State high court suspends attorney

Albuquerque lawyer sanctioned for filing frivolous lawsuits


The state Supreme Court has indefinitely suspended attorney Arash Kashanian from practicing law for his role in helping a Santa Fe couple file frivolous lawsuits in state and federal court.

These suits alleged that almost every official in the First Judicial District Court was involved in a conspiracy headed by Attorney General Hector Balderas, portrayed in the complaints as the consigliere of the Cosa Nostra or Nuestra Familia. Those terms typically are used in Mafia circles or literary works such as The Godfather.

Kashanian's multiple filings were on behalf of clients Andrew Ross and the late Susan Gerard. They were contesting their eviction from a Santa Fe rental unit.

Lawsuits filed by Kashanian included allegations that retired state District Judge Sarah Singleton was the "titular head of the Lesbian Sisterhood," and that Santa Fe judges, attorneys and police where in league to thwart the lawful administration of justice.

Special disciplinary counsel charged Kashanian with violations of the New Mexico rules of professional responsibility. These included "instituting litigation where there was not basis, either in law or fact," and "making statements ... with reckless disregard for the truth."

The Supreme Court announced Kashanian's suspension Monday.

Neither he nor Ross could be reached for comment.

Gerard, 70, died in March 2017 after she jumped off the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge near Taos.

Kashanian of Albuquerque can petition the Supreme Court's disciplinary board for reinstatement after one year. But he must first undergo a physiological evaluation and a character and fitness investigation by the Board of Bar Examiners.

He also has to pay $2,085 to cover the costs of the disciplinary proceeding.