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TCL > November 2012 Issue > Disciplinary Case Summaries

The Colorado Lawyer
November 2012
Vol. 41, No. 11 [Page  153]

© 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.®


Summary of Decision Issued by the PDJ

No. 11PDJ085, consolidated with No. 12PDJ028. People v. Tolentino. 08/16/2012. Attorney Disbarred.

The PDJ disbarred Gregory S. Tolentino, attorney registration number 40913. Disbarment was effective September 20, 2012.

Tolentino knowingly abandoned four clients and converted funds in three matters. In addition, he did not exercise reasonable diligence and promptness in representing clients, he neglected to communicate the basis or rate of his fee in writing, he failed to appropriately communicate with clients, and he did not cooperate in the disciplinary proceedings. His 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); 1.5(b); 1.15(a) through (c); 1.16(d); 8.1(b); and 8.4(c).

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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. 12PDJ066. People v. Anderson. 08/28/2012. Attorney Suspended.

The PDJ suspended Dawn Anderson, attorney registration number 17394, from the practice of law for sixty days, with the requirement of reinstatement proceedings pursuant to CRCP 251.29(c). The suspension was stayed pending the successful completion of a three-year period of probation, subject to conditions. The sanction was effective August 28, 2012.

Anderson pleaded guilty to driving while ability impaired in 2007; entered a guilty plea in 2008 to harassment (domestic violence), a class 3 misdemeanor; and pleaded guilty in 2009 to harassment (strike, shove, kick), a class 3 misdemeanor. She has completed the terms and conditions of probation in those cases and has maintained sobriety since February 2010. Her misconduct constituted grounds for the imposition of discipline pursuant to CRCP 251.5, and violated Colo. RPC 8.4(b).

No. 12PDJ069. People v. Athanasiou. 09/20/2012. Attorney Suspended.

The PDJ suspended Nicholas J. Athanasiou, attorney registration number 26771, from the practice of law for one year and one day. The suspension was effective October 21, 2012.

Athanasiou pleaded guilty to one count of possession of a controlled substance on July 25, 2012. He was sentenced to four years of supervised felony probation with conditions of substance abuse evaluation and treatment and psychiatric treatment. These charges stemmed from his acceptance of cocaine on several occasions from his client as payment for his legal fees. His misconduct constituted grounds for the imposition of discipline pursuant to CRCP 251.5, and violated Colo. RPC 1.7(a)(2); 1.8(a); and 8.4(d) and (h).

No. 12PDJ052. People v. Cain. 09/06/2012. Attorney Disbarred.

The PDJ approved a Conditional Admission of Misconduct submitted by the parties and disbarred Robert C. Cain, attorney registration number 33758. Cain knowingly converted more than $55,000 of client funds, and he knowingly continued to practice law after his law license had been suspended. His misconduct constituted grounds for the imposition of discipline pursuant to CRCP 251.5, and violated Colo. RPC 1.4(a)(3) and (5); 1.4(b); 1.15(a) and (b); 3.3(a)(1); 3.4(c); 5.5; and 8.4(c) .

No. 12PDJ015. People v. Cole. 08/30/2012. Attorney Privately Admonished.

The PDJ imposed a private admonition on Derek W. Cole, attorney registration number 14761. The sanction was effective August 30, 2012. Pursuant to CRCP 251.6(d) and 251.31(i), the fact of this private admonition is public information but the private admonition itself may not be published or otherwise disclosed.

No. 12PDJ051. People v. Flowers. 09/12/2012. Attorney Suspended. [Revised PDJ summary rec'd 11-05-2012]

The PDJ suspended Carol Ann Flowers, attorney registration number 18663, from the practice of law for ninety days. The entire suspension was stayed pending the successful completion of a two-year period of probation, subject to conditions. The suspension was effective September 12, 2012.

Flowers overbilled the Office of the Child Representative (OCR), for whom she has contracted as a guardian ad litem, by more than $30,000 in fiscal year 2011. She double-billed OCR and also billed for travel time to court, in violation of a new OCR policy. Flowers has since repaid the OCR. Her misconduct constituted grounds for the imposition of discipline pursuant to CRCP 251.5, and violated Colo. RPC 1.5(a) and 8.4(c).

No. 12PDJ031. People v. Jones. 08/21/2012. Attorney Suspended.

The PDJ suspended Robert D. Jones, attorney registration number 25393, from the practice of law for one year and one day. All but six months of the suspension were stayed pending the successful completion of a two-year period of probation, subject to conditions. The sanction was effective August 21, 2012.

Jones failed to communicate with three clients and ultimately abandoned their cases. In addition, a court held Jones in contempt for his failure to follow court orders in his divorce proceeding. Jones failed to appear in court for sentencing on the contempt charge. Jones also failed to respond to demands for information during the investigation of this matter. Jones’s misconduct constituted grounds for the imposition of discipline pursuant to CRCP 251.5, and violated Colo. RPC 1.3; 1.4(a) and (b); 1.16(d); 3.4(c); and 8.1(b).

No. 12PDJ034. People v. McCarthy. 08/29/2012. Attorney Suspended.

The PDJ suspended Sean Michael McCarthy, attorney registration number 20499, from the practice of law for three years. The suspension was effective October 3, 2012.

McCarthy failed to exercise the requisite diligence in representing two clients and neglected to communicate with those clients. In addition, he assumed possession of client funds without having earned the funds, and then failed to complete the work his clients had hired him to perform. In doing so, he recklessly breached his duties of honesty and integrity. McCarthy’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), (b), (d), and (j); 1.16(d); and 8.4(c).

No. 12PDJ068. People v. Shepherd. 09/20/2012. Attorney Suspended.

The PDJ suspended Willie Earl Shepherd, attorney registration number 22679, from the practice of law for ninety days. The entire suspension was stayed pending the successful completion of a three-year period of probation, subject to conditions. These conditions include monitored sobriety, continued attendance at Alcoholics Anonymous or other professional support meetings, and a continued course of prescribed medications. The sanction was effective October 21, 2012.

Shepherd pleaded guilty in Denver County Court to a class 2 misdemeanor of attempted third-degree assault, an act of domestic violence. The charges stemmed from an incident in which he physically assaulted his wife while intoxicated and in the presence of their minor child. His misconduct constituted grounds for the imposition of discipline pursuant to CRCP 251.5, and violated Colo. RPC 8.4(b).

© 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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