MN Lawyers Disciplined for Misuse of Legal Correspondence with Prisoner
In 2003-04, Eric C. Thole was a prosecuting attorney and John Lillie was a
criminal defense attorney, both in Washington County, Minnesota. They
established a capital ventures firm in partnership with Matthew
Runningshield, who was serving time in a Minnesota state prison for murder.
Runningshield had promised to invest $50 million in the firm, money which
he claimed he'd received as his share of the profits from a Native American
casino in Shakopee, Minnesota. Lillie used his law firm's stationery for
letters to Runningshield. Thole accepted 711 calls on his work phone from
Runningshield and wrote a letter on his behalf to the state Board of
Pardons. In 2004, suspicious Washington County lawyers commenced
disciplinary actions against Thole and Lille in the state Supreme Court.
Both lawyers admitted misusing legal correspondence and were reprimanded
and charged $900 apiece in costs. Thole also resigned as an assistant
prosecutor. See: In re Petition for Disciplinary Action Against Eric C. Thole,
707 N.W.2d 368 (Minn., 2005), and In re Disciplinary Action Against Lillie,
707 N.W.2d 367 (Minn., 2005).
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Related legal case
In re Petition for Disciplinary Action Against Eri
|Cite||707 N.W.2d 368 (Minn., 2005)|
|Level||State Supreme Court|
 STATE OF MINNESOTA IN SUPREME COURT
 No. A05-1650
 707 N.W.2d 368
 December 29, 2005
 IN RE PETITION FOR REINSTATEMENT TO THE PRACTICE OF LAW OF RICHARD H. MARTIN, A MINNESOTA ATTORNEY, REGISTRATION NO. 68135.
 The opinion of the court was delivered by: Russell A. Anderson Associate Justice
 On September 13, 2005, this Court suspended petitioner from the practice of law for a period of 30 days. Petitioner has filed an affidavit stating that he has fully complied with the terms of the suspension order and requests reinstatement. The Director of the Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility does not oppose the request.
 Based upon all the files, records and proceedings herein,
 IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that petitioner Richard H. Martin is reinstated to the practice of law in the State of Minnesota effective as of the date of this order.