|The Colorado Lawyer|
Vol. 41, No. 8 [Page 159]
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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. 11PDJ069. People v. Alexander. 05/08/2012. Attorney Disbarred.
The PDJ disbarred William A. Alexander Jr., attorney registration number 09610, effective June 21, 2012. Alexander knowingly failed to return unearned retainers to six clients. In addition, he violated his clients’ trust by neglecting to communicate with them, making numerous misrepresentations, failing to exercise diligence, neglecting to return client files, and failing to inform clients that he had been placed on disability inactive status. Alexander’s misconduct constituted grounds for the imposition of discipline pursuant to CRCP 251.5, and violated Colo. RPC 1.3, 1.4(a)(3) and (4), 1.15(a) and (b), 1.16(d), 3.4(c), and 8.4(c).
No. 10PDJ102. People v. Casias. 08/31/2011. Attorney Publicly Censured.
The Hearing Board publicly censured Daniel Richard Casias, attorney registration number 07300. After accepting an appointment to represent an indigent defendant, Casias discussed with his client the prospect of converting to private representation. Casias ultimately accepted a $5,000 retainer from the client, to whom he made statements implying that private representation would be superior to public representation.
Casias’s misconduct constituted grounds for the imposition of discipline pursuant to CRCP 251.5, and violated Colo. RPC 8.4(d). The Colorado Supreme Court affirmed the Hearing Board’s decision in an order dated May 14, 2012. The public censure took effect on June 21, 2012.
No. 12PDJ011. People v. Lowry. 05/24/2012. Attorney Reinstated.
The PDJ reinstated Walter David Lowry, attorney registration number 20895, to the practice of law, effective May 24, 2012. No opinion was issued.
No. 11PDJ097. People v. Methner. 06/06/2012. Attorney Reinstated.
The PDJ reinstated Brian G. Methner, attorney registration number 33975, to the practice of law, effective June 18, 2012. No opinion was issued.
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. 10PDJ076. People v. Coleman. 06/05/2012. Attorney Suspended.
The PDJ approved a Conditional Admission of Misconduct submitted by the parties and suspended Joseph C. Coleman, attorney registration number 06856, for a period of forty-five days. The suspension was effective August 1, 2012.
Coleman and his firm obtained an interest in properties in which his clients also had an interest. At least one of the properties was the subject of ongoing litigation in which Coleman was representing the clients. Coleman and his clients formed a partnership agreement with respect to one of the properties, but Coleman did not provide timely written disclosure of the terms of the partnership. In another matter, Coleman did not cease his representation of a limited liability company (LLC) with which he had a conflict of interest, nor did he disclose the conflicts and potential conflicts inherent in his representation of the LLC. His misconduct constituted grounds for the imposition of discipline pursuant to CRCP 251.5, and violated Colo. RPC 1.7 and 1.8(a) and (j).
No. 12PDJ026. People v. Kline. 06/15/2012. Attorney Suspended.
The PDJ approved a Conditional Admission of Misconduct submitted by the parties and suspended Charles Eugene Kline, attorney registration number 14639, for three years, effective June 15, 2012. In the course of representing thirteen clients, Kline failed to keep client funds separate from his own property. By using $20,789.50 of client funds for his personal purposes without permission from his clients to do so, Kline converted such funds. His misconduct constituted grounds for the imposition of discipline pursuant to CRCP 251.5, and violated Colo. RPC 1.15(a) and 8.4(c).
No. 12PDJ008. People v. Easley. 06/13/2012. Attorney Suspended.
The PDJ approved a Conditional Admission of Misconduct submitted by the parties and suspended Jeffrey D. Easley, attorney registration number 16346, for one year and one day, forty-five days served, and one year of probation with conditions. The suspension was effective July 14, 2012.
Easley represented a client starting in 2006 through May 2008. In approximately December 2007, Easley engaged in a close personal relationship with the client, which included dating and physical contact. His misconduct constituted grounds for the imposition of discipline pursuant to CRCP 251.5, and violated Colo. RPC 1.7(b).
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