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TCL > February 2010 Issue > Disciplinary Case Summaries

The Colorado Lawyer
February 2010
Vol. 39, No. 2 [Page  97]

© 2010 The Colorado Lawyer and Colorado Bar Association. All Rights Reserved.

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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.®


Summary of Decision Issued by the PDJ

No. 07PDJ081. People v. Beecher. 02/03/2009. Attorney Suspended One Year and One Day—All But Ninety Days Stayed Pending Completion of Two-Year Probation With Conditions.

Following a hearing pursuant to C.R.C.P. 251.18, a Hearing Board suspended Norman B. Beecher, attorney registration number 12722, from the practice of law for one year and one day. All but ninety days of the suspension were stayed pending the successful completion of a two-year period of probation with conditions.

The Colorado Supreme Court affirmed the Hearing Board’s sanction on November 2, 2009. The ninety-day suspension commenced on December 3, 2009.

Respondent was disqualified from representing a client after he carried on an intimate relationship with her. He also conducted depositions of witnesses that served no substantial legal purpose and created unnecessary animus among the parties. Respondent’s misconduct constituted grounds for the imposition of discipline pursuant to C.R.C.P. 251.5, and violated Colo. RPC 4.4, 1.7(b), and 8.4(d). p. 99.


 Summaries of Decisions Regarding
Conditional Admission 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. 09PDJ106. People v. Schaden. 12/16/2009. Attorney Suspended Sixty Days—Reinstatement Proceeding Pursuant to C.R.C.P. 251.29(c)–(e) Required.

The PDJ approved a Conditional Admission of Misconduct submitted by the parties and suspended Kathleen Mary Schaden, attorney registration number 17371, from the practice of law for sixty days, with the requirement of reinstatement proceedings pursuant to C.R.C.P. 251.29(c)(e). The suspension was effective December 16, 2009.

On December 24, 2008, respondent drank three margaritas at a luncheon and then drove home while intoxicated (.181 breath alcohol content). She hit a signpost along the way. She pled guilty on March 12, 2009 to driving while ability impaired. 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. 09PDJ084. People v. Smith. 12/04/2009. Attorney Suspended 120 Days.

The PDJ approved a Conditional Admission of Misconduct submitted by the parties and suspended Patrick Nealson Smith, attorney registration number 30162, from the practice of law for 120 days. The suspension was effective December 4, 2009.

Respondent knowingly failed to competently represent his client throughout a criminal proceeding, which resulted in his client not receiving a fair trial. He later testified while intoxicated during a Rule 35(c) hearing on the issue of his ineffective assistance of counsel. 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 8.4(d).

No. 09PDJ101. People v. Wilson. 12/01/2009. Attorney Suspended One Year and One Day—All But Ninety Days Stayed Pending Completion of Two-Year Probation With Conditions.

The PDJ approved a Conditional Admission of Misconduct submitted by the parties and suspended Jonathon O. Wilson, attorney registration number 35125, from the practice of law for one year and one day. All but ninety days of the suspension were stayed pending the successful completion of a two-year period of probation with conditions. The suspension was effective January 4, 2010.

Respondent knowingly neglected a client matter, failed to keep his client reasonably informed about the status of the matter, made a misrepresentation to his client, and failed to attend a court hearing. His conduct resulted in the dismissal of his client’s claims with prejudice, the inability of his client to present evidence on the defendants’ counterclaims, and the inability of his client to appeal the judgment. 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), 3.4(c), and 8.4(c).

© 2010 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=2010.


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