one could tell me  otherwise.
          And I think  so theres a measure of blindness
          in there.  Maybe its  maybe its arrogance,  I
          suppose,  or  maybe  its the  fear  of  being
          wrong, or admitting it.
          
Wiederholt went on to further explain that he believed his  self-
enforced isolation from
other  attorneys may also have contributed to his misconduct  and
errors in judgment:
               And you know, theres some analogies,  at
          least  I  see with my oldest boy, about  what
          maybe  should have happened with me, which  I
          wish  could have.  And insulating myself from
          colleagues  or, you know, practicing  law  by
          myself.  And I mean that in the sense  of   I
          didnt ask for permission and I didnt speak to
          colleagues.   So  in some sense,  I  guess  I
          analogize it to a child that needs to have  a
          painful  enough lesson to realize  that  they
          really dont know anything.
          
Wiederholt testified that he felt sincere regret about  the  harm
he  caused  to his clients, the Court, the Bar, and  the  public,
stating:
               Actually,  what I regret is two  things.
          I  regret the harm that it caused and I think
          in  some  sense to a greater degree,  what  I
          regret more so is my inability to see that.
          
Throughout  his  testimony,  Wiederholt  appeared  to  exhibit  a
greater  understanding  of the bigger picture  of  the  law.   In
response to Bar counsel, Petitioner stated:
               Well,    if    you   draw    bright-line
          distinctions between did I get a just  result
          or did I win for my client.  I think that was
          part  and parcel the mistake that I made when
          I  practiced,  is that I took the  black-and-
          white  view that youre suggesting that  there
          is.   And I dont  I dont see it that way.   I
          dont see it as being  I win and you lose.  In
          this proceeding, I dont see that you win if I
          dont  get readmitted.  I dont see that I  win
          if  I  do.   I mean, if  if we do  what  were
          supposed  to do as lawyers, it isnt  supposed
          to  be a win or lose.  Its supposed to   were
          supposed  to get the right result.  Were  not
          going to have people that are happy with  it,
          but  we wouldnt have people happy with it  if
          we were referees at a soccer game.
          
And,  when  asked  by Bar counsel what tools or skills  he  would
bring  to  the  practice  of  law, if reinstated,  to  prevent  a
recurrence  of the previous abusive behavior that may  have  been
exacerbated   by  stress,  Wiederholt  answered  and   referenced
incidents  from  his  Sunday paramedic  duty  that  occurred  the
previous  day, before the reinstatement hearing.   He  and  Chief
Gamble had previously testified about the loss of two patients (a
man  and a small infant, on whom he performed CPR for 45 minutes,
where  both  attempts to revive the patients were  unsuccessful).
In response to Mr. Van Goors question, Wiederholt testified:
               Drawing from other parts of my life, Mr.
          Van Goor, there is nothing we do as attorneys
          this  is  what  I  didnt see before.   Theres
          nothing that we do as attorneys that warrants
          the kind of response I had before, other than
          perhaps some sort of personal satisfaction  I
          might take in making the other side feel bad.
          But  when you deal with things that   that  I
          that  Ive trained for and, like most recently
          yesterday,  dealt with, like I say,  it  just
          makes  what we do as attorneys, in  a  global
          sense, not so worth the emotional response.
          
               . . . .
          
          .  .  . But I think that my experiences  with
          things  that  are so much more life-altering,
          if thats the right way to say it, I just cant
          take myself quite so seriously.
          
Additionally,  Wiederholts testimony appeared to illustrate  that
his  experiences of working with other lawyers and as a paralegal
with OPA, caused him to talk to, and deal with, other clients and
lawyers  who  may have acted like he had towards  others  in  the
past, which helped him to realize, and really regret [the kind of
person] that I must have been.
                      CONCLUSIONS OF LAW
          1.    Jurisdiction to Maintain this Action.  Alaska Bar
Rule 29(b)(5) provides as follows:
          .  . . An Attorney who has been disbarred  by
          order  of  the  Court may not  be  reinstated
          until  the expiration of at least five  years
          from  the  effective date of the  disbarment.
          Unless  otherwise ordered by  the  Court,  an
          attorney who has been denied reinstatement by
          the  Court from disbarment or suspension  may
          not  file a petition for reinstatement  until
          the expiration of at least two years from the
          effective  date  of  the Courts  most  recent
          order denying reinstatement.
          
Petitioner  was  disbarred on July 8, 1994.  His second  petition
for  reinstatement was denied by the Alaska Supreme Court on June
22,  2004,  in  Wiederholt III, and was  the  most  recent  order
denying  reinstatement.   Wiederholt  then  filed  a  Motion  for
Summary  Reinstatement directly with the Alaska Supreme Court  on
April  23, 2006, which was before the expiration of the  two-year
waiting period after the effective date of the Courts most recent
order   denying  reinstatement  on  June  22,  2004.   The  Court
subsequently  denied Petitioners Motion for Summary Reinstatement
on June 22, 2006, and referred the matter to the Bar Association,
to  consider the matter as a petition for reinstatement  pursuant
to  Alaska  Bar  Rule  29(c).   The current  motion  for  summary
reinstatement,  now  considered petitioners fourth  petition  for
reinstatement  in  this  proceeding,  was  referred  to  the  Bar
Association  on  June  22,  2006, exactly  two  years  since  the
effective   date   of   the   Courts   previous   order   denying
reinstatement.   Therefore, under Alaska Bar Rule  29(b)(5),  the
Panel finds that Wiederholt is legally qualified to maintain  and
pursue this fourth petition for reinstatement.
          2.    Under  Alaska Bar Rule 29(c)(1), an attorney  who
has  been  disbarred for more than two years must file a petition
for reinstatement with the Bar Association and prove by clear and
convincing  evidence  that (1) he has the  moral  qualifications,
competency,  and knowledge of law required for admission  to  the
practice  of  law  in the State and that his  resumption  of  the
practice  of  law  in  the State will not be detrimental  to  the
integrity  and  standing of the Bar, or to the administration  of
justice, or subversive of the public interest[.]
          3.    The  Alaska Supreme Court expanded on  the  legal
standards  which must be met for reinstatement in Wiederholt  II,
the  Court  adopted  certain  legal  principles  in  analyzing  a
petition  for reinstatement.  Specifically, the court found  that
(1)  there  is a presumption against reinstatement, and  (2)  the
Petitioner  has the burden of proof in the proceeding,  and  must
show  by clear and convincing evidence that he has satisfied  the
standards for reinstatement.
          The Wiederholt II court also identified the ten factors
listed  in  In  re  Pier, 561 N.W.2d 297,  299  (S.D.  1997),  as
providing useful guidance in any reinstatement inquiry.  The Pier
standards for reinstatement include the following:
               (a)   The  nature and seriousness of the  original
misconduct.
               (b)    The   Petitioners  conduct  following   the
discipline.
               (c)    The   time   elapsed  since  the   original
discipline.
               (d)  The extent of the Petitioners rehabilitation.
               (e)   The  Petitioners  character,  maturity,  and
experience at the time of the discipline and at present.
               (f)  Restitution.
               (g)  The Petitioners acceptance of wrongdoing with
sincerity and honesty.
               (h)    The  Petitioners  current  competency   and
qualifications to practice law.
               (i)  The Petitioners present moral fitness.
               (j)   Proof  that the Petitioners  return  to  the
practice  of  law  will not be detrimental to the  integrity  and
standing  of  the  Bar  or  the  administration  of  justice,  or
subversive of the public interest.
          4.    The Panel has analyzed the evidence presented and
has applied the Pier factors as follows:
               (a)   The  nature and seriousness of the  original
misconduct.  The Panel finds the Petitioners original  misconduct
to  be  within  the class of the most serious type of  misconduct
that  would  justify disbarment.  The conduct involved dishonesty
(forging anothers signature on a check), intentional written  and
oral   misrepresentations  to  the  Court,   Bar   Counsel,   and
Disciplinary Board, verbally abusive conduct towards counsel  and
witnesses,   physical  assault  against  opposing  counsel,   and
obstructionist  and  abusive  discovery  tactics  in   litigation
practice.  The aggravators of this conduct include the fact  that
it  occurred over a several year period of time involving several
incidents  and  people.   A mitigating factor  is  the  fact  the
conduct which is the subject of these proceedings happened a long
time ago, beginning in approximately 1986-1987, and ending in the
early 1990s, over fourteen years ago.
               (b)    The   Petitioners  conduct  following   the
discipline.   Since  the  date of Mr. Wiederholts  disbarment  in
1994,  he has been employed in the legal field, although  he  has
not  practiced  law  since  his disbarment.   He  has  worked  in
construction, as a limousine driver, paralegal, Emergency Medical
Technician I, II, and III, and is currently training to become  a
firefighter.  Since August 2000, he has volunteered thousands  of
hours performing EMT work in the Mat-Su Valley, and is considered
a lead medic and go-to-guy by the Chief of the Department.  He is
also held in high regard by the many senior attorneys for whom he
has  worked.  In sum, Mr. Wiederholt has used the time since  his
disbarment to continue to maintain and improve his legal  skills,
as  well  as to initiate and pursue training in the new field  of
emergency medicine.  The Panel finds that Mr. Wiederholt has used
the  time since his disbarment in a constructive manner  and  has
contributed back to the community through his volunteer EMT work.
               (c)    The   time   elapsed  since  the   original
discipline.  The conduct at issue here occurred over  a  span  of
several  years,  beginning  in  approximately  1986-1987,  almost
twenty  years  ago, and ending in the early 1990s, over  fourteen
years  ago.   The  Petitioner was disbarred in  July  1994,  over
twelve  years ago.  The initial five year disbarment  period  has
been  followed by an additional period of seven years, which,  in
conjunction with his previous reinstatement denials, has allowed,
or  forced,  Petitioner to take additional time to  consider  the
seriousness  of his conduct and the consequences, and  hopefully,
to  reflect upon the reasons that motivated him to behave in  the
manner that originally got him into trouble.  The additional  two
year  period of disbarment since the last denial of reinstatement
in Wiederholt III in 2004, in particular, appears to have allowed
Petitioner  to  gain additional insight into the  nature  of  his
previous conduct.  The Committee Panel finds that this additional
two  year period performed a concrete rehabilitative function  by
providing Petitioner with an additional opportunity to  take  his
blinders off and to learn to see outside of himself.
               (d)  The extent of the Petitioners rehabilitation.
As previously stated, Mr. Wiederholt has continued to work in the
legal  field  as  a contract lawyer performing  work  for  senior
attorneys.  Through their mentoring, the evidence has established
that Mr. Wiederholt has improved his legal writing techniques  so
that  he  refrains from including personal attacks in his written
briefing.  All of the attorneys who testified, including Mr. Fink
as  a  current supervisor, stated that Mr. Wiederholt presents  a
calmer  and  more  professional demeanor than the  behavior  they
either personally experienced in the mid-80s, or described by the
Court  in Wiederholt I.  Mr. Wiederholt has also participated  in
mental health counseling with Dr. Wolf in approximately 2002  for
approximately 1418 sessions, and recently underwent an additional
evaluation  in  preparation  for this  proceeding.   Lastly,  Mr.
Wiederholt  has  also  continued his  rehabilitative  efforts  by
progressing with his EMT training to the EMT III level, and  with
his  contribution of working thousands of hours  as  a  paramedic
since  2000.   He also has apologized to the persons affected  by
his  conduct.  In the Panels view, Mr. Wiederholt has established
by  clear  and  convincing evidence that he has made  substantial
efforts  to  accomplish  the  goal  of  rehabilitation   and   is
rehabilitated.
               (e)   The  Petitioners  character,  maturity,  and
experience at the time of the discipline and at present.  Part of
the  troubling  aspect of this case is trying to  understand  the
reasons  for Petitioners underlying misconduct which resulted  in
disbarment.  The Panel agrees that the misconduct was not  merely
a  product of Petitioner being a new or inexperienced lawyer, but
rather  appears to have been caused by a combination of  factors,
including  extreme immaturity, rigidity, and isolation.   In  the
time  since  the  imposition of the discipline  to  the  present,
Petitioner has matured in his emotional development, has  trained
to  learn a new and demanding EMT profession, and has worked with
a  variety  of  lawyers.  All of these activities have  benefited
Petitioner,  caused  him  to  mature,  and  contributed  to   his
rehabilitation.
               (f)   Restitution.  Although monetary  restitution
was  not  an issue in this matter, Petitioner certainly  has  the
responsibility to provide some type of moral restitution  to  the
people  affected  by his conduct.  Although Petitioner  initially
failed  to  perceive the need to make full apologies  during  his
disbarment  period prior to his first petition for reinstatement,
he did take guidance from the Courts opinion in Wiederholt II and
has  made  both  written  and verbal  apologies  to  the  persons
involved.   Although it would have been preferable for Petitioner
to  have  realized on his own, from his own inner  conscience  or
moral  compass,  that  apologies  to  the  people  he  hurt  were
obviously   necessary   in   order   to   show   remorse,   prove
rehabilitation, and establish that he had learned his lesson, the
Panel does not find that the fact that the apologies were made in
direct  response to the Courts opinion diminishes the  fact  that
they  were  made.  The Panel accepts Petitioners testimony  that,
although  it  took  him  awhile, he finally  did  understand  the
necessity of apologizing to his victims, and that he made sincere
efforts to do so.
               (g)   Acceptance  of Wrongdoing with  Honesty  and
Sincerity.   All  of  Petitioners  witnesses  testified  that  he
accepted his past wrongdoing with honesty and sincerity.  From  a
review  of  the record, it appeared as though during the  initial
term of his disbarment, Mr. Wiederholt appeared to focus only  on
the ending date of his disbarment as a time when he would get his
license  to  practice  back,  rather  than  working  through,  or
accepting, his role in the debacle.  He appeared to misdirect his
efforts  on  arguing  to get his license to  practice  law  back,
rather  than  proving that he had reformed and had  acquired  the
necessary  qualities to be able to perform properly as a  lawyer.
His  disbarment  time  would  have been  better  spent  receiving
professional  medical  counseling to  discover  what  personality
traits and emotional reasons caused him to act in the way he did.
Mr.  Wiederholt clearly appeared to be in denial for years  about
the seriousness of his disbarment misconduct, and only because of
the  rejections  of his reinstatement requests,  did  he  finally
realize  that he was not presenting himself in a light  in  which
the  Disciplinary Board or Court could have confidence, and  that
perhaps he needed to change.
          In the present reinstatement hearing, a majority of the
Panel finds that Mr. Wiederholt established his acceptance of his
past  wrongdoing with honesty and sincerity.  In addition to  the
witnesses  who  provided credible evidence of  their  unqualified
opinions  regarding his sincere remorse, a majority of the  Panel
was   persuaded  that  Mr.  Wiederholt  does  feel  honestly  and
sincerely  sorry  about  his  prior misconduct.   Mr.  Wiederholt
appeared to honestly assess and discuss his difficulty in gaining
insight  into himself, and seemed to realize that he suffered  in
the  past from a sort of blindness and inability to see  how  his
conduct  affected  others.  In the Panels  view,  it  appears  as
though the passage of time since his disbarment and his increased
maturity  have allowed him to develop the necessary introspective
skills which will prevent similar misconduct in the future.
               (h)    The  Petitioners  current  competency   and
qualifications to practice law.  The Panel finds that  Petitioner
has  established  by  clear  and  convincing  evidence  that   he
currently  possesses the requisite competency and  qualifications
to  practice  law.  Numerous witnesses testified that  Petitioner
has  excellent  legal  analytical skills  and  is  competent  and
qualified  to  practice law.  In the past four years,  Petitioner
has  been  working as a contract paralegal for several  Anchorage
attorneys  who  have extensive legal experience, including  Terry
Aglietti,  Ron Offret, Laurel Peterson, and Robert Woofter.   All
testified  that  Petitioner was competent, and that  his  writing
skills had improved and were more professional.  In addition,  in
the  last two years, Petitioner has worked as a paralegal for the
Office  of  Public Advocacy under the supervision of  Josh  Fink.
Mr.  Fink  testified that during his employment  at  the  agency,
Petitioner has performed legal research and writing for him,  and
in  his opinion, possessed the legal skills necessary to practice
law.   All of the attorneys who testified stated that they  would
be willing to hire Petitioner as an attorney based upon his legal
reasoning ability and writing skills.
               (i)   Present  Moral Fitness.  A majority  of  the
Panel finds by clear and convincing evidence that Petitioner  has
proved that he has the present moral fitness to be reinstated  to
the  practice of law.  The senior attorneys who have worked  with
him over several years have all testified that Mr. Wiederholt  is
morally fit to return to the practice of law.  Mr. Fink, who  did
not  know  of Mr. Wiederholt or his previous disbarment until  he
interviewed  him, formed his opinion of Mr. Wiederholt  over  the
last  two  years that Petitioner has worked for  him.   Mr.  Fink
testified   that  Wiederholt  was  an  excellent   employee   and
communicated with some of the most difficult clients better  than
some  of the attorneys in the OPA office, and always exhibited  a
professional  and  patient  demeanor towards  others.   Mr.  Fink
stated  that  he  would  be happy to hire Mr.  Wiederholt  as  an
attorney   if   Petitioner  was  reinstated  to   practice   law.
Additionally,  Chief Gamble has worked with Mr.  Wiederholt  over
the last six years as a paramedic.  Mr. Wiederholt has worked his
way  up from an entry level EMT I to where he now is a lead medic
as  an  EMT  III  and a rescue technician.  He has  observed  Mr.
Wiederholt numerous times administer to patients who  were  in  a
life-threatening situation (some of whom died), and  stated  that
he  always  observed  Mr. Wiederholt act in a  very  patient  and
professional manner.  Lastly, Dr. Wolf testified that his opinion
of  Mr.  Wiederholts mental health now in 2006 differs  from  his
opinion  of  Petitioner  in 1992.  Dr.  Wolf  believes  that  Mr.
Wiederholt  has matured and is functioning well, and he  has  not
seen any evidence of the types of thinking or behavior Petitioner
previously exhibited.  In Dr. Wolfs opinion, there is no  medical
reason  why  Mr. Wiederholt could not return to the  practice  of
law.   Based  upon the evidence presented, the Panel  finds  that
Petitioner has established by clear and convincing evidence  that
he is presently morally fit to return to the practice of law.
               (j)   Proof  that the Petitioners  return  to  the
practice  of  law  will not be detrimental to the  integrity  and
standing  of  the  Bar  or  the  administration  of  justice,  or
subversive of the public interest.  A majority of the Panel finds
by  clear and convincing evidence that Petitioners return to  the
practice  of  law  will not be detrimental to the  integrity  and
standing of the Bar, the administration of justice, or subversive
of   the   public  interest.   Because  of  the  seriousness   of
Petitioners  underlying misconduct, including  forgery,  and  his
repeated petitions for reinstatement which were denied due to his
failure to either accept the seriousness of his misconduct or  to
perceive the need to apologize and make positive amends  for  his
behavior,  there may always be a concern about whether Petitioner
can  ever  provide enough evidence or guarantee that he will  not
re-offend.   And  while some may believe that  Petitioner  should
never   be  eligible  to  be  reinstated  based  upon  his  prior
misconduct,  the  legal standards in Bar Rule  29  and  the  Pier
factors in Wiederholt I provide standards, which if met by  clear
and  convincing  evidence, allow a petitioner to  be  reinstated.
The evidence presented here by the Petitioner establishes that he
has  excellent  legal  skills, is a hard worker,  is  helpful  in
discussions  concerning  tactics and strategies,  and  is  highly
thought  of by his past and current employers, all of whom  would
be  willing  to  hire  him in the future and  recommend  him  for
reinstatement.  Petitioners mental health professional  finds  no
medical  reason  why  he cannot return to the  practice  of  law.
Petitioner has apologized to the victims of his misconduct.   And
lastly, he has worked in a non-legal volunteer capacity providing
thousands of hours of paramedic work to the public for  the  past
six years.
          Although  one  cannot  predict the  future,  taken  all
together,  a  majority of the Panel finds that under  Alaska  Bar
Rule 29(c)(1), Petitioner has established by clear and convincing
evidence  that  he has the moral qualifications, competency,  and
knowledge of law required for admission to the practice  of  law,
and that his resumption of the practice of law in this state will
not  be detrimental to the integrity and standing of the Bar, the
administration of justice, or subversive to the public interest.
          5.    With  respect to Petitioners motion  for  summary
judgment regarding psychiatric stability and fitness to practice,
the  Committee  Panel grants the motion in part, and  finds  with
regard  to  issue #1, that sufficient time has elapsed since  Mr.
Wiederholts 2002 hearing to adequately evaluate his mental health
for  purposes of this proceeding, and on issue #5,  that  at  the
present time of this hearing, Mr. Wiederholt is mentally fit  and
capable of practicing law.  The Panel denies summary judgment  on
the  remaining issues #2, #3, and #4, as we believe these  issues
are  either  outside  the purview of this  committee  and/or  not
germane to the issues before this committee panel.
                        RECOMMENDATION
          Therefore, based upon the forgoing, a majority  of  the
Panel recommends that Petitioner be reinstated to the practice of
law.
          DATED  this  31st day of October, 2006,  at  Anchorage,
Alaska.
                              ALASKA BAR ASSOCIATION

                              __________________________________
                              Martha Beckwith, Chair
                              Attorney Member
                              Area Hearing Committee


                              __________________________________
                              Carol Stolpe
                              Public Member
                              Area Hearing Committee
                    BEFORE THE ALASKA BAR ASSOCIATION
                    AREA HEARING COMMITTEE
                    THIRD JUDICIAL DISTRICT

In The Reinstatement Matter        )
Involving                          )
                              )
     JON E. WIEDERHOLT,       )
                              )
          Petitioner.              )
                              )

ABA Membership No. 8312172
ABA File No. 2006R001

                            DISSENT

          Because  I  still  harbor doubts about the  Petitioners
reinstatement,  I  respectfully dissent  from  the  views  of  my
colleagues on the committee.
          The Pier factors1 frame my analysis of Petitioners case
and  his  application for reinstatement.  While my views are  not
easily compartmentalized within the various
Pier factors, I believe several are at issue:
          1.     Petitioners   acceptance  of   wrongdoing   with
sincerity and honesty;
          2.     The  nature  and  seriousness  of  the  original
misconduct; and
          3.    Proof that Petitioners return to the practice  of
law  will not be detrimental to the integrity and standing of the
bar or the administration of justice, or subversive of the public
interest.
          In  reviewing Petitioners case, Im also guided  by  the
axiom that, while courts should be slow to disbar, they should be
even  slower to reinstate.2  Further, any significant doubt about
whether an applicant for reinstatement has sustained their burden
must  be  resolved in favor of protecting the public interest  by
denying reinstatement.3
                          DISCUSSION
          After almost 28 years of practice in this jurisdiction,
primarily  in  the  field of litigation, I  do  not  consider  my
approach to the practice of law to be genteel.  Nonetheless, I am
stunned  by the severity of the conduct for which Petitioner  was
disbarred,  which  admittedly took place  1519  years  ago.   The
details  of  that misconduct are amply set forth in the  record,4
and  I  will not recount them here.  The supreme court summarized
it as follows:
          As  this  courts  opinion  and  the  attached
          appendices  in his disbarment case  indicate,
          Wiederholt  engaged in numerous and  repeated
          instances of misconduct over a span  of  four
          years, including committing criminal forgery,
          assaulting  opposing  counsel,  engaging   in
          abusive  discovery tactics, using threatening
          language   towards  opposing   counsel,   and
          writing   a   threatening   letter   to    an
          unrepresented claimant on behalf of a client.
          All  of these, taken together, demonstrate  a
          pattern of serious misconduct . . . .5
          
          Mr.  Wiederholt  was not a novice  at  the  time  these
events occurred; he received his license to practice in 1983.  He
worked  at  the firm of a former supreme court justice for  three
years  before going off on his own, which is when the  events  in
question occurred.
          There  is  some suggestion that perhaps Mr.  Wiederholt
had  an anger management problem.  However, that does not explain
all of his conduct.  He was abusive towards opposing counsel;  he
was  abusive towards his own clients; and he was abusive  to  the
process.   While anger undoubtedly caused him to  strike  out  in
certain  respects,  other aspects of his conduct  were  obviously
deliberate and premeditated.
          Despite what I would characterize as overwhelming proof
of  his  misconduct  and ample grounds for  his  disbarment,  Mr.
Wiederholt  pursued the matter to the Alaska Supreme Court.   The
Court  made  short  shrift of his arguments and the  disciplinary
action was affirmed in Wiederholt I.
          After   all  this,  one  would  have  hoped  that   Mr.
Wiederholt  would  have  been chastened by  his  experience,  and
reflect  upon  his behavior.  Five long years passed  before  Mr.
Wiederholt  was eligible to apply for reinstatement.  People  can
grow  and  mature  over  time and I would  have  thought,  indeed
expected, that Mr. Wiederholt would have exhibited some level  of
contrition  for  what  he had done and  turn  over  a  new  leaf.
However, that was not the case.  As the supreme court observed:
          The  transcript of Wiederholts  testimony  is
          replete  with examples demonstrating that  he
          has  little remorse for his previous  actions
          and has no consciousness or understanding  of
          the nature or extent of his past wrongdoing.
          
          During his testimony, Wiederholt continued to
          maintain  that  his  past  conduct  did   not
          warrant  disbarment and that  the  board  and
          this  court wrongly decided at least some  of
          the   charges  against  him,  including   the
          Nesbett   grievance,   in   which   he    was
          disciplined  for  deceiving the  court  about
          whether   a   clients   judgment   had   been
          satisfied.  Wiederholt stated that he did not
          believe that he acted unethically and that he
          simply  believed  the board  and  this  court
          defined unethical conduct differently than he
          did.    Rather  than  stating  that  he   has
          acknowledged  his  past  mistakes  and   will
          change in the future, he simply stated to the
          panel  that I accept full responsibility  for
          the  conclusions that the committee  and  the
          supreme  court ultimately reached  .  .  .  .
          [W]hile  I believed that my conduct  did  not
          warrant  disbarment, it is a conclusion  that
          the bar rightfully or wrongfully reached.  He
          further  stated that he deeply regret[s]  the
          findings that the court came to and  not that
          he  regretted  his actions  and re-emphasized
          that he had a different understanding of what
          happened.
          
          Even  when he did acknowledge that he behaved
          in   an   unethical,  unprofessional  manner,
          Wiederholt  still  attempted  to  defend  his
          actions.  At the hearing, Wiederholt admitted
          that his act of kicking opposing counsel .  .
          . was stupid, unethical, and wrong.  However,
          he  then went on to minimize and justify  his
          actions  by  stating that [opposing  counsel]
          was  bigger and heavier than he was and  that
          [opposing  counsel] had started the incident.
          He  also  insinuated that [opposing  counsel]
          deserved what he received.
          
          The  board found the fact that Wiederholt did
          not apologize to several of his victims to be
          a   significant  indicator  of  his  lack  of
          remorse   for   his  previous  actions,   and
          consequently, a lack of understanding of  his
          prior wrongdoing.6
          
          Petitioner    applied    for    reinstatement    again,
approximately  15  months after the decision  in  Wiederholt  II.
Although several apologies were then issued in writing, and  some
were  conveyed  orally  according to the  Petitioners  testimony,
there  is  nothing  in  the  record by  any  of  the  victims  or
participants that acknowledges these apologies, or
offer support for Petitioners reinstatement.
          Following   his   second  reinstatement   hearing   the
Disciplinary Board rejected the unanimous findings  of  the  Area
Hearing Committee and recommended denial of his reinstatement.  A
divided supreme court affirmed.7
          Petitioner then filed yet a third petition,  which  was
apparently withdrawn
because two years had not elapsed since his prior application.
          Which  brings us to the current petition.   I  listened
very  carefully  to Mr. Wiederholts testimony, and  that  of  his
witnesses.  From reviewing the transcripts of prior hearings, the
presentation  was  not substantially different;  several  of  the
witnesses  testified at previous hearings, and they  continue  to
support Mr. Wiederholts application.  The only added dimension is
his  recent  career  as  an emergency medical  technician  (EMT);
several  witnesses  testified about that  aspect  of  Petitioners
development.
          Dr.   Wolf  testified  on  Petitioners  behalf,  again.
Personally, I afforded little
weight  to his testimony.  Through no fault of his own it appears
that Dr. Wolf did not
have  an  opportunity to retrieve Mr. Wiederholts file  from  his
prior  clinic,  and therefore he was frankly not refreshed  about
the  details  of  his  case  and his  prior  treatment  with  Mr.
Wiederholt.   Moreover,  Dr.  Wolf also  testified  at  the  1999
hearing  in  support  of  Mr. Wiederholt,  and  his  professional
conclusions were substantially at odds with the findings  of  the
supreme court in terms of Mr. Wiederholts level of remorse.
          It  appears  to  me  that the wounds  suffered  by  Mr.
Wiederholt  are  not completely healed.  Not only  is  he  deeply
invested in his reinstatement, he has been deeply involved in the
reinstatement efforts on his own behalf.  For instance, he stated
that he pretty much wrote . . . all of the pleadings involved  in
his  last  hearing in 2002 and strongly implied that he  prepared
all the pleadings associated with this 2006 proceeding.  That  is
certainly  is his prerogative.  However, the point is that  those
pleadings  still  reflect  an edge  and  a  bitterness  that  was
somewhat belied by his testimony.
          In   contrast  to  the  hard  edge  of  the   pleadings
associated  with  his  current reinstatement  effort,  petitioner
professes  now  to have a serene attitude about the  role  of  an
advocate in our legal system:
          Q.    Well,  isnt it true that in  any  given
          legal  situation, at least 50 percent of  the
          people  in the room are hoping that you  fail
          as a lawyer for your client?
          
          A.     Well,  if   if  you  draw  bright-line
          distinctions between did I get a just  result
          or did I win for my client.  I think that was
          part  and parcel the mistake that I made when
          I  practiced, is that I took that  black-and-
          white view that you are suggesting that there
          is.   And  . . . I dont see it that  way.   I
          dont see it as being  I win and you lose.  In
          this proceeding, I dont see that you win if I
          dont  get readmitted.  I dont see that I  win
          if  I  do.   I mean, if  if we do  what  were
          supposed  to do as lawyers, it isnt  supposed
          to  be a win or lose.  Its supposed to   were
          supposed  to get the right result.  Were  not
          going to have people that are happy with  it,
          but  we wouldnt have people happy with it  if
          we were referees at a soccer game.
          
          (Trans.: Page 197)
          
          This testimony troubles me.  I dont believe clients are
simply looking to let the chips fall where they may.  They expect
to  prevail.   Civil  Rule  82  requires  a  finding  as  to  the
prevailing  party.   Before a party can prevail,  many  obstacles
must  be  overcome, not the least of which is the  ingenuity  and
skill  of opposing counsel, all of which is difficult to predict.
The  point  is  that the client has the right to  expect  zealous
advocacy  on  their behalf, not someone acting as a  referee.   I
think  they have the right to expect that their attorney will  do
what is necessary, within the confines of the ethical rules.
          I  have doubts about Mr. Wiederholts ability to provide
vigorous representation given his present attitude about his role
as  an  advocate.  I can certainly understand why he  projects  a
detachment from the rough and tumble aspects of litigation.  That
was  the  context  in  which  most of  his  prior  transgressions
occurred, giving rise to the offenses for which he was disbarred.
However,  in my view, that detachment, if sincere, is potentially
detrimental  to  the integrity and standing of  the  bar  or  the
administration of justice . . . .
          Im  also  troubled by the comparison to Mr. Wiederholts
role and duties as an EMT:
          Q.   But isnt it true that the stress dealing
               with  the life and death situations that
               youve dealt with are different from  the
               stress  that  one  would  face  in   the
               practice of law?
               
          A.   I   would   certainly  hope   that   its
               different.
               
          Q.   Okay.  Different in the respect that you
               really  dont  have  an opposing  counsel
               firing  off angry letters to you,  angry
               emails,   I   guess,   to   update   the
               technology, or filing pleadings directly
               attacking  you.   I mean,  its   in  the
               situations that you work at or  work  on
               as  an emergency medical technician, you
               dont have an opponent, do you?
               
          A.   Yes, sir, I do.
               
          Q.   Whats your opponent?
               
          A.   Yesterday, a man died on me and  a  six-
               month-old baby girl that I did . . .  45
               minutes  worth of CPR on my  very  first
               opportunity ever to get in an  ambulance
               for  45  minutes.  Yes, Mr. Van Goor,  I
               had an opposition.
               
          Q.   But nobody . . .
               
          A.   I  mean,  I didnt have a person standing
               up  there and telling me that Im an evil
               bad  person,  no.  But if .  .  .  youre
               asking  me to draw distinctions  between
               the  morality I represent as a medic  or
               the  morality  that I  represent  as  an
               attorney,  I dont see a big, significant
               difference.
               
          Q.   Okay.  Well . . .
               
          A.   I  dont  know  that I can  .  .  .  draw
               distinctions  between the  stress  of  a
               legal  practice or the stress of .  .  .
               doing what I do as a medic.
               
          First  of  all,  I  want  to acknowledge  that  by  all
accounts Mr. Wiederholt performs exemplary service as an EMT, and
he  is  to  be  commended for the sacrifices  he  makes  and  the
services he renders to the community.
          However,  I respectfully disagree that the stresses  he
encounters are comparable to those in the law.  Nothing  compares
to  the  preservation  of  life  and  efforts  to  preserve  life
performed under extraordinary and harrowing situations.
          On  the other hand, the stresses encountered in  a  law
practice  are  often, quite frankly, trivial.  Quibbling  between
opposing  counsel over unimportant issues, fighting over  matters
that  are, in the grand scheme of things, not germane  these  are
stressful and aggravating precisely because they are so  trivial,
but  these  common and every day disputes caused  the  petitioner
trouble in the past.
          Has petitioner matured and grown to the point where the
mundane  stresses of a law practice would not affect his judgment
or  temperament? I frankly dont know.  Would his experience as an
EMT  tend  to make him more patient and understanding  about  the
often-insignificant  disputes that  can  arise  between  counsel?
Again,  I  dont  know, but I have my doubts.  His EMT  experience
stands  on  its  own  and, as I noted, it is a  very  worthy  and
meritorious endeavor on his part.  However, the practice  of  law
is  different and his EMT experience, while ennobling,  does  not
lend weight to his petition for reinstatement.
          In  conclusion, this has been a difficult case for  me,
and  I have thought long and hard about my responsibilities as  a
committee  member.   The practice of law is a  privilege,  not  a
right.   It  is  easy for me to be unforgiving of Mr.  Wiederholt
based  upon the egregious conduct he exhibited, albeit some  1519
years  ago.  There was no excuse or explanation for that  conduct
then  except  what I can only characterize as a  character  flaw.
His relentless efforts to be reinstated have also been flawed  to
some  extent,  and I am simply not convinced that  he  has  truly
learned  the lessons from his past.  I give him credit for  going
on  with a life in which he has demonstrated many other admirable
qualities  and  is  making  a genuine  contribution  to  society.
However,  with  respect  to returning to  him  the  privilege  of
practicing law in an unsupervised setting, I continue  to  harbor
doubts  that  prevent  me  from  approving  his  application  for
reinstatement, and therefore I dissent.8

                              __________________________________
                              Michael C.  Geraghty
                              Attorney Member
                              Area Hearing Committee
_______________________________
     1    In re Wiederholt, 877 P.2d 765 (Alaska 1994).

     2    In re Reinstatement of Wiederholt, 24 P.3d 1219 (Alaska
2001);  In  re Reinstatement of Wiederholt, 89 P.3d  771  (Alaska
2004).   Wiederholts 2005 petition for reinstatement was rejected
without  opinion  as untimely under Alaska Bar Rule  29(b)  which
requires  the expiration of at least two years from the effective
date of any order of the court denying reinstatement before a new
petition may be filed.

     3    One member of the three-member panel dissented.

     4     Three  members  of the nine-member Disciplinary  Board
dissented.

     5     In re Reinstatement of Wiederholt, 24 P.3d at 1222; In
re Wiederholt, 877 P.2d at 767.

     6    In re Reinstatement of Wiederholt, 24 P.3d at 1222.

     7    Id.

     8    Id. at 1223-24.

     9    Alaska Bar R. 29(c)(1).

     10     In  addition  to his full-time job, Wiederholt  works
three  evening  shifts per week (6:00 p.m. to 6:00  a.m.)  as  an
emergency medical technician in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough.

     11     The  Findings, Conclusions and Recommendation of  the
Disciplinary Board and the opinion of the dissenting  members  of
the  Disciplinary  Board are attached as  Appendix  A.   We  have
edited  Appendix A to conform to this courts style and formatting
requirements and have omitted internal citations.

     1     In re Reinstatement of Wiederholt (Wiederholt II),  24
P.3d   1219,  1224-25  (Alaska  2001)  (discussing  reinstatement
standards listed in In re Pier, 561 N.W.2d 297, 301 (S.D. 1997)).

     2     This  is the second decision of a divided disciplinary
board  that does not follow a recommendation of the area  hearing
committee  to  reinstate  Wiederholt.   In  re  Reinstatement  of
Wiederholt  (Wiederholt III), 89 P.3d 771, 793-94  (Alaska  2004)
(three-member  area  hearing  committee  unanimously  recommended
reinstatement;  seven members of eight-member disciplinary  board
recommended  against reinstatement).  Today is  also  the  second
time  our  court  has  been divided on the issue  of  Wiederholts
reinstatement.  Id.  (two-one decision).

     3     In re Reinstatement of Wiederholt (Wiederholt II),  24
P.3d   1219,  1222-23  (Alaska  2001)  (discussing  reinstatement
guidelines).

     4    Id. at 1222.  We stated:

                     With  regard to the review of  the
          Disciplinary Boards findings of fact, we view
          reinstatement as part of attorney discipline.
          We therefore employ the same standard used in
          reviewing attorney discipline proceedings:
          
               Though    this   court   has    the
               authority,  if not the  obligation,
               to  independently review the entire
               record in disciplinary proceedings,
               findings of fact made by the  Board
               are  nonetheless entitled to  great
               weight.  The deference owed to such
               findings    derives    from     the
               responsibility      to      conduct
               disciplinary proceedings which this
               court  has  delegated  to  the  Bar
               Association.   Where  findings   of
               fact  entered  by  the  Board   are
               challenged on appeal to this court,
               . . . the respondent attorney bears
               the    burden    of    proof     in
               demonstrating  that  such  findings
               are  erroneous. . . .  As a general
               rule, moreover, we ordinarily  will
               not  disturb findings of fact  made
               upon conflicting evidence. . . .
               
Id.  at 1222-23 (emphasis added, footnote omitted) (quoting  from
In re Triem, 929 P.2d 634, 640 (Alaska 1996)).

     5     Id.  at  1223;  cf. Wiederholt III,  89  P.3d  at  795
(Carpeneti, J., dissenting).

     6      Wiederholt  III,  89  P.3d  at  795  (Carpeneti,  J.,
dissenting):

          Because   this  court  reviews   the   boards
          recommendations  de  novo,  and  because  the
          board  saw  and  heard none of the  witnesses
          except Wiederholt, I am not inclined to  give
          to  the  boards  factual findings  the  great
          weight  we customarily give to them,  to  the
          extent  that they are based on an  assessment
          of witness credibility.
          
Id.

7     I  am  attaching  as  Appendix B the  entire  area  hearing
committee  document,  with the dissent, to give  readers  a  more
complete picture of the evidence considered by that committee and
available  to the disciplinary board and this court.  Appendix  B
has  been  edited to conform to this courts style and  formatting
requirements.

     8    Wiederholt II, 24 P.3d at 1224-25.

     9     In  re Wiederholt (Wiederholt I), 877 P.2d 765, 766-68
(Alaska  1994) (discussing facts of forgery of clients  signature
as endorsement to check).

10     One   member   of   the   disciplinary   boards   majority
described  Wiederholts testimony as honest, frank, and accepting:
Have  you  talked  to  your  children  about  [the  forgery   and
subsequent  disbarment]  in  the  same  tone  and  frankness  and
acceptance and honesty that youre currently talking to  us  about
it?

     11    The disciplinary board also implicitly seemed to fault
Wiederholt for failing to realize that what he thinks  he  should
have done (sequestered the money and taken it to fee arbitration)
was not an available remedy, i.e., that he still does not realize
how he should have dealt with the dispute.  Assuming ignorance of
an  appropriate remedy is an ethical lapse, it could not  justify
denial of reinstatement.

     12     Bar   disciplinary  counsel  testified   before   the
disciplinary board that his position on Wiederholts reinstatement
is neutral:

          Ive  been with this case from day-one.  Okay?
          I  formed  an opinion, as bar counsel.   That
          opinion  has  been expressed in  the  charges
          that were brought; in the positions that  the
          bar  has taken, and so forth.  I dont  think,
          in    anything   other   than   perhaps    an
          inconsequential  procedural motion  or  other
          matter in front of this board, or in front of
          the  Supreme  Court, that Ive  ever  said  Im
          neutral, or Im not taking a position. .  .  .
          This  is  the first  one of the  if  not  the
          first time Ive said, I cant take a position.
          
     13     Alaska   Bar  R.  29(c)  (discussing  reinstatement);
Wiederholt II, 24 P.3d 1219 (Alaska 2001).

1    See Alaska Bar R. 29(c)(2); Alaska Bar R. 10(c)(5).

     2     See  In re Reinstatement of Wiederholt, 24 P.3d  1219,
1224 (Alaska 2001) (Wiederholt II).

3    See id. at 1225 (quoting Bar Rule 29(c)(1)).

     4    561 N.W.2d 297 (S.D. 1997).

     5    See Wiederholt II,  24 P.3d at 1223-24 & n.14.

     6    See In re Reinstatement of Wiederholt, 89 P.3d 771, 773
(Alaska  2004)  (Wiederholt  III)  (text  of  Disciplinary  Board
decision adopted by the Court).

7     See  In  re  Wiederholt, 877 P.2d 765,  768  (Alaska  1994)
(Wiederholt I).

     8    The Board notes that Mr. Wiederholt also stated that he
should  have  sequestered the money and taken the client  to  fee
arbitration.    In  fact,  there  is  no  such  procedure.    Fee
arbitration can only be initiated by the client.  See Alaska  Bar
R. 40.

     9     See  Wiederholt  I, 877 P.2d at 773 (Findings  of  the
Disciplinary Board).

     10   See id. at 772.

     11   See 24 P.2d at 1229-30.

12    Wiederholt  III,  89 P. 3d at 778 (Conclusions  of  Law  of
Disciplinary Board) (quoting In re Costigan,  664 A.2d  518,  523
(Pa. 1995)).

     13    Wiederholt III, 89 P.3d at 778 (Conclusions of Law  of
Disciplinary Board) (citations omitted).

1     In  re  Pier, 561 N.W.2d 297 (S.D. 1997).  See also  In  re
Wiederholt (Wiederholt II), 24 P.3d 1219, 1225 (Alaska 2001).

     2     In  2004, the last full year for which statistics  are
available  from the American Bar Association online,  there  were
approximately 1,320,000 lawyers with an active license within the
U.S.   (2,753  in  Alaska).  There  were  529  lawyers   publicly
sanctioned  and  disbarred that year; another 411 attorneys  were
publicly sanctioned and disbarred by consent. In 2004, there were
580  petitions for reinstatement and/or readmission filed in  the
U.S.;  only  50  petitions  were  granted  for  lawyers  who  had
previously been disbarred.

     3    Wiederholt II at page 1223.

     4     See  In  Re  Wiederholt (Wiederholt I), 877  P.2d  765
(Alaska  1994)  (in particular the findings of  the  Disciplinary
Board attached at Appendices A and B).

5    Wiederholt II at page 1229 (footnote omitted).

     6    Wiederholt II at page 1229-30.

     7     In re Wiederholt (Wiederholt III), 82 P.3d 771 (Alaska
2004).

     8      Because   I  do  not  believe  that  Mr.  Wiederholts
psychiatric  stability is an issue, I join the  Committee  Panels
granting  of  summary judgment on this issue.   For  the  reasons
expressed,  I  continue to have doubts about the  extent  of  his
sincerity, and his temperament and judgment to be an attorney.

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