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TCL > December 2007 Issue > Disciplinary Case Summaries

December 2007       Vol. 36, No. 12       Page  117
From the Courts
Colorado Disciplinary Cases

Disciplinary Case Summaries

These summaries of disciplinary case Opinions and 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 page(s). The summaries and full-text Opinions also are accessible from the CBA website: http://www.cobar.org (click on "Opinions/Rules/Statutes"). Opinions, including exhibits, complaints, amended complaints, and summaries, also are available at the PDJ website, http://www.coloradosupremecourt.com/PDJ/pdj.htm, and on LexisNexis.®


Summaries of Decisions Regarding
Conditional Admissions 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.

No. 07PDJ058. People v. Correy. 09/28/2007. One-Year Attorney Suspension Stayed—Three-Year Probation With Conditions.

The PDJ approved a Conditional Admission of Misconduct submitted by the parties and suspended Robert J. Corry, Jr., attorney registration number 32705, from the practice of law for one year and one day. The entire suspension was stayed, based on the successful completion of a three-year period of probation with conditions. Sanction was effective September 28, 2007.

On November 13, 2006, respondent pled guilty to third-degree assault, a class 1 misdemeanor, in violation of CRS § 18-3-204. He thereafter successfully completed all of the conditions of his one-year deferred judgment and the case was dismissed in May 2007. His misconduct constituted grounds for the imposition of discipline pursuant to C.R.C.P. 251.5, and violated Colo. RPC 8.4(b).

No. 07PDJ018. People v. Cudd. 10/16/2007. Attorney Disbarred.

The PDJ approved a Conditional Admission of Misconduct submitted by the parties and disbarred Patricia Cudd, attorney registration number 07906, from the practice of law. Disbarment was effective November 15, 2007.

Respondent knowingly commingled client and personal funds in her COLTAF account; converted for a brief time unearned client fees for her personal use; and failed to keep secure required bank records, certain client billing statements, and client ledgers. None of respondent’s clients lost any money. Also, respondent fully cooperated with the People and expressed sincere remorse for her actions. Her misconduct constituted grounds for the imposition of discipline pursuant to C.R.C.P. 251.5(b) and violated Colo. RPC 1.5(f); Colo. RPC 1.15(a); Colo. RPC 1.15(g); Colo. RPC 1.15(h); Colo. RPC 8.4(c); and Colo. RPC 8.4(d).

No. 07PDJ025. People v. Hassan. 10/11/2007. Attorney Suspended Six Months.

The PDJ approved a Conditional Admission of Misconduct submitted by the parties and suspended Thomas F. Hassan, attorney registration number 14841, from the practice of law for a period of six months. Suspension was effective October 11, 2007.

Respondent was convicted of impeding a public employee in a public building, a class 2 misdemeanor, in violation of CRS § 18-9-110(2). He was sentenced to two years of probation, with domestic violence evaluation and treatment, as well as mental health evaluation and treatment, if recommended by the probation department.

Respondent thereafter failed to report his conviction to the People. He also filed a civil complaint that a trial court found frivolous and groundless. Respondent’s misconduct constituted grounds for the imposition of discipline pursuant to C.R.C.P. 251.5, and violated Colo. RPC 8.4(b); Colo. RPC 3.4(c); and Colo. RPC 3.1.

No. 06PDJ087. People v. Isaac. 10/16/2007. Attorney Suspended Ninety Days—Sixty Days Stayed—Two-Year Probation With Conditions.

The PDJ approved a Conditional Admission of Misconduct submitted by the parties and suspended Lance Eldon Isaac, attorney registration number 22918, from the practice of law for a period of ninety days. All but thirty days of the suspension were stayed, based on the successful completion of a two-year probation with conditions. Sanction was effective November 16, 2007.

Respondent neglected two client matters, delaying the resolution of those matters. Respondent’s misconduct resulted in a delay of the judicial proceedings and potential injury to both clients. His misconduct constituted grounds for the imposition of discipline pursuant to C.R.C.P. 251.5 and violated Colo. RPC 1.3 and Colo. RPC 8.4(d).

No. 07PDJ021. People v. Riebesell. 10/01/2007. Attorney Publicly Censured With Conditions.

The PDJ approved a Conditional Admission of Misconduct submitted by the parties and publicly censured Harold F. Riebesell, attorney registration number 00719, with conditions. Sanction was effective October 1, 2007.

Respondent borrowed $20,000 from a client pursuant to terms that were not fair and reasonable to the client under the circumstances. He also failed to inform the client that the use of independent counsel might be advisable. Respondent ultimately filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection and never repaid the $20,000, plus interest, owed to his client. His misconduct constituted grounds for the imposition of discipline pursuant to C.R.C.P. 251.5 and violated Colo. RPC 1.8. Respondent has been ordered to fully repay his client within six months of the PDJ’s order approving the Conditional Admission of Misconduct.

No. 03PDJ107. People v. Salmon. 09/28/2007. Attorney Suspended Nine Months.

The PDJ approved a Conditional Admission of Misconduct submitted by the parties and suspended John Grosvenor Salmon, attorney registration number 04866, from the practice of law for a period of nine months. Sanction was effective September 28, 2007.

Respondent was placed on disability inactive status on February 22, 2002. He thereafter continued to hold himself out as an attorney and he continued to practice law. Respondent also failed to keep disputed funds separate from his own until the completion of an accounting. His misconduct constituted grounds for the imposition of discipline pursuant to C.R.C.P. 251.5 and violated Colo. RPC 1.15(c); Colo. RPC 5.5(a); Colo. RPC 7.1(a); and Colo. RPC 7.5(a).

No. 07PDJ028. People v. Waldmann. 10/01/2007. Attorney Suspended One Year and One Day.

The PDJ approved a Conditional Admission of Misconduct submitted by the parties and suspended Steven Ray Waldmann, attorney registration number 14346, from the practice of law for a period of one year and one day. Suspension was effective October 1, 2007.

Respondent has been suspended from the practice of law pursuant to C.R.C.P. 251.8.6 since April 2, 2007. Respondent knowingly neglected two client matters over a period of two years, delaying the resolution of those matters, which resulted in actual injury to both clients. 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; Colo. RPC 8.4(c); and Colo. RPC 1.16(d).

No. 07PDJ048. People v. Yates. 10/11/2007. Attorney Publicly Censured.

The PDJ approved a Conditional Admission of Misconduct submitted by the parties and publicly censured Russell Edward Yates, attorney registration number 04728. Sanction was effective October 11, 2007.

Respondent borrowed $50,000 from a client who owed respondent’s law firm approximately $100,000 in hourly fees and costs. He secured this personal loan with law firm fees and without authorization from the firm. His misconduct constituted grounds for the imposition of discipline pursuant to C.R.C.P. 251.5 and violated Colo. RPC 1.8 and Colo. RPC 8.4(c).

No. 07PDJ069. People v. Zavala. 10/16/2007. Attorney Suspended One Year.

The PDJ approved a Conditional Admission of Misconduct submitted by the parties and suspended Donald Zavala, attorney registration number 23450, from the practice of law for a period of one year. Suspension was effective October 16, 2007.

Respondent pled guilty to two counts of possession of drug paraphernalia, both class 6 felonies in the state of Arizona. He was sentenced to one-year supervised probation for each count, to be served concurrently, and ordered to pay a fine. Respondent also was sentenced to a forty-five-day jail term that was erased after he complied with all terms of probation and a residential treatment program.

On March 13, 2007, the Arizona Supreme Court suspended respondent from the practice of law for a period of one year, retroactive to May 20, 2005. Respondent was ordered to be placed on probation for a period of two years on reinstatement. Respondent is in the process of reinstatement proceedings in Arizona. The Hearing Office has recommended that respondent be reinstated to active membership status, and the matter is now before the Disciplinary Commission. Respondent’s misconduct constituted grounds for the imposition of reciprocal discipline pursuant to C.R.C.P. 251.5 and C.R.C.P. 251.21, and violated Colo. RPC 8.4(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.


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