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TCL > October 2010 Issue > Disciplinary Case Summaries

October 2010       Vol. 39, No. 10       Page  95
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. 08PDJ059. People v. Maynard. 06/30/2009. Attorney Suspended One Year.

Following a hearing pursuant to C.R.C.P. 251.18, a hearing board suspended Alison Maynard, attorney registration number 16561, from the practice of law for one year. The suspension was effective July 31, 2009.

Respondent’s clients retained her after losing a lawsuit that had become a final judgment. Respondent repetitively challenged the judgment collaterally in the state, federal, and water courts; filed a frivolous lawsuit and motions; and ignored a judge’s order to stop her collateral attacks. Her misconduct constituted grounds for the imposition of discipline pursuant to C.R.C.P. 251.5, and violated Colo. RPC 1.1, 3.1, 3.2, 3.4(c), 3.5(c), and 8.4(d).

No. 09PDJ080. People v. Swarts. 06/30/2010. Attorney Suspended Three Months—Reinstatement Conditioned on C.R.C.P. 251.29(c) Proceedings.

Following a sanctions hearing, the PDJ suspended Kem W. Swarts, attorney registration number 29242, from the practice of law for three months, with the condition of reinstatement proceedings pursuant to C.R.C.P. 251.29(c). The suspension was effective March 6, 2010.

Respondent practiced law after he had been administratively suspended by the Colorado Supreme Court for failing to comply with his CLE and attorney registration fee requirements. He also failed to present mitigating evidence or otherwise participate in these proceedings. His misconduct, admitted by default, constituted grounds for the imposition of discipline pursuant to C.R.C.P. 251.5, and violated Colo. RPC 3.4(c) and 5.5(a), as well as C.R.C.P. 251.5(d) and 251.10.


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. 10PDJ081. People v. Al-Haqq. 07/30/2010. Attorney Suspended Ninety Days.

The PDJ approved a Conditional Admission of Misconduct submitted by the parties and suspended Wazir-Ali Muhammad Al-Haqq, attorney registration number 19900, from the practice of law for ninety days. The suspension was effective August 30, 2010.

In one client matter, respondent knowingly failed to competently represent his client in a federal lawsuit and the court ultimately granted a motion for sanctions and dismissal of the action. In a second client matter, respondent failed to meet court deadlines for a sentencing hearing. His misconduct constituted grounds for the imposition of discipline pursuant to C.R.C.P. 251.5, and violated Colo. RPC 1.1, 1.16(a)(1), 3.4(c), and 8.4(d).

Nos. 10PDJ010 & 10PDJ072. People v. Fried. 07/26/2010. Attorney Suspended Three Years.

The PDJ approved a Conditional Admission of Misconduct submitted by the parties and suspended David M. Fried, attorney registration number 19238, from the practice of law for three years. The suspension was effective August 26, 2010.

Respondent negligently failed to diligently represent multiple clients and failed to adequately communicate with them. He also negligently failed to keep appropriate trust account records and documents. 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), 1.15(b), 1.15(d)(2), 1.15(i)(3), 1.15(i)(6), 1.15(j)(1), 1.15(j)(2), and 1.16(d).

No. 10PDJ087. People v. Green. 08/17/2010. Attorney Suspended Thirty Days—All Stayed Pending Two-Year Probation.

The PDJ approved a Conditional Admission of Misconduct submitted by the parties and suspended Barbara J. Green, attorney registration number 15022, 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 August 17, 2010.

Respondent was charged with driving while ability impaired following a traffic stop on March 11, 2009. On July 13, 2009, respondent pled guilty to the charge of driving under the influence. On September 16, 2009, she was sentenced to in-home detention and electronic monitoring for forty days, followed by twelve months of supervised probation with conditions, including monitored sobriety. Her misconduct constituted grounds for the imposition of discipline pursuant to C.R.C.P. 251.5, and violated Colo. RPC 8.4(b).

No. 10PDJ049. People v. Pedersen. 08/17/2010. Attorney Suspended Eighteen Months.

The PDJ approved a Conditional Admission of Misconduct submitted by the parties and suspended Dale Walter Pedersen, attorney registration number 06597, from the practice of law for eighteen months. The suspension was effective August 17, 2010.

Respondent knowingly failed to file his client’s motor vehicle accident lawsuit prior to the statute of limitations deadline and then repeatedly misrepresented the status of her case. A number of these communications took place after respondent had been suspended from the practice of law. Respondent then led his client to believe he was negotiating a settlement on her behalf when in reality the "settlement funds" were going to be individually paid by respondent. 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), and 8.4(c).

No. 10PDJ082. People v. Tester. 08/02/2010. Attorney Suspended One Year and One Day.

The PDJ approved a Conditional Admission of Misconduct submitted by the parties and suspended Cynthia C. Tester, attorney registration number 23196, from the practice of law for one year and one day. The suspension was effective August 2, 2010.

Respondent failed to diligently represent several clients and failed to charge them a reasonable fee for her legal services. She also allowed non-lawyers to provide legal services and failed to timely withdraw from client matters, which resulted in actual or potential injury to the clients. Her 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)(2), 1.4(a)(3), 1.5(a), 1.15(j), 1.16(a), 1.16(d), 3.3(a)(3), 3.4(c), 5.3(a)(b), 5.5, and 8.4(c).

No. 10PDJ016. People v. Webster. 08/02/2010. Attorney Suspended Six Months—All But Ninety Days Stayed Pending Two-Year Probation.

The PDJ approved a Conditional Admission of Misconduct submitted by the parties and suspended Michael R. Webster, attorney registration number 06892, from the practice of law for six months. All but ninety days of the suspension was stayed pending the successful completion of a two-year probation. The sanction was effective September 2, 2010.

Respondent agreed to represent a client in a real estate matter and then knowingly failed to provide her with diligent representation and to adequately communicate with her. He also failed to respond to his client’s request to withdraw from the matter. The court entered a default judgment against the client but later set it aside after a new attorney entered his appearance. 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), 1.16(a), and 8.4(d).

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