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TCL > April 2010 Issue > Disciplinary Case Summaries

April 2010       Vol. 39, No. 4       Page  113
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

Nos. 08PDJ056 and 08PDJ058 (consolidated with Nos. 08PDJ089, 08PDJ115, and 08PDJ116). People v. Sisneros. 07/27/2009. Attorney Disbarred.

Following a sanctions hearing, Presiding Officer John E. Hayes disbarred Guadalupe J. Sisneros, attorney registration number 30663, from the practice of law. Disbarment was effective August 31, 2009.

Respondent knowingly converted funds belonging to several clients and knowingly failed to perform services in their cases. He also failed to present mitigating evidence or otherwise participate in these proceedings. The facts admitted by default proved multiple violations of Colo. RPC 1.3, 1.4(a) and (b), 1.5(b), 1.16(d), 3.4(c), 4.2, 5.5(a), and 8.4(c) and (d). Accordingly, the Presiding Officer found no adequate basis to depart from the presumptive sanction of disbarment.

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. 10PDJ019. People v. Buckingham. 02/18/2010. Attorney Suspended Thirty Days—All Stayed Pending Completion of One-Year Probation.

The PDJ approved a Conditional Admission of Misconduct submitted by the parties and suspended Patrick W. Buckingham, attorney registration number 09652, from the practice of law for thirty days. The suspension was stayed pending the successful completion of a one-year period of probation with conditions. The sanction was effective February 18, 2010.

Respondent failed to diligently represent and adequately communicate with his client in the settlement of a matter, which resulted in a delay in the receipt of the settlement funds. His misconduct constituted grounds for the imposition of discipline pursuant to C.R.C.P. 251.5, and violated Colo. RPC 1.3 and 1.4(a) and (b).

No. 10PDJ009. People v. Elsom. 01/28/2010. Attorney Suspended Two Years.

The PDJ approved a Conditional Admission of Misconduct submitted by the parties and suspended William Daniel Elsom, attorney registration number 20496, from the practice of law for two years. The suspension was effective January 28, 2010.

On July 2, 2008, the Wyoming Supreme Court suspended respondent from the practice of law for two years following a conviction for conspiracy to commit sales of unregistered securities, a felony under federal law and a violation of § 18 of the Disciplinary Code for the Wyoming State Bar. Respondent thereafter failed to report his suspension to the People. His misconduct constituted grounds for the imposition of reciprocal discipline pursuant to C.R.C.P. 251.21(a), and violated C.R.C.P. 251.20(b) and 251.21(b), and Colo. RPC 3.4(c) and 8.4(d).

No. 09PDJ058. People v. Garcia. 02/03/2010. Attorney Suspended Six Months—All But Thirty Days Stayed Pending Completion of Two-Year Probation.

The PDJ approved a Conditional Admission of Misconduct submitted by the parties and suspended Richard D. Garcia, attorney registration number 18126, from the practice of law for six months. All but thirty days of the suspension were stayed pending the successful completion of a two-year period of probation with conditions. The sanction is effective April 30, 2010.

Respondent failed to secure work authorization permits for his clients over a period of approximately two years. He also failed to adequately prepare for his clients’ cancellation of removal hearing and appeal. His misconduct constituted grounds for the imposition of discipline pursuant to C.R.C.P. 251.5, and violated Colo. RPC 1.1, 1.3, and 1.4(a) and (b).

No. 09PDJ081. People v. Henry. 02/18/2010. Attorney Suspended Sixty Days—All Stayed Pending Completion of One-Year Probation.

The PDJ approved a Conditional Admission of Misconduct submitted by the parties and suspended Thomas Eugene Henry, attorney registration number 04504, from the practice of law for sixty days. The suspension was stayed pending the successful completion of a one-year period of probation with conditions. The sanction was effective February 18, 2010.

Respondent missed multiple court hearings while representing a criminal defendant in revocation of probation proceedings. His misconduct constituted grounds for the imposition of discipline pursuant to C.R.C.P. 251.5, and violated Colo. RPC 8.4(d).

No. 10PDJ012. People v. Isaac. 02/09/2010. Attorney Suspended 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 February 9, 2010.

On July 2, 2008, respondent accepted a retainer fee of $2,500 from a client in a patent matter and deposited the funds into his COLTAF account. He then withdrew all of the money and abandoned his client before completing the work. During the relevant time period, respondent and his wife suffered serious health issues, which had a direct effect on his ability to practice law. Nevertheless, his misconduct constituted grounds for the imposition of discipline pursuant to C.R.C.P. 251.5, and violated Colo. RPC 1.15(a) and (c) and 8.4(c).

No. 10PDJ008. People v. McReynolds. 02/18/2010. Attorney Suspended Thirty Days—All Stayed Pending Completion of Two-Year Probation.

The PDJ approved a Conditional Admission of Misconduct submitted by the parties and suspended Gregg C. McReynolds, attorney registration number 11771, from the practice of law for thirty days. The suspension was stayed pending the successful completion of a two-year period of probation with conditions. The sanction was effective February 18, 2010.

Respondent failed to adequately communicate with a client about her personal injury claims from October 2008 through April 2009. In addition, on October 19, 2009, respondent pled guilty to criminal mischief, a Class 1 misdemeanor, in violation of CRS § 18-4-501. His misconduct constituted grounds for the imposition of discipline pursuant to C.R.C.P. 251.5, and violated Colo. RPC 1.4(a) and (b) and 8.4(b).

No. 07PDJ059. People v. Moorhead. 03/05/2008. Attorney Suspended Thirty Days.

The PDJ approved a Conditional Admission of Misconduct submitted by the parties and suspended David Eric Moorhead, attorney registration number 18928, from the practice of law for thirty days. The suspension is effective April 4, 2008.

Respondent represented a client charged with Felony 3 Sexual Assault—Victim Helpless. During the representation, respondent recklessly failed to represent his client in a competent manner. He failed to timely file a motion to suppress and failed to endorse a single witness for trial. Respondent thereafter failed to move for a continuance despite not having spoken to any witnesses, not endorsing any witnesses, and not having regular contact with his difficult-to-reach and emotionally distraught client. His misconduct constituted grounds for the imposition of discipline pursuant to C.R.C.P. 251.5, and violated Colo. RPC 1.1, 1.3, and 1.4.

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