Judge Gerald Seibel has recommended to the Supreme Court that judicial candidate Jill Clark be placed on inactive disability status. Seibel, the appointed referee in a disciplinary case against Clark, said that Clark told the court through her attorney and her husband that she is ill, unable to defend herself and had been admitted to the hospital on June 21. However, she later asserted that she is under treatment, able to assist in her own defense, and should not be transferred to disability status. But Seibel said there is no medical evidence supporting that assertion.
“The scenario described herein places both parties and the referee in somewhat of a conundrum. Despite some rather strange filings and arguments recently presented by Respondent, which has resulted in the delay of these proceedings, the Referee is not in a position to state that Respondent has deliberately perpetrated a fraud upon the tribunal. What is clear that Respondent, whatever the cause has asserted that based upon a medical or emotional condition, she was disabled and unable to proceed with the trial in this matter and assist in her own defense,” Siebel wrote.
Clark is a candidate for chief justice of the Supreme Court. An attorney on inactive status cannot be a candidate. A candidate must be “learned in the law,” but a candidate who is not admitted or entitled to practice is not “learned in the law,” the Supreme Court decided in In re Daly, 200 N.W.2d 913 (Minn. 1972) and In re Scarrella, 221 N.W.2d 562 (Minn. 1974)