The Colorado Lawyer
Vol. 42, No. 7 [Page 151]
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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. 11PDJ081. People v. Eberle. 08/29/2012. Attorney Suspended.
The PDJ suspended Robert V. Eberle, attorney registration number 10467, for one year and one day. The suspension was effective August 29, 2012. The PDJ’s ruling did not result in an opinion.
Eberle violated Mass. R. Prof. C. 1.15(b)(2) and 8.4(h) by depositing and maintaining personal funds in his trust account; Mass R. Prof. C. 1.15(f) by failing to maintain complete records of his receipt, maintenance, and disposition of trust property; Mass. R. Prof. C. 8.1(a)–(b) and 8.4(c)–(d) by fabricating a bill to a client in an effort to mislead Massachusetts Office of Bar Counsel; and Mass. R. Prof. C. 8.4(b), (c), and (h) by engaging in criminal conduct (specifically, shoplifting, larceny, resisting arrest, and driving under the influence). His failure to report his shoplifting and larceny convictions violated Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Rule 4:01, § 12(8). On April 20, 2011, the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts suspended Eberle from the practice of law in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts for one year and one day. In an order granting summary judgment, the PDJ concluded that Eberle’s misconduct constituted grounds for the imposition of reciprocal discipline in Colorado pursuant to CRCP 251.21(e).
No. 12PDJ076. People v. Fiore. 03/15/2013. Attorney Disbarred. The PDJ disbarred David Anthony Fiore, attorney registration number 39729. The disbarment was effective April 19, 2013.
Fiore failed to act with reasonable diligence and promptness in representing one client in her Chapter 7 bankruptcy matter. He neglected to file her certificate of debtor education with the bankruptcy court. He did not keep her informed about the status of her case when she attempted to contact him. Fiore’s conduct caused the client’s bankruptcy case to be closed, and her debt was not discharged.
In a second matter involving another client, Fiore again failed to keep his client informed about her case. In addition, Fiore did not return the client’s property when his representation was terminated, and he retained her payment without having earned the fees. His misconduct constituted grounds for the imposition of discipline pursuant to CRCP 251.5, and violated Colo. RPC 1.3, 1.4(a)(3), 1.16(d), and 8.4(c). p.153.
No. 13PDJ026. People v. Shaw. 05/14/2013. Attorney Reinstated.
Pursuant to CRCP 251.29(j), the PDJ reinstated Jeffrey C. Shaw, attorney registration number 28827, to the practice of law. Reinstatement was effective May 14, 2013. 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. 13PDJ008. People v. Goff. 05/09/2013. Attorney Suspended.
The PDJ approved a conditional admission of misconduct submitted by the parties and suspended Richard James Goff, attorney registration number 19348, from the practice of law for one year and one day, all stayed pending the successful completion of a three-year period of probation with conditions. The suspension was effective May 9, 2013.
Goff was hired to represent a client to facilitate a divorce and a determination of the client’s parental rights. Goff failed to advise his client that he could appeal the magistrate’s order for a bench warrant. As a result, his client was arrested.
Goff also failed to respond to pending motions in the divorce case, including a verified motion for entry of judgment and a motion for compound interest on child-support arrearage. Goff then failed to forward his client a motion filed by opposing counsel to modify his parenting time. The magistrate ordered the parties to set up a settlement conference and to file mandatory financial disclosures. Goff did not comply with this order. Thereafter, Goff failed to send his client pleadings and failed to respond to other pending motions in both matters. A judgment was entered against Goff’s client for $18,382.77, and Goff did not file a timely request for judicial review of this judgment.
Goff then withdrew from the representation and filed a motion for attorney fees against his client. He made misrepresentations to the court about the total amount of his fees and whether the fees accrued in the divorce case or in the modification of parenting time case. Goff’s misconduct constituted grounds for the imposition of discipline pursuant to CRCP 251.5, and violated Colo. RPC 1.1, 1.3, and 1.4(a)(3) and (4).
No. 13PDJ004. People v. Sandoval. 05/17/2013. Attorney Suspended.
The PDJ approved an amended conditional admission of misconduct submitted by the parties and suspended Keith Emory Sandoval, attorney registration number 40679, from the practice of law for one year and one day, with sixty days served and ten months and one day stayed pending the successful completion of a two-year period of probation with conditions. The suspension was effective June 21, 2013.
Sandoval took a retainer from a client without providing her a written statement of his fees. He then told his client that her retainer was nonrefundable. He also failed to respond to her attempts to communicate with him and abandoned her case before a court hearing. In a second matter, Sandoval failed to competently represent his client when he did not file responses to pending motions and improperly subpoenaed medical records. His actions resulted in an award of attorney fees and sanctions against his client. Sandoval’s misconduct constituted grounds for the imposition of discipline pursuant to CRCP 251.5, and violated Colo. RPC 1.1; 1.3; 1.4(a) and (b); 1.5(a), (b), (f), and (g); 1.15(a), (b), and (c); 1.16(d); and 8.4(d).
No. 13PDJ038. People v. Sensensy. 05/03/2013. Attorney Suspended.
The PDJ approved a conditional admission of misconduct submitted by the parties and suspended David A. Senseney, attorney registration number 03928, from the practice of law for six months, all stayed pending the successful completion of a one-year period of probation. The suspension was effective May 1, 2013.
Sensensy was hired to represent a client regarding her immigration status. Sensensy filed an I-360 petition with the U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS) on behalf of his client on June 28, 2007. On November 16, 2009, Sensensy was informed by USCIS that his client needed to provide additional information. Sensensy failed to submit this information by the deadline, and on August 2, 2010, his client’s I-360 petition was denied and deemed abandoned. Sensensy refused to fully refund his client’s legal fees and instead withdrew from her representation. Sensensy’s misconduct constituted grounds for the imposition of discipline pursuant to CRCP 251.5, and violated Colo. RPC 1.1, 1.3, 1.4, and 1.5(a) and (b).
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