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TCL > April 2009 Issue > Disciplinary Case Summaries

April 2009       Vol. 38, No. 4       Page  127
From the Courts
Colorado Disciplinary Cases

Disciplinary Case Summaries

The 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, when published by the PDJ, 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.®


Summaries of Decisions Issued by the PDJ

No. 07PDJ027. People v. Edwards. 12/30/2008. Attorney Suspended Thirty Days.

Following a sanctions hearing, the PDJ suspended Robert Thomas Edwards, attorney registration number 36214, from the practice of law for thirty days. The suspension was effective January 30, 2009.

Respondent overdrew his COLTAF account, but shortly thereafter deposited sufficient funds to cure the deficiency. He then knowingly and repeatedly failed to respond to several requests for information from the People. Respondent eventually provided bank records to the People, which revealed no further misconduct on his part. At the sanctions hearing, respondent testified that he faced a number of challenges in his personal life at the time he knowingly failed to cooperate with the People. Nevertheless, the facts admitted by default proved violations of Colo. RPC 1.15(g), 3.4(c), and 8.1(b). p.129.

No. 08PDJ028. People v. Stern. 01/09/2009. Attorney Suspended Two Years.

Following a sanctions hearing, the PDJ suspended Ryan M. Stern, attorney registration number 26267, from the practice of law for two years. The suspension was effective February 9, 2009.

Respondent engaged in a pattern of neglect and made multiple misrepresentations to two of his clients. He also failed to respond to the People concerning requests for investigation pursuant to C.R.C.P. 251.10. The facts admitted by default proved violations of Colo. RPC 1.1, 1.3, 1.4, 3.4(c), 8.1(b), and 8.4(c). Respondent failed to present any mitigating evidence or otherwise participate in these proceedings. Accordingly, the PDJ found no adequate basis to depart from the presumptive sanction of a suspension. p.130.

No. 07PDJ076. People v. Young. 12/30/2008. Attorney Disbarred.

Following a sanctions hearing, the PDJ disbarred Gerald W. Young, attorney registration number 08818, from the practice of law. Disbarment was effective January 30, 2009.

The Colorado Supreme Court had immediately suspended respondent on January 10, 2008. Respondent received a $2,000 retainer fee from his client, deposited it into his operating account instead of his COLTAF account, and thereafter performed little or no work on the case. The facts admitted by default proved violations of Colo. RPC 8.4(c), as well as Colo. RPC 1.15(a), (b), and (c). Respondent failed to present any mitigating evidence or otherwise participate in these proceedings. Accordingly, the PDJ found no adequate basis to depart from the presumptive sanction of disbarment. p.132.


Summaries 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. 08PDJ107. People v. Callaway. 02/04/2009. Attorney Suspended Six Months.

The PDJ approved an Amended Conditional Admission of Misconduct submitted by the parties and suspended Frederick M. Callaway, attorney registration number 10156, from the practice of law for six months. The suspension was effective February 4, 2009.

Respondent filed a complaint on behalf of his client, but then failed to serve it. The district court dismissed the matter without prejudice, and the statute of limitations ran on the claims. Respondent further failed to pay his client’s husband money for investigations he performed at respondent’s request. His misconduct constituted grounds for the imposition of discipline pursuant to C.R.C.P. 251.5, and violated Colo. RPC 1.3, 1.4(a), 1.4(b), 1.16(d), and 8.4(d).

No. 09PDJ009. People v. Eliscu. 02/10/2009. Attorney Publicly Censured.

The PDJ approved a Conditional Admission of Misconduct submitted by the parties and publicly censured Dani Erin Eliscu, attorney registration number 35031. The sanction was effective February 10, 2009.

Respondent, a Denver City Attorney at the time of these events, spoke to a Denver police officer shortly after he pulled over respondent’s fiancé for speeding. She spoke to the officer without adequate reflection or concern about her position as a public official, and without adequate care for the effect her talking to the officer would have on the administration of justice. Her misconduct constituted grounds for the imposition of discipline pursuant to C.R.C.P. 251.5, and violated Colo. RPC 8.4(d).

No. 08PDJ093. People v. Pettigrew. 02/10/2009. Attorney Suspended One Year and One Day.

The PDJ approved a Conditional Admission of Misconduct submitted by the parties and suspended Anjanette Christine Pettigrew, attorney registration number 28939, from the practice of law for one year and one day. The suspension was effective February 10, 2009.

In her capacity as the personal representative of an estate, respondent recklessly failed to preserve funds belonging to the estate. She promptly made restitution to the estate after being confronted about her conduct. In a second matter, respondent failed to provide regular accountings of the disposition of the retainer paid by a client. Her misconduct constituted grounds for the imposition of discipline pursuant to C.R.C.P. 251.5, and violated Colo. RPC 1.15(a), 1.15(b), and 8.4(c).

No. 08PDJ083. People v. Scott. 02/03/2009. Attorney Disbarred.

The PDJ approved a Conditional Admission of Misconduct submitted by the parties and disbarred William S. Scott, attorney registration number 11521, from the practice of law. Disbarment was effective March 3, 2009.

Respondent knowingly converted $2,500 from his employer after he resigned from the company. Respondent also threatened to file an administrative action against his former employer. His misconduct constituted grounds for the imposition of discipline pursuant to C.R.C.P. 251.5, and violated Colo. RPC 4.5(a) and 8.4(c).

No. 09PDJ005. People v. West. 02/03/2009. Attorney Suspended One Year and One Day—Six Months and One Day Stayed Pending Completion of Three-Year Probation.

The PDJ approved a Conditional Admission of Misconduct submitted by the parties and suspended Carl S. West, attorney registration number 23435, from the practice of law for one year and one day. All but six months of the suspension were stayed pending successful completion of a three-year period of probation with conditions. The sanction was effective February 3, 2009.

On December 8, 2008, respondent pled guilty to third-degree assault on his wife (a misdemeanor), and resisting arrest (a class 3 misdemeanor). In a separate incident, respondent tried a controlled substance. His misconduct constituted grounds for the imposition of discipline pursuant to C.R.C.P. 251.5, and violated Colo. RPC 8.4(b).

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