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Embattled Laramie County DA Leigh Anne Manlove Confident Of Exoneration In Bar Proceeding

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By Jim Angell, Cowboy State Daily

Laramie County District Attorney Leigh Anne Manlove is confident she will be cleared of allegations of misconduct raised by a charge filed against her with the group that oversees the behavior of attorneys, she said.

Manlove, in a news release Thursday, said she will file a formal response to the charge filed last week with the state Board of Professional Responsibility accusing her of violating the state’s Rules of Professional Conduct for attorneys.

“This process will unfold as it must, according to the Rules of Disciplinary Procedure, and I am confident I will be exonerated,” she said.

She added she will continue to do the job she was elected to in the November 2018 general election.

“Politics is a contact sport, and I knew that coming into office, but my number one priority is fulfilling my obligation as a public servant,” she said. “I have a job to do, and I will not lose sight of that.”

The charge filed by W.W. Reeves, a special counsel for the Wyoming Bar Association, recommended that Manlove be the subject of a disciplinary hearing for a series of alleged violations of the Rules of Professional Conduct.

Most of the violations, the charge said, stem from Manlove’s “broad-ranging failure to competently perform the duties of her office.” 

The alleged violations include exaggerating budget pressures on her office to justify the dismissal of almost 1,000 cases in circuit and district courts in Laramie County and creating an “unhealthy workplace” in the district attorney’s office that left the office short-staffed and unable to complete its tasks.

The charge also looked at the release of two men accused of dangerous crimes.

Manlove said her formal response will give the public a chance to hear her side of the dispute.

“Now that this matter is public and I am permitted to speak about it, I welcome the opportunity to ensure that the people of Laramie County who elected me get to hear all of the facts,” her release said. “I will be filing a formal response so that the public has the benefit of hearing both sides of the story.”

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Wyoming State Bar Introduces New Governing Members

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

A Cheyenne attorney has been named president of the Wyoming State Bar for the coming year.

Billie L.M. Addleman, managing partner at the Hirst Applegate Law Firm, earned his law degree from the Univesity of Wyoming College of Law and has practiced at Hirst Applegate since 2004.

Addleman’s primary focus is in civil litigation, including professional liability, commercial litigation, real estate litigation and professional licensing. He also serves on the UW College of Law advisory committee and the Laramie County Community College paralegal advisory committee.

Addleman was one of a number of attorneys elected to fill officers’ positions in the Bar, according to news releases from the organization.

Laramie attorney Benjamin Rose was elected to serve as the chair of the Young Lawyers section, for which he will serve one year. He is focused on development for the University of Wyoming College of Law.

P. Craig Silva, a Casper attorney, has been elected commissioner of the bar to represent the Seventh Judicial District, which consists of Natrona County. He will serve a three-year term.

Basin attorney Jennifer L. Kirk has also been elected commissioner of the bar, representing the Fifth Judicial District, consisting of Big Horn, Hot Springs, Park and Washakie counties. She will serve a three-year term.

Kirk is a Basin native and earned her law degree in 2014. She has spent the last year working as a deputy county and prosecuting attorney for Big Horn County.

Finally, Sheridan attorney Kevin K. Kessner was elected commissioner to serve the Fourth Judicial District, consisting of Buffalo and Sheridan counties. He will also serve a three-year term.

Elected vice president was R. Scott Kath from Powell, who earned his degree from the UW College of Law in 1983 and is a partner with the Copenhaver Law Office.

J. Kenneth Barbe of Casper is now the Wyoming State Bar president-elect. He’s been a resident of Wyoming since 1975 and obtained his degree from the UW College of Law in 1983. He will serve as president when Addleman’s term is complete.

Barbe is a member of the firm of Welborn, Sullivan, Meck & Tooley P.C. in Casper.

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