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October 2004 Archives

October 22, 2004

DISBARMENT

DISBARMENT

On September 8, 2004, the Honorable Joseph C. Fratto, Third Judicial District Court, entered an Order of Discipline: Disbarment, disbarring Jerry Crist from the practice of law in the State of Utah pursuant to Rule 22 (Reciprocal Discipline) of the Rules of Lawyer Discipline and Disability.

In summary:
Mr. Crist was disbarred by the Supreme Court of Colorado for abandoning his law practice and his clients, and for his unlawful use of methamphetamine. Mr. Crist missed numerous pretrial conferences, motions hearings, trial dates, and other client appointments in criminal and civil matters.

ADMONITION

ADMONITION

On September 16 2004, the Chair of the Ethics and Discipline Committee of the Utah Supreme Court admonished an attorney for violation of Rules 1.5(a) (Fees), 1.16(d) (Declining or Terminating Representation), and 8.4(a) and (c) (Misconduct) of the Rules of Professional Conduct.

In summary:
An attorney was retained by a client to represent the client’s interests in the client’s deceased spouse’s estate. The attorney indicated to the client that the deceased spouse’s children should retain an attorney to represent the children, because the attorney intended to sue the children. The client’s parent informed the attorney not to sue the children. The client terminated the attorney’s services, but the attorney would not cease the representation. The attorney attempted to have the client sign a contract, but the client would not sign it. The attorney billed the client for services after termination of the representation, but later claimed it was an error. The attorney filed a motion in court in an attempt to avoid termination of representation from the case. The attorney finally withdrew from the case.

SUSPENSION

SUSPENSION

On September 22, 2004, the Honorable Frank G. Noel, Third Judicial District Court, entered an Order of Discipline: Suspension, suspending Charles C. Brown from the practice of law for six months and one day for violation of Rules 1.7 (Conflict of Interest: General Rule), 1.8(a) (Conflict of Interest: Prohibited Transactions), 1.9(a) (Conflict of Interest: Former Client), and 8.4(a) (Misconduct), Rules of Professional Conduct. The effective date of suspension is November 24, 1998.

In summary:
On November 24, 1998, Mr. Brown was voluntarily placed on interim suspension pursuant to Rule 18 of the Rules of Lawyer Discipline and Disability.

Mr. Brown represented a client who held a business interest in a company while simultaneously serving on the board of directors, holding an ownership interest, and entering into an employment agreement with the company. In an action brought against the client, Mr. Brown’s law firm also represented the opposing party until the court prohibited that representation.

PUBLIC REPRIMAND

PUBLIC REPRIMAND

On September 23, 2004, the Chair of the Ethics and Discipline Committee of the Utah Supreme Court entered an Order of Discipline: Public Reprimand reprimanding Victor Lawrence for violation of Rules 1.1 (Competence), 1.3 (Diligence), 1.4(a) (Communication), 3.3 (Candor Toward the Tribunal), and 8.4(a) (Misconduct) of the Rules of Professional Conduct.

In summary:
Mr. Lawrence represented debtors in a bankruptcy matter. In a ruling, the bankruptcy court stated that the debtors did not give the notice required to the creditors. Mr. Lawrence failed to list all creditors on the court’s mailing matrix of interested parties, even after receiving the trustee’s objection. Mr. Lawrence’s lack of competence denied the debtors their day in court. Mr. Lawrence also failed to pursue with the bankruptcy court issues of allowances and reimbursements due to the debtors and a creditor, and failed to communicate with the debtors regarding management of the cash collateral necessary to continue the debtors business. The court stated that Mr. Lawrence admitted to filing a false certificate of mailing with the court regarding the creditors.

RESIGNATION WITH DISCIPLINE PENDING

RESIGNATION WITH DISCIPLINE PENDING

On September 27, 2004, the Honorable Christine M. Durham, Chief Justice, Utah Supreme Court, entered an Order Accepting Resignation with Discipline Pending concerning Todd R. Cannon.

In summary:
On March 18, 2004, Mr. Cannon entered a guilty plea to a charge of Conspiracy to Commit Offense or Defraud the United States. Mr. Cannon submitted a Petition for Resignation with Discipline Pending to the Utah Supreme Court on August 18, 2004. Mr. Cannon’s petition admits that the facts underlying his guilty plea constitute grounds for discipline.

Mr. Cannon participated in an ongoing conspiracy to promote and sell a fraudulent trust scheme designed to evade federal income taxes, defeat the lawful functioning of the Internal Revenue Service, and to fraudulently obtain money or property from United States citizens by use of the mails and wires.

About October 2004

This page contains all entries posted to Utah State Bar News & Announcements in October 2004. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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