|The Colorado Lawyer|
Vol. 42, No. 6 [Page 113]
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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. 12PDJ044. People v. Bernhardt. 03/21/2013. Attorney Reinstated.
Pursuant to CRCP 251.29(b), the PDJ reinstated Robert Leroy Bernhardt, attorney registration number 28915, to the practice of law. Reinstatement was effective April 9, 2013. No opinion was issued.
No. 12PDJ055. People v. Solomon. 02/22/2013. Attorney Disbarred.
The PDJ disbarred David Albert Solomon, attorney registration number 03176. Disbarment was effective March 29, 2013.
Solomon was retained by a bank to handle collection matters. He negotiated settlements without his client’s consent and converted client funds by ignoring his obligation to hold in trust those settlement payments. Solomon also failed to keep funds belonging to his client separate from his own, failed to promptly deliver to his client property it was entitled to receive, failed to provide an accounting regarding his own interests in the property, and failed to withdraw from the representation. His misconduct constituted grounds for the imposition of discipline pursuant to CRCP 251.5, and violated Colo. RPC 1.2(a); 1.15(a), (b), and (c); 1.16(a)(3); 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. 13PDJ027. People v. Becnel III. 03/22/2013. Attorney Suspended.
The PDJ approved a conditional admission of misconduct submitted by the parties and suspended Daniel Elmore Becnel III, attorney registration number 39678, from the practice of law for nine months. The suspension was effective March 22, 2013.
On November 2, 2013, Becnel was publicly admonished and suspended for nine months by the PDJ of the Supreme Court of Louisiana for violating Rule 1.7 of the Louisiana Rules of Professional Conduct. Becnel violated that rule by engaging in a sexual relationship with a client. Becnel’s misconduct constituted grounds for the imposition of reciprocal discipline pursuant to CRCP 251.5 and 251.21(a).
No. 12PDJ062. People v. McReynolds. 04/03/2013. Attorney Disbarred.
The PDJ approved a conditional admission of misconduct submitted by the parties and disbarred Gregg C. McReynolds, attorney registration number 11771. Disbarment was effective April 3, 2013.
In one client matter, McReynolds knowingly converted settlement funds he received on behalf of his client for her personal injury case. He eventually refunded these funds to his client. In another matter, McReynolds represented a client in the settlement of a dispute with her former employer. McReynolds settled the matter on his client’s behalf but failed to inform her that he had received her settlement funds. Instead, he knowingly converted the settlement funds and failed to respond to his client’s attempts to communicate with him about the status of her case. His misconduct constituted grounds for the imposition of discipline pursuant to CRCP 251.5, and violated Colo. RPC 1.4(a)(3) and (4); 1.15(a); and 8.4(c).
No. 12PDJ086. People v. Nottingham. 03/10/2013. Attorney Suspended.
The PDJ approved a conditional admission of misconduct submitted by the parties and suspended Dana Kirk Nottingham, attorney registration number 31944, for six months, all stayed on the successful completion of a two-year period of probation with conditions. The suspension was effective April 3, 2013.
In two client matters, Nottingham delayed his clients’ immigration proceedings by failing to communicate with them and failing to diligently complete the legal work he was hired to do. Nottingham also mishandled their retainers by failing to properly safeguard those funds. In another client matter, Nottingham delayed the return of a client’s file to successor counsel. His misconduct constituted grounds for the imposition of discipline pursuant to CRCP 251.5, and violated Colo. RPC 1.3; 1.4(a) and (b); 1.15(a), (b), and (c); and 1.16(d).
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