Vol. 36, No. 2
From the Courts
Colorado Disciplinary Cases
Disciplinary Case Summaries
These disciplinary case summaries are prepared by the Office of the Presiding Disciplinary Judge (PDJ) and are provided as a service by the Colorado Bar Association (CBA). The CBA cannot guarantee the accuracy or completeness of the summaries.
The full text of the Opinions follows the summaries pages. The summaries and full-text Opinions also are accessible from the CBA website: http://www.cobar.org (click on The Colorado Lawyer tab, then the appropriate issue). Opinions, including exhibits, complaints, amended complaints, and summaries, also are available at the Office of the PDJ 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 Opinions
Cardwell v. People, No. 06PDJ028, 11/21/2006. Attorney Reinstated.
Following a Reinstatement Hearing, a Hearing Board granted a Petition for Reinstatement filed by Jerry E. Cardwell and immediately reinstated him to the practice of law, subject to certain conditions. The Colorado Supreme Court previously suspended petitioner for three years, with eighteen months stayed on July 24, 2002; the Presiding Disciplinary Judge suspended petitioner for ninety days in a subsequent matter on August 2, 2004. In the first case, petitioner lied to a district court judge while representing a defendant in a DUI matter. In the second case, petitioner allowed the statute of limitations to run in an automobile accident case.
At the Reinstatement Hearing, petitioner provided substantial evidence as to his fitness to practice law and the meaningful change in his character since the time of his original suspension. The Hearing Board concluded that he met his burden of proof by clear and convincing evidence. p.119.
Fossenier v. People, No. 06PDJ027, 11/20/2006. Attorney Reinstated.
Following a Reinstatement Hearing, a Hearing Board granted a Petition for Reinstatement filed by Michael P. Fossenier and immediately reinstated him to the practice of law, subject to certain conditions. On July 15, 2004, the Presiding Disciplinary Judge suspended petitioner for six months, with the condition that he apply for reinstatement. In the underlying case, while intoxicated, petitioner forced open the doors to an apartment belonging to someone he did not know and attacked the occupant. Petitioner pled guilty to second-degree burglary and misdemeanor criminal mischief.
At the Reinstatement Hearing, petitioner provided substantial evidence as to his fitness to practice and the meaningful change in his character since the time of his original suspension. The Hearing Board concluded that he met his burden of proof by clear and convincing evidence. p.122.
Hofer v. People, No. 06PDJ044, 12/13/2006. Attorney Reinstated.
Following a Reinstatement Hearing, a Hearing Board granted a Petition for Reinstatement filed by David Hofer and immediately reinstated him to the practice of law, subject to certain conditions. The Presiding Disciplinary Judge previously suspended petitioner for one year and one day, effective February 23, 2003. At the time, petitioner had received eight letters of admonition, one private censure, and one stayed suspension dating back to 1985. The underlying case involved petitioner’s failure to prepare written permanent orders as ordered by a court and failure to adequately communicate with three of his clients.
At the Reinstatement Hearing, petitioner provided substantial evidence as to his fitness to practice and the meaningful change in his character since the time of his original suspension. The Hearing Board concluded that he met his burden of proof by clear and convincing evidence. p.124.
People v. Tolin, No. 06PDJ047, 11/3/2006. Attorney Disbarred.
The Presiding Disciplinary Judge disbarred Josh P. Tolin, attorney registration number 26899, from the practice of law. Disbarment was effective December 4, 2006.
This is a reciprocal discipline action from the state of Missouri. The facts admitted through the entry of default showed respondent engaged in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, and misrepresentation. Respondent also failed to participate or present any mitigating evidence in these proceedings. The admitted facts therefore warranted the imposition of reciprocal discipline under C.R.C.P. 251.21. Accordingly, the Presiding Disciplinary Judge found no adequate basis to depart from the presumptive sanction of disbarment for respondent’s conduct. p.126.
Summaries of Conditional Admissions of Misconduct
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, Ste. 675, Denver, CO 80202; (303) 866-6658; http://www.coloradosupremecourt.com/PDJ/pdj.htm. They are also available on LexisNexis® 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. Demirali, No. 06PDJ099, 12/08/2006. Attorney Suspension Stayed Upon Completion of One-Year Probation.
The Presiding Disciplinary Judge approved a Conditional Admission of Misconduct submitted by the parties and suspended Agim Demirali, attorney registration number 10889, from the practice of law for a period of six months, all stayed upon the successful completion of a one-year period of probation. Sanction was effective December 8, 2006.
Respondent’s paralegal developed an idea for the law firm to provide a service to prison inmates whereby they would prepare portfolios, which inmates could present to parole and community corrections boards. Respondent agreed to allow his paralegal to take on this project, accepted funds without depositing them into his trust account, and thereafter terminated the project without notice to his clients, who believed they had hired an attorney. Respondent’s misconduct constituted grounds for the imposition of discipline pursuant to C.R.C.P. 251.5, and violated Colo. RPC 1.15(a); Colo. RPC 1.15(g); Colo. RPC 1.16(d); Colo. RPC 5.3(b); and Colo. RPC 5.5(b).
© 2007 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=2007