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TCL > June 2010 Issue > Disciplinary Case Summaries

The Colorado Lawyer
June 2010
Vol. 39, No. 6 [Page  113]

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From the Courts

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 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. 10PDJ040. People v. Cornejo. 04/08/2010. Attorney Publicly Censured.

The PDJ approved a Conditional Admission of Misconduct submitted by the parties and publicly censured Derrick Duane Cornejo, attorney registration number 29438. The sanction was effective April 8, 2010.

On January 18, 2007, respondent pled guilty to an amended charge of driving while ability impaired (DWAI), first offense, in Arapahoe County Court. On January 31, 2007, he pled guilty to DWAI, second offense, in Douglas County Court. Respondent failed to report either conviction to the People. However, he successfully completed his probation and timely complied with all court orders for his DWAI convictions. His misconduct constituted grounds for the imposition of discipline pursuant to C.R.C.P. 251.5, and violated Colo. RPC 8.4(b).

No. 10PDJ039. People v. Crossman. 04/08/2010. Attorney Suspended Sixty Days—All Stayed Pending Completion of Three-Year Probation.

The PDJ approved a Conditional Admission of Misconduct submitted by the parties and suspended William V. Crossman, attorney registration number 01702, from the practice of law for six months. The suspension was stayed pending the successful completion of a three-year period of probation with conditions. The sanction was effective May 10, 2010.

Respondent failed to diligently represent his client in a dissolution of marriage proceeding when he failed to timely move to modify spousal maintenance and failed to catch errors in the proposed Permanent Orders. He also failed to adequately communicate with his client and failed to maintain adequate accounting records. 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, and 1.15(g).

No. 10PDJ042. People v. Leal. 04/19/2010. Attorney Publicly Censured.

The PDJ approved a Conditional Admission of Misconduct submitted by the parties and publicly censured Carlos Leal, attorney registration number 21937. The sanction was effective April 19, 2010.

On February 2, 2009, respondent pled guilty to driving under the influence (>.20) and was sentenced to probation with conditions. He since has abstained from the use of alcohol and has complied with all requirements of his probation. His misconduct constituted grounds for the imposition of discipline pursuant to C.R.C.P. 251.5, and violated Colo. RPC 8.4(b).

No. 09PDJ063. People v. McCormick. 03/26/2010. Attorney Publicly Censured.

The PDJ approved a Conditional Admission of Misconduct submitted by the parties and publicly censured Robert Stuart McCormick, attorney registration number 12870. The sanction was effective March 26, 2010.

Respondent negligently failed to provide diligent representation and failed to reasonably communicate with his clients in their petition for grandparent visitation rights, which resulted in the dismissal of the petition and an award of attorney fees. 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, 1.15(b), and 1.16(d).

No. 10PDJ036. People v. Richardson. 04/01/2010. Attorney Suspended Six Months—All Stayed Pending Completion of Two-Year Probation.

The PDJ approved a Conditional Admission of Misconduct submitted by the parties and suspended Russell Wayne Richardson, attorney registration number 06232, from the practice of law for six months. The suspension was stayed pending the successful completion of a two-year period of probation with conditions. The sanction was effective April 1, 2010.

On December 4, 2009, respondent pled guilty to possession of a controlled substance, a Class 4 felony, in violation of CRS § 18-18-405
(1)(2)(A)(I)(A). He received a two-year deferred judgment with supervised probation. His misconduct constituted grounds for the imposition of discipline pursuant to C.R.C.P. 251.5, and violated Colo. RPC 8.4(b).

No. 10PDJ034. People v. Riley. 03/26/2010. Attorney Suspended Ninety Days—All Stayed Pending Completion of One-Year Probation.

The PDJ approved a Conditional Admission of Misconduct submitted by the parties and suspended Julia Davidson Riley, attorney registration number 11462, from the practice of law for ninety days. The suspension was stayed pending the successful completion of a one-year period of probation with conditions. The sanction was effective March 26, 2010.

Respondent represented multiple clients in a probate matter, provided them with incompetent advice, and failed to advise them of a possible conflict of interest. In a second matter, she represented one client who was directly adverse to another client. Her misconduct constituted grounds for the imposition of discipline pursuant to C.R.C.P. 251.5, and violated Colo. RPC 1.1 and 1.7(a)(1) and (b).

No. 10PDJ038. People v. Seserman. 04/08/2010. Attorney Suspended Three Months—All Stayed Pending Completion of One-Year Probation.

The PDJ approved a Conditional Admission of Misconduct submitted by the parties and suspended David B. Seserman, attorney registration number 16197, from the practice of law for three months. The suspension was stayed pending the successful completion of a one-year period of probation with conditions. The sanction was effective April 8, 2010.

Respondent initiated and conducted significant work on two contingent fee cases he began with his former law firm and later brought to his new law firm. Thereafter, he failed to disclose the availability of funds for distribution to the partners of his new law firm and allowed the funds to remain in the hands of third parties without disclosure to or consent from the partners of his new law firm. 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 8.4(c).

10PDJ033. People v. Shepherd. 03/26/2010. Attorney Publicly Censured.

The PDJ approved a Conditional Admission of Misconduct submitted by the parties and publicly censured Willie Earl Shepherd, attorney registration number 22679. The sanction was effective March 26, 2010.

On multiple occasions, respondent made false and/or misleading statements regarding his law firm’s eligibility for inclusion on the E.I. Du Pont de Nemours and Company’s Diverse Legal Supplier Program. He also misrepresented his biography in an e-mail to a national transition team member for the purpose of demonstrating his transition team experience. His misconduct constituted grounds for the imposition of discipline pursuant to C.R.C.P. 251.5, and violated Colo. RPC 7.1(a) and 8.4(c).

No. 10PDJ026. People v. Zink. 03/26/2010. Attorney Disbarred.

The PDJ approved a Conditional Admission of Misconduct submitted by the parties and disbarred James M. Zink, attorney registration number 13044, from the practice of law. Disbarment was effective March 26, 2010.

On December 23, 2009, respondent pled guilty to possession with the intent to distribute methamphetamine, a schedule II controlled substance, a Class 3 felony, in violation of CRS § 18-18-405(1) and (2)(a)(I)(A). He also was convicted of resisting arrest, obstructing a police officer, and driving while ability impaired in 2007, which he failed to report to the People. His 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 3.4(c) and 8.4(b).

© 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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