Vol. 37, No. 3
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: www.cobar.org (click on "Opinions/Rules/Statutes"). Opinions, including exhibits, complaints, amended complaints, and summaries, also are available at the PDJ website, www.coloradosupremecourt.com/PDJ/pdj.htm, and on LexisNexis.®
Summary of Decision Issued by the PDJ
No. 06PDJ042 (consolidated with Nos. 06PDJ097, 07PDJ003 & 07PDJ017). People v. Duitch. 11/27/2007. Attorney Disbarred.
Following a sanctions hearing, the PDJ disbarred Robert M. Duitch, attorney registration number 09313, from the practice of law. Disbarment was effective December 28, 2007.
Respondent knowingly converted funds belonging to several clients and knowingly failed to perform services in their cases. He also failed to participate in the disciplinary proceedings.
The facts admitted by default proved numerous violations of C.R.C.P. 251.5(d) and Colo. RPC 1.3, 1.4(a), 1.4(b), 1.15(a), 1.15(b), 1.16(d), 3.4(c), 8.4(c), and 8.4(d). Accordingly, the PDJ found no adequate basis to depart from the presumptive sanction of disbarment. p.125.
Summary of Decisions Regarding Conditional
Admissions of Misconduct Issued by the PDJ
The PDJ’s approval of a Conditional Admission 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; www.coloradosupremecourt.com/PDJ/pdj.htm. They also are available on LexisNexis.®
No. 06PDJ060. People v. Blundell. 05/22/2007. Attorney Publicly Censured.
The PDJ approved a Conditional Admission of Misconduct submitted by the parties and publicly censured Richard Kenneth Blundell, attorney registration number 10358. Sanction was effective May 22, 2007.
Respondent negligently failed to supervise a paralegal who continued to negotiate and eventually settle a personal injury case with an insurance company after respondent’s client died from an illness unrelated to the accident. He also negligently failed to maintain adequate communication with his client. Respondent’s misconduct constituted grounds for the imposition of discipline pursuant to C.R.C.P. 251.5, and violated Colo. RPC 5.3(b) and 1.4(a) and (b).
No. 08PDJ003. People v. Cooper. 01/11/2008. Attorney Suspended One Year and One Day.
The PDJ approved a Conditional Admission of Misconduct submitted by the parties and suspended Robert L. Cooper, attorney registration number 15564, from the practice of law for a period of one year and one day. Suspension was effective February 11, 2008.
On April 3, 2006, respondent pled guilty in Jefferson County to a class one misdemeanor of sex assault, in violation of CRS § 18-3-402(1)(e). He was sentenced to jail for ninety days with work release, and intensive supervised probation for five years, with conditions. On May 16, 2006, respondent pled guilty in Denver County to a class one misdemeanor of sex assault, in violation of CRS § 18-3-402(1)(e), and was sentenced to 120 days’ jail time, with work release to run concurrent with the Jefferson County jail time, and supervised probation for twenty-four months, with conditions. Respondent’s misconduct constituted grounds for the imposition of discipline pursuant to C.R.C.P. 251.5, and violated C.R.C.P. 251.20(b) and Colo. RPC 8.4(b).
No. 07PDJ074. People v. Hunsaker. 01/15/2008. Attorney Suspended Ninety Days.
The PDJ approved a Conditional Admission of Misconduct submitted by the parties and suspended William J. Hunsaker, attorney registration number 00087, from the practice of law for a period of ninety days. Suspension was effective January 20, 2008.
Respondent engaged in conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice when he deposited approximately $34,000 into his son’s checking account while his son was on the run from law enforcement authorities. This conduct arguably allowed respondent’s son to avoid criminal prosecution for a period of time. Respondent’s misconduct constituted grounds for the imposition of discipline pursuant to C.R.C.P. 251.5, and violated Colo. RPC 8.4(d).
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