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TCL > July 2006 Issue > Summaries of Disciplinary Opinions

The Colorado Lawyer
July 2006
Vol. 35, No. 7 [Page  133]

© 2006 The Colorado Lawyer and Colorado Bar Association. All Rights Reserved.

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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

People v. Romo-Vejar, No. 05PDJ057, 03/31/2006. Public Censure.

Following a sanctions hearing, a hearing board publicly censured respondent Jesus Roberto Romo-Vejar, attorney registration number 17350, in this reciprocal discipline case. C.R.C.P. 251.21(d)(4) requires that a hearing board impose the same discipline imposed by a foreign jurisdiction unless the misconduct warrants a substantially different form of discipline.
The Supreme Court of Arizona issued a public censure and placed respondent on probation for a period of one year. Respondent acknowledged in the Arizona proceedings that he negligently dealt with client funds when he failed to maintain client funds in his trust account. Respondent also failed to notify the State of Colorado of the discipline imposed by the Supreme Court of Arizona due to his mistaken belief that a past administrative suspension meant he no longer held a law license in the State of Colorado. The Hearing Board concluded that the People did not meet their burden of showing the misconduct warranted a substantially different form of discipline in the State of Colorado.


Summaries of Decisions Regarding Conditional
Admission of Misconduct
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, 1560 Broadway, Denver, CO 80202; (303) 866-6658; http://www.coloradosupremecourt.com/PJD/pdj.htm.

People v. DeBauche, No. 06PDJ032, 05/05/2006. Attorney Suspended.

The Presiding Disciplinary Judge approved a Conditional Admission of Misconduct submitted by the parties and suspended respondent Brian DeBauche, attorney registration number 28593, from the practice of law for a period of 180 days. Upon the successful completion of a two-year period of probation, 120 days of the suspension are stayed with conditions. Sanction is effective June 5, 2006.

Respondent recklessly neglected five client matters, failed to adequately communicate with two of his clients, and engaged in conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice when his conduct delayed the outcomes in legal proceedings. His misconduct constituted grounds for the imposition of discipline pursuant to C.R.C.P. 251.5 and violated Colo. RPC 1.3; Colo. RPC 1.4(a); Colo. RPC 1.4(b); and Colo. RPC 8.4(d).

People v. Halepaska, No. 06PDJ003, 05/09/2006. Attorney Suspended for Two Years.

The Presiding Disciplinary Judge approved a Conditional Admission of Misconduct submitted by the parties and suspended respondent John David Halepaska, attorney registration number 28653, from the practice of law for a period of two years, with conditions regarding reinstatement. Respondent already has been immediately suspended, but his two-year suspension is effective June 9, 2006.

On October 14, 2004, respondent pled guilty to vehicular assault (DUI), in violation of CRS § 18-3-205(1)(b). On February 18, 2005, a judge sentenced him to six years in the Department of Corrections, plus three years mandatory parole. Respondent’s misconduct qualifies as a serious crime as defined by C.R.C.P. 251.20(e)(1) and constitutes a violation of Colo. RPC 8.4(b).

People v. Haroldson, No. 06PDJ0009, 05/09/2006. Six-Month Suspension Stayed Upon Completion of Probation.

The Presiding Disciplinary Judge approved a Conditional Admission of Misconduct submitted by the parties and suspended respondent Delwyn George Haroldson, attorney registration number 23211, from the practice of law for a period of six months, all stayed on the successful completion of a two-year period of probation, with conditions. Sanction is effective June 9, 2006.

Respondent represented three named defendants in a civil matter. After he entered his appearance, respondent knowingly failed to file timely disclosures, which led to the dismissal of the case. His clients lost the opportunity to litigate their defenses and counterclaims, and one client lost title to a strip of land on her residential property. Respondent subsequently agreed to sign a promissory note for the value of the land lost by his client. Respondent also received a retainer fee and other additional fees for his representation, but failed to deposit the funds into a trust account or provide accountings to his clients. His misconduct constituted grounds for the imposition of discipline pursuant to C.R.C.P. 251.5 and violated Colo. RPC 1.1; Colo. RPC 1.3; Colo. RPC 1.4(a); Colo. RPC 1.5(a)(6); and Colo. RPC 1.15(a).

People v. Moore, No. 06PDJ030, 05/01/2006. Attorney Suspended.

The Presiding Disciplinary Judge approved a Conditional Admission of Misconduct submitted by the parties and suspended respondent John Allen Moore, attorney registration number 09862, from the practice of law for a period of three years, with conditions. Suspension is effective May 31, 2006. Respondent neglected a client and violated his duties to four clients when he negligently failed to communicate with his clients; commingled client funds; failed to place client retainers into his trust account; and converted client funds. Respondent’s misconduct constituted grounds for the imposition of discipline pursuant to C.R.C.P. 251.5 and violated Colo. RPC 1.3; Colo. RPC 1.4; Colo. RPC 1.15(a); Colo. RPC 1.15(b); and Colo. RPC 1.15(f)(1).

People v. Rasure, No. 05PDJ081, 05/01/2006. Attorney Suspension Stayed With Conditions.

The Presiding Disciplinary Judge approved a Conditional Admission of Misconduct submitted by the parties and suspended respondent Charles William Rasure, Jr., attorney registration number 25569, from the practice of law for a period of one year and one day, stayed upon the successful completion of a one-year period of probation, with conditions. Sanction is effective May 31, 2006.

In late 2001, respondent entered into a Stock Purchase Agreement with his former law partner to divide certain funds that would be received in the future. He subsequently received settlement funds subject to the Stock Purchase Agreement and used these funds for his own purposes without the authorization of his former law partner. Respondent negligently failed to keep the settlement funds separate and knowingly made false statements to his former law partner about the status of the settlement funds until May 2004. His misconduct constituted grounds for the imposition of discipline pursuant to C.R.C.P. 251.5 and violated Colo. RPC 1.15(c) and Colo. RPC 8.4(c).

People v. Walberg, No. 06PDJ015, 05/05/2006. Attorney Suspension Stayed Upon Completion of One Year of Probation.

The Presiding Disciplinary Judge approved a Conditional Admission of Misconduct submitted by the parties and suspended respondent Kurt E. Walberg, attorney registration number 13023, from the practice of law for a period of thirty days—all stayed upon the successful completion of a one-year period of probation, with conditions. Sanction is effective June 5, 2006.

Beginning in 2002, respondent knowingly failed to comply with his court-ordered child support obligation, but certified compliance on his 2003 to 2005 attorney registration statements. In April 2005, he filed a joint stipulation with the court that addressed the arrearage, completed payment on the arrearage in December 2005, and has remained current with his child support obligation since April 2005. Respondent’s misconduct constituted grounds for the imposition of discipline pursuant to C.R.C.P. 251.5 and violated Colo. RPC 3.4(c) and Colo. RPC 8.4(c).

© 2006 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=2006.


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