In re Kristan L. Peters, Respondent.
Submitted January 6, 2016
Suspended Member of the Bar of the District of Columbia Court
of Appeals (Bar Registration No. 415989)
Report and Recommendation of the Board on Professional
Kristan Peters, pro se.
Wallace E. Shipp, Jr., Disciplinary Counsel, and William R.
Ross, Assistant Disciplinary Counsel, for the Office of
Beckwith and Easterly, Associate Judges, and King, Senior
April 10, 2013, after finding that respondent Kristan Peters
had violated several professional rules, the Committee on
Grievances of the United States District Court for the
Southern District of New York (SDNY Committee) suspended Ms.
Peters from the practice of law for seven years. The District
of Columbia Office of Disciplinary Counsel now recommends
that we impose reciprocal discipline and suspend Ms. Peters
for five years, with reinstatement conditioned upon proof of
fitness to practice law. Although D.C. Bar R. XI, § 11
(e) generally requires this court to impose reciprocal
discipline, Ms. Peters argues that all five enumerated
exceptions to this rule apply in her case. Concluding that
only one exception applies-namely, that Ms. Peters would be
subject to substantially different discipline in this
jurisdiction-we suspend Ms. Peters from the practice of law
in the District of Columbia for a period of three years,
nunc pro tunc to July 2, 2015,  with
reinstatement predicated on a finding of fitness.
See D.C. Bar R. XI, §§ 3 (a)(2), 11 (e),
14 (h), 16 (a).
time the misconduct at issue in this case occurred, Ms.
Peters was working for the law firm Dorsey & Whitney, LLP
(Dorsey). On behalf of its client Wolters Kluwer
Financial Services, Inc. (Wolters), Dorsey sued four former
Wolters employees in the Southern District of New York for
allegedly divulging proprietary information to their new
employer. Discovery was conducted under a confidentiality
order providing that certain materials "shall not be
used [in] any other litigation proceeding." After
concerns were raised over personal jurisdiction, Dorsey
dismissed the suit in New York and refiled it in
Massachusetts. Despite court orders from the judge in New
York, Ms. Peters, the partner in charge, delayed returning
confidential discovery material (including deposition
transcripts) and attached 115 pages of that material to a
motion for temporary injunctive relief filed in the
judge presiding over the New York case sanctioned Ms. Peters
and forwarded a copy of the decision to the SDNY Committee,
which suspended her for seven years backdated to April 10,
2008, the date she had first been temporarily suspended
pending process. Wolters Kluwer Fin. Servs. Inc. v.
Scivantage, 525 F.Supp.2d 448, 541, 550-51 (S.D.N.Y.
2007), aff'd in part, rev'd in part, 564
F.3d 110 (2d Cir. 2009).
we see no basis for disturbing the SDNY Committee's
findings, see part II, infra, we accept the facts as
set out in the SDNY Committee's order and in a 118-page
report written by a federal magistrate judge and adopted by
the Committee. See D.C. Bar R. XI, § 11 (c);
In re Peters, 941 F.Supp.2d at 360-62, 366.
magistrate's report canvasses the record and supports the
conclusion that Ms. Peters: (1) copied and ordered additional
deposition transcripts in violation of court orders for use
in the new but related action in Massachusetts and thus
knowingly violated a confidentiality order entered by the
presiding judge in the first case; and (2) instructed a
first-year associate at Dorsey to add markings to deposition
transcripts in an attempt to bring them under the protection
of the attorney work-product privilege and exempt them from
the presiding judge's order that all discovery be
returned, and thereafter misled the court about what she had
Imposition of Reciprocal Discipline
District of Columbia, an attorney suspended or disbarred in
another jurisdiction will have identical reciprocal
discipline imposed on her unless she demonstrates, by clear
and convincing evidence, that:
(1) The procedure elsewhere was so lacking in notice or
opportunity to be heard as to constitute a deprivation ...