The Missouri Supreme Court announced Tuesday that it has reinstated the law license of a Kansas City attorney who once had been convicted of killing his law partner.
The court disbarred Richard Buchli II in 2005 following his first-degree murder conviction in 2002 in the death of Richard Armitage.
A court set aside Buchli’s conviction six years ago, citing evidence withheld from the defense. Prosecutors continued to pursue the case against Buchli until last year. They dismissed the case after a judge in 2010 threw out all the state’s evidence against him.
Buchli declined to comment, saying he had not digested the court’s order or discussed it with his lawyer.
Armitage died in May 2000 after being beaten in the 13th-floor office he and Buchli shared in the Power & Light Building. Prosecutors contended that the murder was motivated by Buchli’s financial problems.
After Buchli’s conviction, his lawyers complained that prosecutors had withheld evidence they were entitled to have, and judges and appeals courts began to agree.
An order signed by Chief Justice Richard B. Teitelman directed that Buchli be on probation for three years. Buchli is required to report quarterly to a probation “monitor” on the status of his law practice, any criminal charges or convictions and any civil lawsuits or judgments entered against him.
He must take continuing legal education courses, carry malpractice insurance and work with a mentor to safeguard his clients’ money.
Buchli also must undergo a mental health evaluation within 60 days, with the results going to the Office of Chief Disciplinary Counsel, which oversees attorney discipline in Missouri.