Kansas Attorney Suspended After Driving Under the Influence of Drugs and Alcohol and Killing Bicyclist — and Then Leaving Scene of Accident

Kansas attorney Marc A. Schultz has been suspended from practice due to a car accident that raised serious questions about his fitness for practice. Schultz will be sentenced for involuntary manslaughter after driving under the influence of alcohol in a fourth such violation, killing bicyclist Timothy Roberts, 55, (shown right below) and then leaving the scene of an accident. It is rare for an attorney to be suspended for an accident unrelated to the practice of law. However, the repeatedly DUI violations and leaving the scene raise obvious professional problems for Schulz — in addition to being a felony crime which results in automatic suspension.

Schultz was driving with his son as a passenger when he hit Roberts. Blood tests revealed the presence of marijuana, a narcotic-like pain reliever and an antidepressant in his system. He also had a blood-alcohol level of 0.12 percent (which is over the Kansas BAL of 0.08 percent).

He was driving a Pacifica. Within a matter of hours, he pled to the charges (a wise move in such a case).

I am not sure what is more shocking for a father (let alone a lawyer) driving with a combination of drugs and alcohol or leaving a dying man on the street with your son in the seat next to you. I’ll go with leaving the dying man.

The article below states that “Schultz had one DUI in 1989, which was placed on diversion, and two DUI convictions in 2000. For sentencing purposes, a DUI diversion is treated as a conviction.”

Ironically, Schulz is still listed on a website as one of the lawyers “in the state of Kansas that will help with Marijuana related issues.”

The family is considering a lawsuit and cyclist websites have noted that Roberts should have been in plain view — including showing a picture from the perspective of Schultz. It will be difficult for Schultz to defend against such a lawsuit given the narcotics and alcohol. He was negligent per se in driving under the influence. The jury would likely spend little time debating whether a sober person would still have failed to see Roberts.

Roberts (right) leaves behind a wife, four daughters, and grandchildren.

Source: CJOnline as first seen on ABA Journal.

16 thoughts on “Kansas Attorney Suspended After Driving Under the Influence of Drugs and Alcohol and Killing Bicyclist — and Then Leaving Scene of Accident”

  1. @Kay: it’s not about stigma, it’s about invasiveness. We do not protest that the scanners at the airport stigmatize those who go through.

  2. ShireNomad

    If breath tests were installed on everyone’s car, then the stigma would be gone. No one would know if it was positive — you would just have to get a ride. If you did get in an accident it would be judged an accident and you couldn’t be jailed for 30 years as you can now. Plus, you wouldn’t have to worry about your kids, babysitter etc. driving your car while DUI.

  3. As far as the Kansas attorney continuing to take cases after pleading guilty to a hit and run, I think the deal is that attorneys are never sanctioned for criminal conduct until after they are convicted. The Colorado Attorney Regulation Counsel told me that they will not even consider reviewing of a criminal act. I guess the idea is that they don’t want to affect the outcome of a criminal trial, but usually the lawyers don’t actually get criminally prosecuted even for felonies such as false government certificate or extortion. For instance, in Wisconsin a prosecutor was found to be demanding sex from defendants as a condition to dropping criminal charges. As I understand it, over 10 women complained before anything was done.

    What I’ve been thinking is that the state attorney regulation officials could / should have web sites with sections for criminal conduct including

    theft and taking client funds without providing services
    extortion and threatening communications
    having sex or doing drugs with clients
    misc criminal acts

    The each licensed lawyer could have a page where anyone could complain about those five issues, attaching affidavits, photos, scanned bills etc. Then the complained about attorney could reply. With current software anyone could indicate that they want emails of anything posted to the lawyer’s web page.

    So someone could file a complaint that the lawyer pled guilty to hit and run and then clients or potential clients would know so that they wouldn’t be caught replying on the lawyer or paying him in advance for services he won’t be able to render. The lawyer could always sue someone who posts false information. (As you know, courts can get id’s of anonymous bloggers.) If it turns out that they identified the wrong lawyer as confessing to the hit and run, then he could post that it was his son/father/ someone with a similar name.

    Once the attorney regulation “blog” was set up then it would probably be inexpensive to maintain.

    What do you think?

  4. You know that a regular person with three DUI’s wouldn’t be able to get a decent job, right? You know that a parent who uses drugs isn’t a parent for very long- their kids are taken.

  5. rafflaw,

    Yes, it appears in the big scheme of things that this is a light sentence….However, the States in their collective wisdom(s) have taken away the Judges ability to sentence outside of the “Guidelines”…. The Courts have generally held that the Judge must place on the record the reasons for either sentencing harsher or less than the states minimum…

    In this case it appears that he has the potential to sentenced outside of the Guidelines…Upward…I have read on other posts that he should get more…. Other than being an Attorney with 3 prior drunk driving charges how is he different….Understand I am not advocating that he receive less time… I think under the circumstances he would not be eligible for Parole in less than 31 months in either case…. a lot will depend upon the states budgets, the inmates record, the crowding etc….

    What I think should happen is that he should be committed to a long term treatment after 12 months in prison…. He will not be properly treated behind bars….but left to his own devices…. For most people this would be one of the hardest things….to live with and to know that they killed someone….

  6. AY,
    I understand your concern for consistency. I would think that hitting a bicyclist and leaving the scene would be an aggravating factor to me.

  7. Read the article and it has bothered me that the attorney is being treated differently than others similarly situated……..

    ‘The judge isn’t required to follow the plea. To sentence him to 43 months, the judge would have to depart upward from a sentence that ordinarily would be 31 to 34 months. Prosecutors must demonstrate an aggravating factor to justify the departure, and in the Schultz case, it will be that Roberts was “particularly vulnerable” as a bicyclist.”

    It appears that the bargained for benefit in this case is not the same as others….

  8. I don’t mind the DUI’s, just any neglect.

    But even (or especially) an attorney rather flees than dealing with a system of people such as himself and retain a grain of virtue…

    if even an attorney flees, does that make an interesting precedent for the others to come?

  9. This guy is a putz and should be disbarred. How can any Fitness committee of the Bar approve of multiple DUI’s and leaving the scene of an accident. The DCFS should also be investigating whether the son should be in the custody of such a dangerous individual.

  10. @Kay: The Fourth Amendment does not allow a search of one’s person without cause, and breathalyzer tests count as searches. Currently, if someone has a tester installed in his car, it is because he was charged and convicted of a crime (multiple DUIs), and consented to the tester in return for not facing more serious punishment (one can always consent to a search if properly informed of how the search will operate). By contrast, installing a tester in every car would require a search of people who never consented, and for whom there is no cause for a search whatsoever (e.g. for someone who has a spotless driving record and who doesn’t even know what alcohol tastes like).

    There ARE arguments that this is not a search for arrest purposes but for safety, or that one can “consent” merely by sitting in the driver’s seat so take the bus if you don’t like it. These have been successful in expanding airport security to its present state. I prefer not to encourage the use of these arguments, or to expand their applications.

  11. Alcohol testers aren’t very expensive and sometimes they are attached to car ignitions as a consequence of past DUI’s aren’t they? Couldn’t the feds just require that they be installed on ALL cars?

  12. This is sad…. Alcohol has take the lives of many..and sometimes providing death…but never an escape…..

    This is sad…. on all accounts…

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