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TCL > February 1997 Issue > Summaries of Opinions

The Colorado Lawyer
February 1997
Vol. 26, No. 2 [Page  105]

© 1997 The Colorado Lawyer and Colorado Bar Association. All Rights Reserved.

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From the Courts
Colorado Disciplinary Cases

Summaries of Opinions

Table1

(through November 1996)

Requests for investigation filed in 1996 1,414
Docketed for investigation 438
Not docketed for investigation 727
Review in progress 247
In abeyance 2
Cases dismissed by the inquiry panels in 1996 210
Cases dismissed by the inquiry panels in 1996 94
Cases in which reasonable cause was found in 1996 184
Cases pending before the inquiry panels on 12/11/96 317
1Figures supplied by the Office of Disciplinary Counsel.

Column Ed.: James P. Hollaway, Committee Counsel, Denver—893-3393

The Grievance Committee’s office is located at the Dominion Plaza, 600 17th St., Suite 920 S, Denver, CO 80202-5435. “Grievances” or requests for investigation are filed with the Office of Disciplinary Counsel, located at the Dominion Plaza, 600 17th St., Suite 510 S, Denver, CO 80202-5435. Telephone: (303) 893-8121.

Public disciplinary and disability decisions are listed below. Decisions issued by Opinion appear in their entirety in the Colorado Supreme Court "Opinions" section of The Colorado Lawyer. Public disciplinary decisions involving issues that are not routine are summarized below, together with all private censures and, when space permits, selected admonishments. Occasionally, articles will appear in this space in lieu of summaries or with fewer of them.

Public Decisions

David W. Davies: On November 4, 1996, the Supreme Court suspended the respondent for one year and one day, effective thirty days after the date of its order. The court ordered him to make restitution and to demonstrate that he is emotionally and psychologically able to practice law as a condition of reinstatement. Costs in the amount of $183.20 were assessed against him.

David H. Fritze: On November 4, 1996, the Supreme Court publicly censured the respondent and assessed costs of $48.95 against him, following its approval of his conditional admission of misconduct.

Lorraine A. Chappell: The Supreme Court disbarred the respondent on November 4, 1996, effective thirty days after the date of its Opinion, and assessed costs of $547.08 against her.

Anthony M. Theodore: On November 12, 1996, the Supreme Court disbarred the respondent, effective thirty days after the date of its order, and assessed costs of $1,606.61 against him, following its approval of his conditional admission of misconduct.

Larry L. McCray: Following its approval of the respondent’s conditional admission of misconduct, the Supreme Court publicly censured the respondent on November 12, 1996, and assessed costs of $49.40 against him.

Kenneth R. Motsenbocker: On November 12, 1996, the Supreme Court disbarred the respondent, effective thirty days after the issuance of its Opinion, and assessed costs of $532.23 against him, following its approval of his conditional admission of misconduct.

Michael Clark Mannix: The Supreme Court transferred the respondent to disability inactive status on November 14, 1996.

Dennis G. Bonner: On November 25, 1996, the Supreme Court publicly censured the respondent and assessed costs of $122.28 against him.

Private Discipline

Attorney A: After approving a lawyer’s conditional admission of misconduct, the Supreme Court imposed a private censure on the lawyer and assessed costs of $48.21 against him.

The lawyer’s misconduct arose from his representation of a personal representative. The lawyer failed to close the estate in a timely manner, thereby violating R.P.C. 1.3 (neglect). The lawyer’s lack of diligence persisted despite requests from the personal representative and the lawyer she subsequently hired, in violation of R.P.C. 1.4(a) (failure to keep client reasonably informed, and failure to comply with reasonable requests for information). The lawyer also failed to provide an itemized statement of his charges to his client as requested, in violation of R.P.C. 1.15(b), and he failed to obey the court’s order directing him to provide the statement, in violation of R.P.C. 3.4(c). Finally, the lawyer failed to respond to the request for investigation in this matter, in violation of C.R.C.P. 241.6(7).

The court noted the lawyer’s lack of prior discipline in over thirty years of practice [except for a letter of admonition in 1970]. Moreover, the assistant disciplinary counsel stipulated that the lawyer’s misconduct caused little or no actual harm, and that the lawyer voluntarily refunded the legal fees he received in the case from the personal representative.

The forms of discipline, both public and private, are set forth in C.R.C.P. 241.7. Disbarment is the revocation of a lawyer’s license. Suspension is the temporary interruption of a lawyer’s privilege to practice. Public censure is a verbal reproach issued by the Colorado Supreme Court in open session and then published with the Court’s other Opinions. Private censure is either a verbal reproach issued by the Colorado Supreme Court in Chambers or a written reproach mailed to the lawyer. Admonition is a letter of disapproval issued by the Grievance Committee and usually is mailed to the lawyer. A lawyer who receives a letter of admonition may demand that it be vacated and that a complaint be filed against him by Disciplinary Counsel.

 

© 1997 The Colorado Lawyer and Colorado Bar Association. All Rights Reserved. Material from The Colorado Lawyer provided via this World Wide Web server is protected by the copyright laws of the United States and may not be reproduced in any way or medium without permission. This material also is subject to the disclaimers at http://www.cobar.org/tcl/disclaimer.cfm?year=1997.


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