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TCL > January 2000 Issue > Summaries of Opinions

The Colorado Lawyer
January 2000
Vol. 29, No. 1 [Page  105]

© 2000 The Colorado Lawyer and Colorado Bar Association. All Rights Reserved.

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From the Courts
Colorado Disciplinary Cases

Summaries of Opinions

Summaries of opinions appear on a space-available basis. The summaries for the Presiding Disciplinary Judge and hearing board are prepared by the Office of the Presiding Disciplinary Judge, and the summaries for the Appellate Discipline Commission are prepared by the Office of the Appellate Discipline Commission. The summaries of the opinions of the Presiding Disciplinary Judge and the Appellate Discipline Commission are provided as a service by the Colorado Bar Association and are not the official language of the Court. The Colorado Bar Association cannot guarantee the accuracy or completeness of the summaries.

Full copies of the opinions follow the summaries pages.

The summaries and full-text opinions are also available on the CBA homepage at http://www.cobar.org/tcl/index.htm.

People v. Hotle, No. 99PDJ038, 10/16/1999. Attorney Regulation.

The Presiding Disciplinary Judge and the Hearing Board disbarred Respondent R. Keith Hotle for neglecting a legal matter, in violation of Colo. RPC 1.3; for failing to communicate with a client, in violation of Colo. RPC 1.4; for failing to take reasonably practicable steps to protect a client’s interests, in violation of Colo. RPC 1.16(d); for engaging in conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice, in violation of Colo. RPC 8.4(d); for engaging in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation, in violation of Colo. RPC 8.4(c); and for failing to respond, without good cause, to a request by the Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel, in violation of C.R.C.P. 251.5(d). The respondent failed to appear in court on behalf of a client who had paid him a fee for his representation of her interests. The respondent retained the client’s property and funds and failed to account for or return the unearned funds. The respondent failed to render services to another client after agreeing to do so pursuant to a fee agreement. The respondent’s neglect of his clients, together with his failure to communicate with them, resulted in the respondent’s abandonment of his clients. Both of these clients were ultimately forced to retain other counsel because of the respondent’s failure to appear. The respondent also failed to cooperate with the Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel’s investigation of his misconduct. The respondent was ordered to pay the costs of the disciplinary proceedings. p.107.

Summaries of Decisions Regarding Conditional Admissions of Misconduct

Issued by the Presiding Disciplinary Judge
(October 20, 1999 to November 20, 1999)

[Full-text Opinions are available at the Office of the Presiding Disciplinary Judge, (303) 825-2797.]

People v. Heiser, No. 99PDJ081, 10/27/1999. Attorney Regulation.

The Presiding Disciplinary Judge accepted the parties’ Conditional Admission of Misconduct and suspended Respondent James E. Heiser from the practice of law for one year and one day, subject to certain conditions. The respondent failed to honor the terms of a child support order and knowingly submitted incorrect statements of his compliance with the child support order when tendering his attorney registration forms, in violation of Colo. RPC 3.4(c), Colo. RPC 8.4(c), Colo. RPC 8.4(d), and Colo. RPC 8.4(h). The respondent was ordered to pay the costs of the disciplinary proceedings.

People v. Hope, No. 99PDJ103, 10/27/1999. Attorney Regulation.

The Presiding Disciplinary Judge accepted the parties’ Conditional Admission of Misconduct and suspended Respondent Kenneth R. Hope from the practice of law for six months, with the full term stayed during a two-year probationary period and subject to certain conditions. The respondent knowingly failed to pay withholding taxes, in violation of 26 U.S.C. § 7202 (1989), Colo. RPC 8.4(b), and C.R.C.P. 251.5(b). The respondent was ordered to pay the costs of the disciplinary proceedings.

People v. Kolbjornsen, No. 99PDJ004, 10/28/99. Attorney Regulation.

The Presiding Disciplinary Judge and Hearing Board disbarred Respondent Kenneth Edward Kolbjornsen for significantly understating his income and financial assets on his income tax returns and bankruptcy schedules in the course of a bankruptcy proceeding, for supplying false information on certain schedules, and for providing false and misleading information on his asset schedule as to the stated value of certain stock shares. Each of these false and misleading statements related to facts material to the bankruptcy court’s determination. The respondent’s conduct violated Colo. RPC 3.3(a), Colo. RPC 8.4(c), and Colo. RPC 8.4(d). The respondent’s violation of these rules constituted a violation of Colo. RPC 8.4(a).

People v. Nichols, No. 99PDJ106, 11 /03/1999. Attorney Regulation.

The Presiding Disciplinary Judge accepted the parties’ Conditional Admission of Misconduct and suspended Respondent Russell Herman Nichols from the practice of law for six months, with the full term stayed during a two-year probationary period and subject to certain conditions. The respondent failed to employ appropriate accounting and bookkeeping practices, and commingled client funds with his own, in violation of Colo. RPC 1.15(a), Colo. RPC 8.4(a), Colo. RPC 8.4(h), and C.R.C.P. 251.5(a). The respondent was ordered to pay the costs of the disciplinary proceedings.

People v. Williams, No. 99PDJ063, 10/28/1999. Attorney Regulation.

The Presiding Disciplinary Judge accepted the parties’ Conditional Admission of Misconduct and suspended Respondent Ronald Charles Williams from the practice of law for six months, with the full term stayed during a two-year probationary period and subject to certain conditions. The respondent violated certain fiduciary duties by failing to administer an estate in a timely manner, failing to respond to an heir’s requests for information, and failing to maintain records and documentation pertaining to the estate, in violation of Colo. RPC 8.4(d) and prior DR 1-102(A)(5), as well as Colo. RPC 8.4(h) and prior DR 1-102(A)(6). The respondent was ordered to pay the costs of the disciplinary proceedings.

© 2000 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=2000.


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