|The Colorado Lawyer|
Vol. 41, No. 5 [Page 109]
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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. 10PDJ137, consolidated with No. 11PDJ006. People v. Greene. 10/03/2011. Attorney Suspended.
The Hearing Board suspended David J. Greene, attorney registration number 08994, from the practice of law for nine months, with three months served and six months stayed pending the successful completion of a two-year probationary period with conditions. The suspension was effective February 28, 2012.
Over the course of several representations, Greene acted without the requisite levels of diligence and competence. He failed to safeguard client funds, inadequately communicated with clients, and unreasonably delayed the return of a client’s file. Greene’s misconduct constituted grounds for the imposition of discipline pursuant to C.R.C.P. 251.5, and violated Colo. RPC 1.1, 1.3, 1.4(a)(3) and (4), 1.15(i)(3), and 1.16(d).
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. 11PDJ022. People v. Galvin. 03/13/2012. Attorney Suspended.
The PDJ approved a Conditional Admission of Misconduct submitted by the parties and suspended Karen L. Galvin, attorney registration number 09710, from the practice of law for sixty days. The suspension was effective April 13, 2012.
Galvin failed to communicate with two of her clients the basis of her fees and expenses by failing to provide them with written fee agreements. As a result, Galvin overcharged one of her clients on several occasions. Numerous times, Galvin comingled her personal funds with her clients’ money by depositing earned funds into her COLTAF account and making cash withdrawals.
Galvin admitted that she did not keep client ledgers, did not have an operating account, and treated her COLTAF account as her personal savings account. Her misconduct constituted grounds for the imposition of discipline pursuant to C.R.C.P. 251.5, and violated Colo. RPC 1.4(a)(3); 1.5(b); 1.15(a), (d)(1) and (2), (i)(3), and (j); and 1.16(d).
No. 11PDJ083. People v. Shaw. 03/05/2012. Attorney Suspended.
The PDJ approved a Conditional Admission of Misconduct submitted by the parties and suspended Jeffrey Shaw, attorney registration number 28827, from the practice of law for one year and one day. The suspension was effective April 5, 2012.
Shaw filed two civil complaints on behalf of a client. In the first case, Shaw failed to comply with discovery obligations and failed to respond to two motions to dismiss. The court dismissed the case with prejudice for failure to prosecute, and entered judgment against Shaw and his client, including attorney fees and costs. In the second matter, the court dismissed the case, finding that Shaw and his client had filed claims that lacked substantial justification, and awarded sizeable attorney fees against Shaw and his client. Throughout the pendency of these cases, Shaw continually assured his client that the cases were proceeding and did not inform his client of his failure to prosecute the civil matters until after the cases were dismissed.
In a third matter, involving the same client, Shaw failed to communicate settlement offers. He also informed his client that he had filed a complaint, when he had not, thereby causing the statute of limitations to run on the claim. His misconduct constituted grounds for the imposition of discipline pursuant to C.R.C.P. 251.5, and violated Colo. RPC 1.3 and 8.4(c).
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