Vol. 31, No. 10
From the Courts
Colorado Disciplinary Cases
Summaries of Opinions
Summaries of Decisions Issued by the Presiding Disciplinary Judge(Through August 9, 2002)
Avila, Jr. v. People, No. 02PDJ005, 7/22/02. Attorney Readmitted.
The Hearing Board readmitted Nick Avila, Jr. to the practice of law following a readmission hearing. Readmission is effective July 26, 2002. p.163.
People v. Lenahan, No. 01PDJ017, 8/9/02. Attorney Disbarred.
Following a trial in this proceeding, the Hearing Board disbarred Respondent Thomas D. Lenahan, attorney registration number 25498, from the practice of law. Respondent was employed by eight separate clients to resolve their tax problems. The Hearing Board found that in seven separate cases, respondent accepted funds from clients, failed to perform the services he was hired to perform (and knew that he had not performed the services for which he had been paid the funds), and failed to refund the unearned portion of the funds to his clients. The Hearing Board found that respondent’s conduct constituted seven separate violations of Colo. RPC 8.4(c). In each of the eight cases, respondent severely neglected the clients’ matters over an extended period of time, in violation of Colo. RPC 1.3. In seven of the eight cases, the extent of respondent’s neglect rose to the level of abandonment. The Hearing Board found numerous additional violations beyond respondent’s knowing conversion of client funds and abandonment of clients. Respondent was ordered to pay restitution, as well as the costs of the disciplinary proceeding. p.166.
People v. Scruggs, No. 01PDJ052, 7/30/02. Attorney Disbarred.
Following a trial in this default proceeding, the Hearing Board disbarred Respondent John A. Scruggs, attorney registration number 18977, from the practice of law. The Hearing Board found that respondent knowingly converted clients’ funds in two separate matters, and abandoned representation of his clients in two matters, warranting disbarment. In addition to knowing conversion and abandonment, the Hearing Board found numerous other rule violations arising from respondent’s representation of eight separate clients. Respondent was ordered to pay restitution and the costs of the disciplinary proceeding. p.169.
Summaries of Decisions Regarding Conditional Admissions of Misconduct
Issued by the Presiding Disciplinary Judge
(Through July 2002)
[The Presiding Disciplinary Judge’s approval of Conditional Admissions of Misconduct does not result in a written opinion but only a brief order, which does not constitute precedent. Conditional Admissions of Misconduct are public record and are available for review at the Office of the Presiding Disciplinary Judge, 600 17th St., Suite 510-South, Denver, CO 80202; (303) 825-2797. They are also available on Lexis-Nexis® at www.lexis.com/research by clicking on States Legal U.S./Colorado/Cases and Court Rules/By Court/Colorado Supreme Court Disciplinary Opinions.]
People v. Broadway, No. 02PDJ019, 7/26/02. Attorney Suspended.
In this reciprocal discipline matter arising in the State of Wyoming in 1995 or 1996, the Presiding Disciplinary Judge approved the parties’ Conditional Admission of Misconduct and suspended Respondent Robert T. Broadway, attorney registration number 20651, from the practice of law for a period of three years. Respondent failed to complete representation of a client in an adoption matter, and abandoned his clients in two separate criminal matters for which he had been retained and paid in advance, constituting a violation of Colo. RPC 1.3 and Colo. RPC 1.4(a). Respondent failed to provide competent representation to his clients, in violation of Colo. RPC 1.1. With regard to two clients, respondent received an advance payment of his fee, did not earn the entire amount of the fee paid to him in advance, failed to refund the unearned portion of the fee he received, and thereby exercised unauthorized dominion or ownership over funds belonging to a client or a third party, constituting negligent misappropriation, in violation of Colo. RPC 8.4(c). Respondent was ordered to pay restitution to his former clients and the costs of the reciprocal disciplinary proceeding.
People v. McReynolds, No. 02PDJ049, 7/24/02. Public Censure.
The Presiding Disciplinary Judge approved the party’s Conditional Admission of Misconduct and publicly censured Respondent Gregg C. McReynolds, attorney registration number 11771. In the course of withdrawing from representation of a client, respondent revealed to the court confidential information relating to the representation of the client without the client’s consent, in violation of Colo. RPC 1.6(a). Respondent failed to promptly comply with a client’s reasonable request for information, in violation of Colo. RPC 1.4(a). Respondent was ordered to pay the costs of the disciplinary proceeding.
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