Vol. 33, No. 7
From the Courts
Colorado Disciplinary Cases
Summaries of Disciplinary Opinions
The summaries for the Presiding Disciplinary Judge and Hearing Board are prepared by the Office of the Presiding Disciplinary Judge. The summaries of the decisions of the Presiding Disciplinary Judge are provided as a service by the Colorado Bar Association and are not the official language of the Decisions. The Colorado Bar Association cannot guarantee the accuracy or completeness of the summaries.
Full copies of the Decisions generally follow the summaries pages. The summaries and full-text Decisions also are accessible from the CBA website: http://www.cobar.org (click on The Colorado Lawyer tab, then the appropriate issue). Decisions, including Exhibits, Complaints, and Amended Complaints and summaries, also are available at the Office of Presiding Disciplinary Judge website: http://www.coloradosupremecourt.com/PDJ/pdj.htm, as well as on LexisNexis® at http://www.lexis.com/research, by clicking on States Legal-U.S./Colorado/Cases/CO Supreme Court Disciplinary Opinions from 1999.
Summaries of Decisions Regarding Conditional Admissions of Misconduct(Through May 3, 2004)
Issued by the Presiding Disciplinary Judge
[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 LexisNexisTM at http:// 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. Baker, No. 04PDJ025, 5/3/04. Attorney Disbarred.
The Presiding Disciplinary Judge approved the party’s Conditional Admission of Misconduct and disbarred Respondent Larry M. Baker, attorney registration number 04471, from the practice of law in the state of Colorado, effective June 3, 2004. Respondent dispersed funds without authorization from an escrow account over which he had control and knowingly misappropriated these funds for personal reasons, in violation of Colo. RPC 8.4(c). Respondent was ordered to pay the costs incurred in this proceeding and to make restitution.
People v. Meininger, No. 04PDJ019, 4/20/04. Attorney Suspension Stayed Upon Completion of One-Year Probation.
The Presiding Disciplinary Judge approved the party’s Conditional Admission of Misconduct and suspended Respondent John A. Meininger, attorney registration number 06421, from the practice of law in the state of Colorado for a period of thirty days, all stayed upon successful completion of a one-year period of probation, effective May 21, 2004. Due to financial and other difficulties over an extended period, respondent failed to meet the requirements of C.R.C.P. 260.2(1) and (2). Respondent was required to complete 45 units of continuing legal education, 7 units of which must be devoted to legal or judicial ethics, during each applicable three-year compliance period, which he failed to do, in violation of Colo. R.P.C. 3.4(c). Respondent also commingled funds from his business, personal, and COLTAF accounts and wrote checks from this account to pay personal obligations, in violation of Colo. R.P.C. 1.15(c), (c), (d), (f), and (g). Respondent was ordered to pay the costs incurred in this proceeding and comply with other conditions.
People v. Smith, No. 04PDJ033, 4/20/04. Attorney Suspension Stayed Upon Completion of Two-Year Probation.
The Presiding Disciplinary Judge approved the party’s Conditional Admission of Misconduct and suspended Respondent Keith C. Smith, attorney registration number 31962, from the practice of law in the state of Colorado, for a period of sixty days, all stayed upon successful completion of a two-year period of probation, effective May 21, 2004. Respondent was involved in a physical altercation with his girlfriend, for which he pled guilty to a misdemeanor crime of harassment and received a deferred sentence. Respondent’s misconduct violates Colo. RPC 8.4(b). Respondent was ordered to pay the costs incurred in this proceeding and comply with other conditions.
People v. Tague, No. 04PDJ014, 5/3/04. Public Censure.
The Presiding Disciplinary Judge approved the party’s Conditional Admission of Misconduct and publically censured Respondent P. Arthur Tague, attorney registration number 04253, effective May 4, 2004. Respondent failed to communicate the basis or rate of his fee in writing to a criminal client and failed to deliver an accounting of funds paid and time and costs spent on the client’s case, in violation of Colo. RPC 1.5(b). Respondent also failed to explain to his client the legal alternatives available to him, in violation of Colo. RPC 1.4(b). Respondent was ordered to pay the costs of the disciplinary proceeding and comply with other conditions.
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