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TCL > March 1997 Issue > Summaries of Opinions

The Colorado Lawyer
March 1997
Vol. 26, No. 3 [Page  133]

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

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From the Courts
Colorado Disciplinary Cases

Summaries of Opinions

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.

Table1

(through December 1996)

Requests for investigation filed in 1996 1,514
Docketed for investigation 470
Not docketed for investigation 831
Review in progress 209
In abeyance 4
Cases dismissed by the inquiry panels in 1996 249
Letters of admonition sent in 1996 109
Cases in which reasonable cause was found in 1996 210
Cases pending before the inquiry panels on 12/31/96 270
1Figures supplied by the Office of Disciplinary Counsel.

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

Glen B. Clark, Jr.: On December 3, 1996, the Supreme Court supsended the respondent for ninety days, effective thirty days after the issuance of its Opinion, and assessed costs of $437.78 against him, following its approval of his conditional admission of misconduct.

Rita Marie Farry: On December 3, 1996, the Supreme Court suspended the respondent for thirty days, effective thirty days after the issuance of its Opinion, and assessed costs of $48.76 against her, following its approval of her conditional admission of misconduct.

George Case Price: On December 16, 1996, the Supreme Court suspended the respondent for one year and one day, effective thirty days after the issuance of its Opinion, and assessed costs of $1,385.56 against him, following its approval of his conditional admission of misconduct.

Russell Edward Vigil: On December 16, 1996, the Supreme Court disbarred the respondent, effective thirty days after the issuance of its Opinion, and assessed costs of $1,463.30 against him.

David Allen Mundis: On December 23, 1996, following its approval of his conditional admission of misconduct, the Supreme Court disbarred the respondent, effective immediately. The court ordered him to make restitution prior to readmission; ordered him to demonstrate that there are no medical or psychological bases that impair his ability to fulfill his responsibilities as a lawyer prior to readmission; and assessed costs of $1,353.69 against him.

Steven J. Barr: On December 23, 1996, the Supreme Court suspended the respondent for three months, effective thirty days after the issuance of its Opinion, and assessed costs of $61.36 against him, following its approval of his conditional admission of misconduct.

Private Discipline

Attorney A: The Supreme Court privately censured a lawyer on December 30, 1996, and assessed costs of $74.39 against him, following its approval of his conditional admission of misconduct.

The lawyer was suspended for two years in 1995. The present proceeding concerns his representation of a client with respect to the estates of her husband and her mother-in-law. The lawyer failed to assist his client in filing the inventory in her husband’s estate for three years after she was appointed personal representative. The lawyer also did not aid his client in filing the inventory for her mother-in-law’s estate until about a year after she was appointed personal representative of that estate. The lawyer also failed to do anything to effect the transfer of certain real property from the decedents to his client. Finally, the lawyer failed to keep his client reasonably informed about the status of the estate cases and to comply with her reasonable requests for information.

The lawyer admitted that his conduct violated DR 6-101(A) (3) (neglect), R.P.C. 1.3, and R.P.C. 1.4(a).

The court noted the lawyer's current suspension, as well as letters of admonition in 1986 and 1991. Notwithstanding the seriousness and the extent of the lawyer’s misconduct, the court concluded that a private censure was appropriate. The assistant disciplinary counsel stated that the misconduct in this case occurred about the same time as the misconduct which resulted in the lawyer’s two-year suspension. The lawyer is currently under suspension and will be required to undergo reinstatement proceedings to practice law. In addition, and as part of his reinstatement proceedings, the lawyer has been ordered to demonstrate that he has arranged for the monitoring of his practice by an experienced attorney, and that he has completed a satisfactory psychiatric evaluation that demonstrates that he has recovered from his admitted depression. The court determined that no good purpose would be served by adding an additional period to his suspension.

Attorney B: The Grievance Committee admonished a lawyer on April 16, 1996, for violating R.P.C. 8.4(d) (engaging in conduct that prejudiced the administration of justice). The lawyer failed to file a disclosure certificate in pending litigation, failed to communicate with opposing counsel or the court regarding his client’s plan to default, and failed to appear at the trial even though he had not withdrawn from the case and was still attorney of record.

Attorney C: The Grievance Committee admonished a lawyer on June 11, 1996, for violating R.P.C. 7.3(a) and (c). The lawyer made direct contact with prospective clients concerning his legal services. The lawyer also telefaxed information to another lawyer’s clients, in an attempt to solicit the lawyer’s clients. In dispatching the information, the lawyer failed to comply with the requirements of R.P.C. 7.3(c).

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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