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TCL > August 2009 Issue > Disciplinary Case Summaries

August 2009       Vol. 38, No. 8       Page  149
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 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.®

Nos. 08PDJ060 & 09PDJ029. People v. Blumenthal. 06/09/2009. Attorney Suspension Stayed Pending Completion of Three-Year Probation.

The PDJ approved a Conditional Admission of Misconduct submitted by the parties and suspended Thomas Blumenthal, attorney registration number 15549, from the practice of law for sixty days, all stayed pending the successful completion of a three-year period of probation. The sanction was effective June 9, 2009.

Respondent knowingly engaged in at least seven instances of unprofessional conduct toward opposing counsel, court security personnel, court staff, and judicial officers. Respondent’s misconduct constituted grounds for the imposition of discipline pursuant to C.R.C.P. 251.5, and violated Colo. RPC 3.5(d), 4.4(a), and 8.4(d) and (h).

No. 09PDJ056. People v. Booth. 06/18/2009. Attorney Suspension Stayed Pending Completion of Two-Year Probation.

The PDJ approved a Conditional Admission of Misconduct submitted by the parties and suspended Richard H. Booth, attorney registration number 20600, from the practice of law for six months, all stayed pending successful completion of a two-year period of probation with conditions. The sanction was effective June 18, 2009.

Respondent recklessly failed to safeguard and keep separate funds in three client matters and also failed to adequately communicate with two clients with regard to requests for information about their funds. Respondent’s misconduct constituted grounds for the imposition of discipline pursuant to C.R.C.P. 251.5, and violated Colo. RPC 1.4(a)(3) and (4); 1.5(f); and 1.15(a), (b), and (c).

No. 09PDJ044. People v. Dunbar. 06/09/2009. Attorney Suspended for Sixty Days.

The PDJ approved a Conditional Admission of Misconduct submitted by the parties and suspended David John Dunbar, attorney registration number 07645, from the practice of law for sixty days. The suspension was effective June 9, 2009.

On January 7, 2009, respondent pled guilty in Westminster Municipal Court to Domestic Violence Harassment—Strike, Shove, Kick, or Touch, for conduct that occurred in his residence on July 1, 2008. He received a suspended jail sentence and was ordered to obtain a neuropsychological report; undergo substance abuse counseling, post-traumatic stress disorder counseling, forty-eight weeks of intensive domestic violence counseling, and monitored sobriety; and comply with all medication. The parties agreed that respondent had significant physical and mental health issues that contributed to his misconduct. 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).

No. 09PDJ048. People v. Figlia. 06/09/2009. Attorney Publicly Censured.

The PDJ approved a Conditional Admission of Misconduct submitted by the parties and publicly censured F. Paul Figlia, attorney registration number 26038. The discipline was effective June 9, 2009.

Respondent recklessly engaged in a physically intimate relationship with his client. Respondent had advised his client, before and after the advancement of their relationship, of her need to find new counsel and ultimately withdrew from representing her shortly after the relationship became physically intimate. His misconduct constituted grounds for the imposition of discipline pursuant to C.R.C.P. 251.5, and violated Colo. RPC 1.8(j).

No. 09PDJ053. People v. Henson. 06/15/2009. Attorney Suspension Stayed Pending Successful Completion of Probation.

The PDJ approved a Conditional Admission of Misconduct submitted by the parties and suspended Charles D. Henson, attorney registration number 19802, from the practice of law for six months, all stayed pending the successful completion of a three-year period of probation. The sanction was effective June 15, 2009.

Respondent failed to comply with a child support order over an extended period of time. Although respondent disputed the amount of his obligation, he failed to make any payments from July 2007 until January 2009, and accrued significant arrearages. His misconduct constituted grounds for the imposition of discipline pursuant to C.R.C.P. 251.5, and violated Colo. RPC 3.4(c).

No. 09PDJ050. People v. Isaac. 06/10/2009. Attorney Suspended for Three Years.

The PDJ approved a Conditional Admission of Misconduct submitted by the parties and suspended John L. Isaac, attorney registration number 11387, from the practice of law for three years. The suspension was effective June 10, 2009.

Respondent knowingly failed to act with reasonable diligence and failed to communicate with three clients who had retained him to handle each of their patent matters. He negligently failed to keep their funds safe and also engaged in the unauthorized practice of law when he filed pleadings in one of the matters following his suspension by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Respondent’s 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)(3), 1.15(a), and 5.5(a)(1).

No. 09PDJ051. People v. Muhammad. 06/10/2009. Attorney Publicly Censured.

The PDJ approved a Conditional Admission of Misconduct submitted by the parties and publicly censured Wazir Ali Muhammad (also known as Wazir Ali Muhammad Al Haqq), attorney registration number 19900. The discipline was effective June 10, 2009.

Respondent failed to competently and diligently represent a client during a criminal appeal. Respondent’s misconduct constituted grounds for the imposition of discipline pursuant to C.R.C.P. 251.5, and violated Colo. RPC 1.1 and 1.3.

No. 09PDJ062. People v. Smith. 06/18/2009. Attorney Publicly Censured.

The PDJ approved a Conditional Admission of Misconduct submitted by the parties and publicly censured Patrick Nealson Smith, attorney registration number 30162. The discipline was effective June 18, 2009.

On April 25, 2008, respondent pled guilty in Douglas County Court to driving under the influence of alcohol, and was later sentenced to supervised level II track D probation and thirty days of home detention. He thereafter failed to report his conviction to the Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel. 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) and (d).

No. 08PDJ103. People v. Zodrow. 06/10/2009. Attorney Suspended for One Year and One Day, With Conditions.

The PDJ approved a Conditional Admission of Misconduct submitted by the parties and suspended John Joseph Zodrow, attorney registration number 22706, from the practice of law for one year and one day, with conditions of reinstatement. The sanction was effective August 15, 2009.

Respondent entered into a real estate transaction wherein he had interest in real property. However, he failed to report his interest in real property as part of his assets and his monthly obligation under a related promissory note during a bankruptcy proceeding. Furthermore, respondent did not list on his Statement of Financial Affairs a malpractice civil litigation in which he was involved. He also falsely testified that he had no money in his law office, which was incorrect; his law firm had received hundreds of thousands of dollars in the last quarter of 2005. Respondent’s misconduct constituted grounds for the imposition of discipline pursuant to C.R.C.P. 251.5, and violated Colo. RPC 3.3(a)(1), 3.4(c), and 8.4(c).

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