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TCL > March 2012 Issue > Disciplinary Case Summaries

The Colorado Lawyer
March 2012
Vol. 41, No. 3 [Page  119]

© 2012 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.®


Summaries of Decisions Issued by the PDJ

No. 08PDJ090. People v. Foster. 12/6/2011. Attorney Publicly Censured.

On remand, a hearing board publicly censured Steven James Foster, attorney registration number 20400. The sanction occurred January 6, 2012.

On appeal, the Colorado Supreme Court reversed in part the hearing board’s original findings of facts and rule violations but affirmed the hearing board’s findings regarding Foster’s reassertion of the bias issue in his sixth appeal, in violation of Colo. RPC 3.1 and 8.4(d). The Court then remanded the matter to the hearing board to determine the appropriate sanction for Foster’s violations of Colo. RPC 3.1 and 8.4(d), and the hearing board concluded that public censure was warranted.

No. 10PDJ109. People v. McNamara. 07/15/2011. Attorney Suspended.

The hearing board suspended John A. McNamara, attorney registration number 19382, for one year and one day. All but three months of the suspension were stayed, with the requirement that McNamara then seek reinstatement and successfully complete a one-year period of probation with conditions. The suspension was effective December 20, 2011.

McNamara spent his client’s retainer before earning it and failed to maintain necessary accounting records in one matter. He also neglected his child support obligations. 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 (j) and 3.4(c).

No. 10PDJ132. People v. Zodrow. 12/15/2011. Attorney Disbarred.

Following a sanctions hearing, the PDJ disbarred John Joseph Zodrow, attorney registration number 22706. Disbarment was effective January 15, 2012.

Zodrow practiced law while suspended, failed to notify his clients and opposing counsel of his suspension, and made misrepresentations in his C.R.C.P. 251.28 affidavit concerning his efforts to wind down his practice. 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)(3), 3.4(c), 5.5, and 8.4(c).


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. 12PDJ003. People v. Hartzog. 01/18/2012. Attorney Publicly Censured.

The PDJ approved a Conditional Admission of Misconduct submitted by the parties and publicly censured Steven J. Hartzog, attorney registration number 18829. The sanction was effective January 18, 2012.

Hartzog resides in Texas, is on inactive status with the Colorado Supreme Court, and does not currently practice law in Colorado. Hartzog was convicted in Texas of attempted possession of a controlled substance, a Class A misdemeanor. His misconduct constituted grounds for the imposition of discipline pursuant to C.R.C.P. 251.5, and violated Colo. RPC 8.4(b) and C.R.C.P. 251.5(h).

No. 11PDJ062. People v. McCullough. 01/19/2012. Attorney Suspended.

The PDJ approved a Conditional Admission of Misconduct submitted by the parties and suspended Michael A. McCullough, attorney registration number 27160, from the practice of law for nine months. The entire suspension was stayed pending the successful completion of a two-year period of probation, with conditions. The suspension was effective January 19, 2012.

In two client matters, McCullough charged nonrefundable retainers, failed to keep his clients’ retainers separate from his own property, failed to provide an accounting of his fees, and failed to promptly surrender to his clients their retainers. His misconduct constituted grounds for the imposition of discipline pursuant to C.R.C.P. 251.5, and violated Colo. RPC 1.5(a) and (g), 1.15(b) and (c), and 1.16(d).

No. 11PDJ062. People v. Terner. 01/19/2012. Attorney Suspended.

The PDJ approved a Conditional Admission of Misconduct submitted by the parties and suspended David Israel George Terner, attorney registration number 31261, from the practice of law for thirty days. The entire suspension was stayed pending the successful completion of a two-year period of probation, with conditions. The suspension was effective January 19, 2012.

Terner took possession of his client’s funds without accounting for them and without providing services of value to his client. Terner also disclosed information about his representation of two clients without their express consent. 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 (b) and 1.6.

© 2012 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=2012.


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