|Oregon State Bar Bulletin OCTOBER 2007|
Note: More than 13,000 persons are eligible to practice law in Oregon. Some of them share the same name or similar names. All discipline reports should be read carefully for names, addresses and bar numbers.
DEAN M. SHYSHLAK
Pursuant to a stipulation for discipline approved by the disciplinary board on July 10, 2007, Portland lawyer Dean M. Shyshlak was suspended from the practice of law for 60 days, effective Aug. 1, 2007, for violation of: DR 6-101(B) and RPC 1.3 (neglect of a legal matter); RPC 1.4(a) (failure to keep a client reasonably informed); RPC 8.4(a)(3) (misrepresentation) and DR 9-101(A) (failure to deposit client funds in trust).
On behalf of a judgment creditor, Shyshlak agreed to file for and conduct a judgment debtor examination. Shyshlak was paid a retainer but did not deposit the funds in a lawyer trust account. Thereafter, Shyshlak failed to file documents necessary to set up the exam, serve the judgment debtor with an order to appear, respond to his client’s inquiries, or take any steps to collect the debt. At one point, Shyshlak informed his client that repeated attempts had been made to serve the debtor with an order to appear, when this was not true.
The stipulation for discipline recited that there was no actual client injury because the debtor was judgment proof and had been for years. The stipulation also noted that Shyshlak had no prior disciplinary record and, at the time of the misconduct, was experiencing problems associated with the illness and subsequent death of a family member.
GLENN M. FEEST
Form B resignation
Effective July 24, 2007, the Oregon Supreme Court accepted the Form B resignation of former Beaverton attorney Glenn Feest. At the time of his resignation, there was a formal proceeding pending against Feest alleging violations of: DR 6-101(B) & RPC 1.3 (neglect of a legal matter); RPC 1.4(a) &(b) (failure to adequately communicate with a client); DR 1-102(A)(4) (conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice); DR 9-101(C)(3) & RPC 1.15-1(d) (failure to account for client funds); DR 9-101(C)(4) & RPC 1.15-1(d) (failure to promptly provide client property) and RPC 8.1(a)(2) (failure to respond to the bar).
Feest had been suspended at the time of his resignation, and the resignation recites that he had no active client files. However, attorney Gregory M. Gonzales was listed as a contact for any inquiries.
ARTHUR P. KLOSTERMAN
Effective Aug. 9, 2007, the disciplinary board approved a stipulation for discipline suspending Salem attorney Arthur Klosterman for 120 days for violations of: RPC 1.3 (neglect of a legal matter); RPC 1.4(a) (failure to keep a client reasonably informed or comply with reasonable requests for information) and RPC 8.1(a)(2) (knowing failure to respond to lawful demands for information in a disciplinary matter).
Klosterman’s violations arose in connection with his representation of a pedestrian client injured when struck by a vehicle in a crosswalk. Klosterman initially pursued the client’s personal injury claims, but when the client was subsequently incarcerated on unrelated criminal charges, Klosterman did nothing further to pursue or settle the case and did not respond to the client’s attempts to communicate with him. After the client contacted the bar, Klosterman filed suit on the client’s behalf on the last day under the statute of limitations, but failed to have it served on the defendant within the statutorily prescribed period, resulting in a dismissal of the lawsuit.
Klosterman did not respond to the bar,
nor did he respond to the LPRC investigator prior to the issuance of a subpoena.
The stipulation recited a number of aggravating
factors, including prior similar discipline and substantial
experience in the practice of law. There were also
multiple mitigating factors including absence of a
dishonest or selfish motive and personal or emotional
problems present around the time of Klosterman’s
Form B resignation
Effective Aug. 14, 2007, the Oregon Supreme Court accepted the Form B resignation of former Beaverton attorney, Beth Mason.
At the time of Mason’s resignation, the bar was investigating her use of funds from a trust for which she was trustee, in violation of RPC 8.4(a)(3), and whether Mason responded truthfully to the bar in that investigation in violation of RPC 8.1(a)(1) and 8.4(a)(3).
Mason was admitted to practice in 1977. The resignation recites that the Beaverton law firm of Jensen & Leiberan is the contact for Mason’s client files.
WILLIAM C. ABENDROTH
Pursuant to a stipulation for discipline
approved by the disciplinary board, Portland lawyer
William C. Abendroth was suspended from the practice
of law for 120-days, effective Aug. 27, 2007, for violations
of: RPC 1.3 (neglect of a legal matter); RPC 1.4(a)
(failure to keep a
client reasonably informed); RPC 1.15-1(d) (failure to account for or return
client or third-party property); RPC 1.16(a)(2) (failure to withdraw from representation); RPC 8.1(a)(2) (failure to respond to the bar) and RPC 8.4(a)(3) (misrepresentation).
In September 2004, Abendroth agreed to file a lawsuit on behalf of a client. As of January 2005, Abendroth had failed to file the claim, failed to take any significant action on behalf of the client, and failed to respond to the client’s inquiry. The client terminated Abendroth in September 2005. The client later contacted disciplinary counsel’s office regarding Abendroth’s handling of his case. Abendroth knowingly failed to respond to disciplinary counsel and the LPRC investigators assigned to the matter.
In 2005, Abendroth agreed to represent and file a lawsuit for a second client. The matter was assigned to arbitration in May 2005. Abendroth failed to take significant steps to advance the litigation and failed to communicate with the client. The court dismissed the case for lack of prosecution in September 2005. After the case was dismissed, Abendroth knowingly failed to advise the client of its dismissal and failed to promptly provide successor counsel with the client’s file.
In mitigation, Abendroth had no prior discipline and suffered from an impairment that affected his ability to represent both clients.