Vol. 33, No. 10
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 Issued by the Presiding Disciplinary Judge
(Through August 4, 2004)
Lockley v. People, No. 04PDJ022, 8/4/04. Attorney Reinstated.
Larry K. Lockley, attorney registration number 25840, was reinstated to the practice of law following a full reinstatement proceeding. Reinstatement is effective August 4, 2004. p.155.
Summaries of Decisions Regarding Conditional Admission of Misconduct
Issued by the Presiding Disciplinary Judge
(Through August 2, 2004)
[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. Cardwell, No. 04PDJ015, 8/2/04. Attorney Suspended.
The Presiding Disciplinary Judge approved the party’s Conditional Admission of Misconduct and suspended Respondent Jerry E. Cardwell, attorney registration number 12743, from the practice of law in the state of Colorado, for a period of ninety days. Suspension is effective August 2, 2004.
Respondent filed a pleading on behalf of a client in an automobile accident case ten days after the date the statute of limitations had expired. He also filed the case in a county where venue was not proper over defendant. Respondent failed to take steps to serve the summons and complaint on defendant, and the matter was dismissed. He also failed to preserve and return all files after respondent told the client that he had been suspended from practicing law in a separate matter.
In neglecting his client and failing to represent her competently, allowing her case to be dismissed without her knowledge or consent, failing to keep her informed, and otherwise engaging in conduct detrimental to her, respondent violated Colo. RPC 1.1, 1.2(a), 1.3, 1.4(a), and 1.16(d). Respondent was ordered to pay the costs of the proceeding and comply with other conditions.
People v. Eastepp, No. 04PDJ026, 7/29/04. Attorney Six-Month Suspension Stayed Upon Completion of Probation.
The Presiding Disciplinary Judge approved the party’s Conditional Admission of Misconduct and suspended Respondent Dean E. Eastepp, attorney registration number 07294, from the practice of law in the state of Colorado, for a period of six months. Suspension is stayed upon a successful completion of a two-year period of probation. Sanction is effective August 29, 2004.
In his collection efforts for a hospital, respondent recorded numerous lis pendens in the county clerk’s office, asserting in each case that an action had been filed. In fact, no action was filed in most matters. In some instances, an action was commenced by service of a complaint prior to filing, though in many matters no civil action was ever commenced.
Respondent’s improper use of the lis pendens procedure violated Colo. RPC 4.4 (using means with no substantial purpose other than to obtain an advantage against third persons) and RPC 8.4(d) (engaging in conduct that is prejudicial to the administration of justice). Respondent was ordered to pay the costs of the proceeding and comply with other conditions.
People v. Parwatikar, No. 04PDJ064, 7/22/04. Attorney Suspended.
The Presiding Disciplinary Judge approved the party’s Conditional Admission of Misconduct and suspended Respondent Deepak S. Parwatikar, attorney registration number 30404, from the practice of law in the state of Colorado, effective August 22, 2004, for a period of three years. Two years of the suspension are stayed upon successful completion of a two-year period of probation.
In this reciprocal discipline matter from California, respondent was employed as general counsel for a nurse staffing company. Respondent started a competing business, which he did not disclose to his employer, and obtained trade secrets from his employer that he used in his own business. The employer filed suit, alleging unfair competition, misappropriation of trade secrets, and other claims. Judgment was entered against respondent for intentional interference with a prospective economic advantage, fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, and conversion.
Respondent’s conduct violated Colo. RPC 8.4(c) (dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation), 1.6 (use of confidential information), and 1.7 (conflict of interest). He was ordered to pay the cost of the proceedings.
People v. Tannous, No. 04PDJ040, 7/30/04. Attorney Suspended.
The Presiding Disciplinary Judge approved the party’s Conditional Admission of Misconduct and suspended Respondent Karim J. Tannous, attorney registration number 26745, from the practice of law in the state of Colorado for a period of ninety days. Sixty days of the suspension are stayed upon successful completion of a two-year period of probation. Sanction is effective July 30, 2004.
Respondent neglected a client’s criminal case by failing to appear at scheduled court hearings and failing to keep the client informed of court dates and other matters. During much of this time, respondent was in Central Africa. The client was successful in obtaining a favorable plea bargain without respondent’s assistance.
By neglecting a legal matter entrusted to him, respondent violated Colo. RPC 1.3. By failing to keep his client informed, respondent violated Colo. RPC 1.4(a). By collecting a substantial fee to perform the entire case and then abandoning his client after providing minimal work, respondent violated Colo. RPC 1.5(a). By effectively terminating the relationship with his client in failing to appear at court dates and failing to communicate with the client, respondent violated RPC 1.16(d). Respondent was ordered to pay the costs of this proceeding and comply with other conditions.
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