Vol. 33, No. 8
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.
People v. Albright, No.03PDJ069, 10/29/03. Attorney Disbarred.
Following a sanctions hearing at which respondent did not appear, the Hearing Board disbarred M. Ashley Albright, attorney registration number 14467, from the practice of law.
Respondent entered into a standard real estate agreement with two parties for the sale of her home. After respondent and the purchasers were unable to resolve issues related to the inspection of the house, respondent refused to refund the earnest money. The purchasers were forced to file suit against respondent in small claims court. Respondent removed the case to county court, forcing the purchasers to hire an attorney. Respondent filed counterclaims against the purchasers, upon which the court ruled in their favor. Respondent also filed a third-party claim against her broker. The court found this claim to be frivolous, awarding attorney fees and other costs to the broker.
Respondent then appealed the lower court’s orders. The appeals court ruled that the appeal was frivolous. Respondent filed a petition for writ of certiorari to the Colorado Supreme Court. The Court accepted the case and upheld the county court’s judgment, but remanded the matter to the trial court to determine if the purchasers were entitled to additional fees awarded as further damages under the sales contract. These damages were partially satisfied by the bond respondent was required to post prior to appeal, but respondent has not paid any additional amounts to satisfy judgment.
Respondent filed for bankruptcy protection and knowingly submitted financial statements containing factual misrepresentations. Finally, respondent submitted false evidence to a tribunal and perpetrated fraud upon the court as to a witness respondent asked to testify deceptively during the bankruptcy proceedings. The Hearing Bound determined that respondent’s conduct violated Colo. RPC 3.4(c), 3.3(a)(4), 8.4(a), and 8.4(c), and warranted disbarment. Respondent was ordered to pay the costs of the disciplinary action. p.181.
People v. Hook, No. 03PDJ076, 4/30/04. Attorney Suspension Stayed Pending Three-Year Probation.
The Presiding Disciplinary Judge and the Hearing Board suspended the respondent, Clyde E. Hook, attorney registration number 09773, from the practice of law for three years, all stayed pending the successful completion of a three-year period of probation with conditions. Respondent was refused service at a pub due to intoxication. He was offered a non-alcholic beverage, leading to a brief verbal exchange with the bartender. Respondent then was asked to leave the bar, and he did. Respondent returned, looking for his coat, at which time he had another brief interaction with the bartender. He was again asked to leave, which he did. Respondent walked home and retrieved his .357 revolver and returned to the pub, which was closed for the evening. In an attempt to get the bartender or waitress to notice him, respondent tapped on the window of the bar. The bartender and waitress ignored respondent. Respondent proceeded to fire a bullet into the front door of the pub. Respondent could see the occupants in the bar moving inside and he fired two or three additional shots into the lock of the door. When respondent could not gain entry, he left the scene. Respondent did not turn himself in, nor did he inquire about potential injuries of the bar staff. After the waitress recognized respondent months later in another bar and called the police, respondent was arrested. Respondent was sentenced to and completed probation after he pled guilty to the misdemeanor crimes of carrying a concealed weapon (CRS § 18-12-105) and reckless endangerment (CRS § 18-3-208). As determined by the order for judgment on the pleadings, respondent committed the felony crimes of illegal discharge of a firearm (CRS § 18-12-107.5(1)) and menacing with a deadly weapon (CRS § 18-3-206). Respondent’s conduct violated Colo. RPC 8.4(b). The Hearing Board found respondent’s alcoholism was principally responsible for his conduct and mitigated in favor of a period of suspension rather than disbarment. Respondent was ordered to pay the costs of this proceeding and comply with other conditions. p.184.
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