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Discipline Archives

January 12, 2012

Attorney Discipline

Utah State Bar Ethics Hotline
Call the BarÕs Ethics Hotline at (801) 531-9110 Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. for fast, informal ethics advice. Leave a detailed message describing the problem and within a twenty-four hour workday period a lawyer from the Office of Professional Conduct will give you ethical help about small everyday matters and larger complex issues.

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September 7, 2011

Attorney Discipline

ADMONITION

On June 17, 2011, the Chair of the Ethics and Discipline Committee of the Utah Supreme Court entered an Order of Discipline: Admonition against an attorney for violation of Rules 1.5(a) (Fees), 1.7 (Conflict of Interest: Current Clients), 1.16(d) (Declining or Terminating Representation), 5.1(a) (Responsibilities of Partners, Managers, and Supervisory Lawyers), 5.1(b) (Responsibilities of Partners, Managers, and Supervisory Lawyers), and 8.4(a) (Misconduct).

In summary:

The attorney concurrently represented three parties in various matters. The attorney failed to fully advise these clients of the current and/or potential conflicts. The attorney failed to obtain signed waivers from the clients. The attorney concurrently represented the parties whereby certain interests and various liabilities were shifted amongst the parties. The attorney subsequently represented one of the parties in an action brought by creditors wherein one of the other parties was a party. The first client had a valid cross-claim against the second client which the attorney failed to advise the first client of or assert in the action. These actions likely impaired the attorney’s ability to effectively represent the parties. The attorney failed to provide the parties files in a timely matter. The attorney’s associate violated Rule 1.7 and the attorney knew about the conduct based on the motions filed or otherwise ratified the conduct through his billing or otherwise. The attorney was aware that the associate was representing concurrently two of the parties even though their interests were adverse. The Bankruptcy Trustee recognized this conflict at the meeting of the creditors and disallowed the attorney’s firm from further representation of the party. The attorney failed to submit fees for the bankruptcy court’s approval and said fees were for another client and/or for unrelated matters.

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July 20, 2011

Attorney Discipline

ADMONITION

On May 18, 2011, the Chair of the Ethics and Discipline Committee of the Utah Supreme Court entered an Order of Discipline: Admonition against an attorney for violation of Rules 8.4(b) (Misconduct) and 8.4(a) (Misconduct).

In summary:

An attorney was involved in a domestic violence incident and was charged with Aggravated Assault (Domestic Violence) a third degree felony. The attorney admitted to committing the assault an act of unlawful violence or force that caused substantial bodily injury to a spouse. The attorney pled no contest to an Assault (Domestic Violence) a class A misdemeanor. The plea was to be held in abeyance for twenty-four months based upon completion of certain conditions.

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November 2, 2010

Attorney Discipline

Utah State Bar Ethics Hotline

Call the Bar's Ethics Hotline at (801) 531-9110 Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. for fast, informal ethics advice. Leave a detailed message describing the problem and within a twenty-four hour workday period a lawyer from the Office of Professional Conduct will give you ethical help about small everyday matters and larger complex issues.

More information about the Bar's Ethics Hotline may be found at www.utahbar.org/opc/opc_ethics_hotline.html. Information about the formal Ethics Advisory Opinion process can be found at www.utahbar.org/rules_ops_pols/index_of_opinions.html.

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September 13, 2010

Attorney Discipline

RESIGNATION WITH DISCIPLINE PENDING

On June 23, 2010, the Honorable Christine M. Durham, Chief Justice, Utah Supreme Court, entered an Order Accepting Resignation with Discipline Pending concerning Martin J. MacNeill for violation of Rules 8.4(b) (Misconduct), 8.4(c) (Misconduct), and 8.4(a) (Misconduct) of the Rules of Professional Conduct.

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September 22, 2009

Attorney Discipline

ADMONITION
On June 15, 2009, the Chair of the Ethics and Discipline Committee of the Utah Supreme Court entered an Order of Discipline: Admonition against an attorney for violation of Rules 1.4(a)
(Communication) and 8.4(a) (Misconduct).

In summary:
An attorney was hired to represent a client in a personal injury case. For approximately eight months the attorney rarely communicated with the client. The client contacted the attorney’s office and spoke with a staff member on numerous occasions attempting to find out about the case. When the client asked for status updates, the attorney failed to comply.

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June 1, 2004

Discipline Corner

PUBLIC REPRIMAND
On December 31, 2003, the Honorable Roger S. Dutson, Second Judicial District Court, publicly reprimanded Samuel J. Conklin for violation of Rules 1.3 (Diligence), 1.4(a) (Communication), 1.5(b) and (c) (Fees), 1.15(b) (Safekeeping Property), 8.1(b) (Bar Admission and Disciplinary Matters), and 8.4(a) (Misconduct) of the Rules of Professional Conduct.

In summary:
Mr. Conklin was retained to represent a client in an employment matter. The time spent by Mr. Conklin on the client's case was not accurately reflected on the client's bill. Mr. Conklin admitted to the client that the work was overcharged, but he did not have time to look into the matter. Mr. Conklin did not respond to the client's inquiries concerning the bill and failed to promptly deliver the settlement funds to the client. Mr. Conklin also failed to respond to the Office of Professional Conduct's ("OPC's") requests for information.

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May 6, 2004

Discipline Corner

PUBLIC REPRIMAND
On December 31, 2003, the Honorable Roger S. Dutson, Second Judicial District Court, publicly reprimanded Samuel J. Conklin for violation of Rules 1.3 (Diligence), 1.4(a) (Communication), 1.5(b) and (c) (Fees), 1.15(b) (Safekeeping Property), 8.1(b) (Bar Admission and Disciplinary Matters), and 8.4(a) (Misconduct) of the Rules of Professional Conduct.

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March 2, 2004

Discipline Corner

ADMONITION
On December 15, 2003, an attorney was admonished by the Honorable Timothy R. Hanson, Third Judicial District Court for violation of the Rules of Professional Conduct. (The Order was not explicit about which Rule was violated).

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November 3, 2003

Discipline Corner

PUBLIC REPRIMAND
On September 24, 2003, Blaine P. McBride was publicly reprimanded by the Chair of the Ethics and Discipline Committee of the Utah Supreme Court for violation of Rules 1.3 (Diligence), 1.4(b) (Communication), and 8.4(a) (Communication) of the Rules of Professional Conduct.

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August 3, 2003

Discipline Corner

PUBLIC REPRIMAND
On June 23, 2003, Michael R. Loveridge was publicly reprimanded by the Chair of the Ethics and Discipline Committee of the Utah Supreme Court for violation of Rules 1.3 (Diligence), 1.4(b) (Communication), and 8.4(a) (Misconduct) of the Rules of Professional Conduct.

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March 4, 2003

Discipline Corner

RESIGNATION WITH DISCIPLINE PENDING
On January 21, 2003, the Honorable Christine Durham, Chief Justice, Utah Supreme Court, entered an Order Accepting Resignation Pending Discipline concerning Ronald W. Flater.

In summary:
The Office of Professional Conduct received three complaints against Mr. Flater concerning immigration matters. The complaints allege that Mr. Flater incorrectly completed or failed to complete immigration petitions on behalf of the clients. All three clients primarily dealt with Mr. Flater's assistant, although Mr. Flater reviewed and signed the documents. In two cases, Mr. Flater failed to respond to the clients or their attorney. In two of the cases, Mr. Flater failed to respond to the OPC's requests for information.

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November 7, 2002

Discipline Corner

SUSPENSION
On September 24, 2002, the Honorable Stephen L. Henriod, Third Judicial District Court, entered an Order of Discipline: Suspension, suspending Douglas S. Haymore II from the practice of law for three months for violation of Rules 1.1 (Competence), 1.3 (Diligence), 1.4(a) and (b) (Communication), 1.16(d) (Declining or Terminating Representation), 5.3(b) (Responsibilities Regarding Non Lawyer Assistants), 8.4(a) (Misconduct). The suspension is effective beginning September 24, 2002.

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October 7, 2002

Discipline Corner

SUSPENSION
On July 15, 2002, the Honorable Anthony B. Quinn, Third Judicial District Court, entered Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law and Order of Suspension suspending Kent L. Christiansen from the practice of law for three months for violation of Rules 1.7 (Conflict of Interest: General Rule), 1.8 (Conflict of Interest: Prohibited Transactions), 1.16(a) (Declining or Terminating Representation), 4.1(a) (Truthfulness in Statements to Others), and 8.4(a) and (c) (Misconduct), Rules of Professional Conduct. The Order of Suspension's effective date is August 15, 2002.

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May 7, 2002

Discipline Corner

Discipline Corner

DISBARMENT
On March 25, 2002, the Honorable Thomas M. Higbee, Fifth Judicial District Court, Civil No. 010501706, entered an Order of Disbarment disbarring Garry Erickson from the practice of law for violation of Rules 1.1 (Competence), 1.3 (Diligence), 1.4(a) (Communication), 1.5(a) (Fees), 1.15(b) (Safekeeping Property), 1.16(d) (Declining or Terminating Representation), 8.1(b) (Bar Admission and Disciplinary Matters), and 8.4(a) and (d) (Misconduct) of the Rules of Professional Conduct.

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March 7, 2002

Discipline Corner


DISBARMENT
On December 4, 2001, the Honorable Lee Dever, Third Judicial District Court, entered Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law disbarring Stephen G. Bennett from the practice of law for violation of Rules 1.2(a) (Scope of Representation), 1.4(a) (Communication), 1.15(a), (b), and (c) (Safekeeping Property), 8.1(b) (Bar Admission and Disciplinary Matters), and 8.4(c) (Misconduct) of the Rules of Professional Conduct.

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January 7, 2002

Discipline Corner

SUSPENSION
On August 3, 2001, the Honorable Bruce J. Lubeck, Third Judicial District Court, entered an Order of Suspension suspending J. Douglas Kinateder from the practice of law for a period of twenty months, beginning October 15, 2001, for violation of Rules 1.3 (Diligence), 1.15(a) and (b) (Safekeeping Property), 5.5 (Unauthorized Practice of Law), and 8.4(a) (Misconduct) of the Rules of Professional Conduct.

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December 7, 2001

Discipline Corner

RESIGNATION PENDING DISCIPLINE
On September 21, 2001, the Honorable Richard C. Howe, Chief Justice, Utah Supreme Court, executed an Order Accepting Resignation Pending Discipline in the matter of Ralph W. Curtis.

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October 8, 2001

Discipline Corner

RESIGNATION PENDING DISCIPLINE
On March 29, 2001, the Honorable Richard C. Howe, Chief Justice, Utah Supreme Court, executed an Order Accepting Resignation Pending Discipline in the matter of D. John Musselman.

On October 2, 1997, the Fourth Judicial District Court entered an Order of Suspension and Probation suspending Musselman from the practice of law for two years. All but four months of the suspension were stayed and Musselman was placed on probation for a period of twenty months. The Order of Suspension and Probation provided that if Musselman's probation were revoked, he would be required to serve the entire two years of the suspension.

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