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TCL > August 2007 Issue > Disciplinary Case Summaries

August 2007       Vol. 36, No. 8       Page  207
From the Courts
Colorado Disciplinary Cases

Disciplinary Case Summaries

These summaries of disciplinary case Opinions and summaries of Conditional Admissions of Misconduct 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 disciplinary 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.


Summary of Decision Issued by the PDJ

No. 06PDJ059. People v. Brown. 04/25/2007. Attorney Disbarred.

Following a sanctions hearing, a Hearing Board disbarred Kirk Patterson Brown, attorney registration number 04510, from the practice of law. Disbarment was effective May 25, 2007. Respondent had been suspended since September 11, 2006.

Respondent took approximately $18,000 from six clients; completed little or no work for them; and when they asked him to return their money, he failed to do so. Respondent eventually paid restitution to his former clients during the immediate suspension proceedings, but then failed to participate in the subsequent disciplinary proceedings. The facts established by the entry of summary judgment proved multiple violations of Colo. RPC 1.15(a), Colo. RPC 1.16(d), and Colo. RPC 8.4(c). Accordingly, the Hearing Board found no adequate basis to depart from the presumptive sanction of disbarment. p.209.


Summaries of Decisions Regarding
Conditional Admission of Misconduct Issued by the PDJ

The PDJ’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 PDJ, 1560 Broadway, Ste. 675, Denver, CO 80202; (303) 866-6658; http://www.coloradosupremecourt.com/PDJ/pdj.htm. They also are 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.

No. 07PDJ034. People v. Holt. 05/22/2007. Public Censure.

The PDJ approved a Conditional Admission of Misconduct submitted by the parties and publicly censured Linwood Tyrone Holt, attorney registration number 05779. Public censure was with conditions and effective May 22, 2007.

In April 2004, an associate with respondent’s firm worked approximately eighty-six hours on a client’s case. Respondent inappropriately added fifty-seven hours to the bill sent to the client for that associate’s time, because he believed the associate had not billed enough time given the tasks performed. After respondent’s law partner discovered the misconduct, respondent agreed to give the client a credit on the next bill. Respondent’s misconduct constituted grounds for the imposition of discipline pursuant to C.R.C.P. 251.5(b) and violated Colo. RPC 1.4(a) and Colo. RPC 1.5(a).

No. 07PDJ033. People v. Jones. 05/22/2007. Attorney Suspended Six Months.

The PDJ approved a Conditional Admission of Misconduct submitted by the parties and suspended C. Edward Jones, attorney registration number 27351, from the practice of law for a period of six months. Suspension, which was effective May 22, 2007, included the requirement of C.R.C.P. 251.29(c) to (e) reinstatement proceedings and conditions. Respondent had been immediately suspended from the practice of law.

On November 17, 2006, respondent pled guilty to possession of one gram or less of a controlled substance—schedule II, CRS § 18-18-405(1), (2.3)(a)(I)—a class 6 felony. As part of his plea, he stipulated to a two-year supervised deferred judgment. Respondent also pled guilty to driving while ability impaired in February 2007. Respondent’s misconduct constituted grounds for the imposition of discipline pursuant to C.R.C.P. 251.5(b) and violated Colo. RPC 8.4(b).

No. 07PDJ009. People v. Morgan. 05/23/2007. Attorney Suspended Six Months.

The PDJ approved a Conditional Admission of Misconduct submitted by the parties and suspended Peter E. Morgan, attorney registration number 05638, from the practice of law for a period of six months. Suspension, which was effective June 15, 2007, included the requirement of C.R.C.P. 251.29(c) to (e) reinstatement proceedings and conditions.

On June 11, 2005, respondent was involved in two separate incidents. As a result of the first incident, respondent pled guilty to careless driving on February 16, 2006. As a result of the second incident, respondent was convicted of three counts of assault (D.R.M.C. 38-93) and one count of disturbing the peace (D.R.M.C. 38-89) on March 2, 2006. Respondent also failed to report to the Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel (OARC) a 2001 misdemeanor assault and disturbing the peace conviction. Respondent’s misconduct constituted grounds for the imposition of discipline pursuant to C.R.C.P. 251.5(b) and violated Colo. RPC 3.4(c) and Colo. RPC 8.4(b) and (h).

No. 07PDJ036. People v. Shaman. 06/19/2007. Attorney Suspended Two Years.

The PDJ approved a Conditional Admission of Misconduct submitted by the parties and suspended Theodore Roberts Shaman, attorney registration number 06016, from the practice of law for a period of two years. Suspension was effective June 19, 2007.

On November 5, 1997, respondent was indefinitely suspended from the practice of law by the Supreme Court of Ohio for various violations of rules applicable to lawyers licensed in Ohio, including violations related to dishonesty. As a result, he could not apply for reinstatement in Ohio for a minimum of two years. There is evidence that respondent notified the Colorado Supreme Court of his Ohio suspension by letter dated November 25, 1997. However, the OARC did not learn of the Ohio suspension until September 2006. Respondent’s misconduct constituted grounds for the imposition of reciprocal discipline pursuant to C.R.C.P. 251.21(d).

No. 07PDJ001. People v. Tenbrink. 06/19/2007. Attorney Suspended Three Years.

The PDJ approved a Conditional Admission of Misconduct submitted by the parties and suspended Cory Burton Tenbrink, attorney registration number 28100, from the practice of law for a period of three years. Suspension was effective June 19, 2007.

Respondent failed to communicate with six clients and engaged in other misconduct, including neglecting client matters, failing to provide a client with an accounting, and failing to protect a client’s interests on the effective termination of his representation. Respondent’s knowing misconduct constituted grounds for the imposition of discipline pursuant to C.R.C.P. 251.5(b) and resulted in multiple violations of Colo. RPC 1.3; Colo. RPC 1.4(a) and (b); Colo. RPC 1.15(c); and Colo. RPC 1.16(d).

No. 07PDJ038. People v. Wittenberg. 06/19/2007. Attorney Suspended Ninety Days—Stayed—Two-Year Probation With Conditions.

The PDJ approved a Conditional Admission of Misconduct submitted by the parties and suspended Daniel Scott Wittenberg, attorney registration number 33570, from the practice of law for ninety days, all stayed on successful completion of a two-year period of probation with conditions. Sanction was effective June 19, 2007.

On November 20, 2006, respondent submitted a false expense reimbursement statement to his firm for expenses he incurred on a personal trip to Georgia. The expense reimbursement statement showed that his expenses for the personal trip should be billed to a Georgia client. This submission was not an error or oversight on the part of respondent. However, on his own initiative, respondent reimbursed the travel expenses paid to him and reported his misconduct to the firm. Respondent’s Georgia client was never billed for these expenses.

The Court gave substantial weight to the significant mitigating factor that respondent contemporaneously engaged in actions to report and remedy his misconduct without provocation. Respondent’s knowing misconduct constituted grounds for the imposition of discipline pursuant to C.R.C.P. 251.5(b) and resulted in a violation of Colo. RPC 8.4(c).

© 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.


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