Oregon State Bar Bulletin — JULY 2008

Bar Actions

Discipline

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.

RANDALL K. BOGRAND
OSB #800185
Portland
Form B resignation

Effective May 7, 2008, the Oregon Supreme Court accepted the Form B resignation of Portland lawyer Randall K. Bogrand. At the time of resignation, the bar was pursuing a disciplinary proceeding in which Bogrand was alleged to have violated RPC 8.4(a)(2) (commission of a criminal act that reflects adversely on a lawyer’s honesty, trustworthiness, or fitness as a lawyer in other respects) and RPC 8.4(a)(3) (conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation that reflects adversely on a lawyer’s fitness to practice law).

Bogrand was admitted to practice in 1980. His resignation recited that he has no client files or records in his possession because he has not engaged in the practice of law since 1989.

TOD DAVID EAMES
OSB # 962682
Portland
Disbarment

In 2006, former Portland attorney Tod David Eames was disbarred for violations of: DR 1-102(A)(2) (criminal conduct reflecting adversely on his honesty, trustworthiness or fitness to practice); DR 1-102(A)(3) (dishonesty); DR 9-101(A) (failure to maintain client funds in trust); DR 9-101(C)(3) (failure to account for client funds); RPC 3.4(c) (disobeying orders of a tribunal) and RPC 8.1(a)(2) (failure to respond to lawful demand of disciplinary authorities). Eames had represented a client concerning a personal injury claim and had misappropriated settlement proceeds for his own benefit before later making restitution to the client. In a separate matter, Eames violated a trial court’s orders restraining his contact with a former wife. The court found Eames in willful contempt and placed him on probation with conditions. Subsequently, Eames violated the conditions of probation. Eames defaulted in the disciplinary proceeding, which resulted in his disbarment, effective July 31, 2006. See, In re Eames, 20 DB Rptr 171 (2006).

Shortly thereafter, Eames filed a motion to set aside the order of default and the decision of the trial panel. The Oregon Supreme Court referred Eames’ motion to a different trial panel to determine whether the default should be set aside. Following a hearing in October 2007, the second panel determined that Eames’ motion should be denied. Eames sought further review. On May 7, 2008, the state supreme court entered an order denying Eames’ objections, accepting the trial panel’s findings of fact, and denying the motion to set aside the order of default. Consequently, Eames’ disbarment remains in place.

Eames was admitted to practice in Oregon in 1996. He did not have a prior record of discipline.

BRIAN J. SUNDERLAND
OSB #924780
Clackamas
One-year suspension

On May 29, 2008, the Oregon Supreme Court approved a stipulation for discipline suspending Clackamas attorney Brian J. Sunderland for one year. The suspension will be effective Oct. 7, 2008, and it will run consecutively to a suspension approved by the court in an earlier case.

Sunderland represented the wife in a dissolution case and obtained an order of default against the husband. The husband thereafter retained counsel. The husband’s attorney notified Sunderland in writing of his representation; that he intended to file a motion to set aside the default; and asked if Sunderland would agree to set aside the default order. The husband’s counsel promptly filed a motion to set aside the order of default, a copy of which was served on Sunderland. The husband’s attorney asked Sunderland not to submit a judgment to the court until the court heard the motion to set aside the default. Notwithstanding notice of the motion and the husband’s attorney’s request, Sunderland submitted a form of judgment to the court without notice to the husband’s attorney. The court did not sign the judgment because the documents did not comply with the law and because a hearing was scheduled on the motion to set aside the order of default.

Thereafter, without notice to the husband’s attorney, Sunderland appeared ex parte and submitted another form of judgment to a different judge. The judge signed the judgment. Sunderland did not disclose that a motion to set aside the order of default had been filed and was scheduled for hearing; or that another judge had directed that no judgment be entered in the dissolution case until a hearing was held on the motion to set aside the default. When these circumstances were brought to the judge’s attention by the husband’s attorney, orders vacating the judgment and setting aside the order of default were filed. Sunderland also represented to a judge that that he had sent certain notices to the husband’s attorney when he had not done so. Sunderland made similar representations to the bar.

Sunderland admitted that his conduct constituted violations of DR 1-102(A)(3) (dishonesty and misrepresentation); DR 1-102(A)(4) (conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice); DR 7-102(A)(3) (failure to disclose that which the lawyer is required by law to reveal); and RPC 8.1(a)(1) and (2) (making misleading statements of material facts in connection with a disciplinary investigation).

Sunderland also admitted that he failed to comply promptly with another client’s requests for information concerning her legal matter in violation of RPC 1.4(a).

Sunderland was admitted to practice in Oregon in 1992. He had a prior record of discipline.

DONALD H. UPJOHN
OSB #701540
Salem
Form B resignation

Effective May 29, 2008, the Oregon Supreme Court accepted the Form B resignation of Salem lawyer Donald H. Upjohn. At the time of resignation, the bar was pursuing a disciplinary proceeding in which Upjohn was alleged to have violated DR 1-102(A)(3) (conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation), DR 5-101(A) (lawyer self-interest conflict) and DR 5-104(A) (limiting business relations with a client).

Upjohn was admitted to practice in 1970. His resignation recited that all client files and records in his possession have been or will be placed promptly in the custody of the Salem law firm of Heltzel Williams.

ALLAN F. KNAPPENBERGER
OSB #73169
Portland
Two-year suspension

On June 5, 2008, the Oregon Supreme court issued an opinion suspending Portland lawyer Allan F. Knappenberger for two years, effective August 4, 2008, for violating DR 2-106(A) (charging a clearly excessive fee).

In one matter, Knappenberger represented a client in a Social Security claim. Contrary to applicable federal regulations, Knappenberger charged the client for work done in the Social Security claim without obtaining agency approval to
do so.

In a second matter, Knappenberger represented a client in a dissolution of marriage proceeding. After Knappenberger’s services had been terminated, he and his former client got into a dispute as to whether the former client had given Knappenberger authority to charge her credit card for legal fees allegedly due. Knappenberger then charged his former client for time he spent dealing with the fee dispute.

The court dismissed a third matter in which the bar alleged that Knappenberger violated DR 1-102(A)(4) (conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice) and DR 7-106(A) (counseling a client to disregard a court order) by advising a domestic relations client to disregard a parenting order. The court found that the bar did not prove this allegation by clear and convincing evidence.

DAVID DeBLASIO
OSB #740750
Portland
30-day suspension

Effective June 13, 2008, the disciplinary board approved a stipulation for discipline suspending Portland lawyer David DeBlasio for 30 days for violations of: DR 6-101(A)/RPC 1.1 (failure to provide competent representation); DR 6-101(B)/RPC 1.3 (neglect of a legal matter); RPC 1.4(a) & (b) (failure to adequately communicate with a client); RPC 1.15-1(d)/DR 9-101(C)(1) (failure to notify client of receipt of client funds) and RPC 1.15-1(d)/DR 9-101(C)(4) (failure to promptly provide client property).

The charges against DeBlasio arose in connection with his representation of a creditor client in the collection of a portfolio of delinquent accounts against debtors in Oregon. DeBlasio did not have experience in some aspects of the collection practice, as those tasks were handled exclusively by his partner. However, the client only had contact with DeBlasio and was never directed to speak with DeBlasio’s partner. Accordingly, when no substantive action was taken on the accounts, the client attempted to contact DeBlasio, who did not respond, assuming his partner would act or contact
the client.

Collection lawsuits were belatedly filed on behalf of the client, but the pleadings drafted by the partner contained errors. DeBlasio, unaware that the partner had drafted complaints in addition to those authorized by the client, directed that all complaints on collection claims signed by the partner be filed, mistakenly resulting in twice as many lawsuits being filed as had been authorized by the client. Shortly thereafter, DeBlasio’s partner died and the collection accounts and lawsuits languished. As a consequence, the client was not timely notified of all monies received from debtors, nor was any money remitted to the client for approximately a year. In addition, DeBlasio did not respond to numerous requests for information from the client.

Service was problematic in many of the collection lawsuits as a result of the delay, and some were dismissed for lack of prosecution. However, the client was not timely notified of these dismissals. In a number of the dismissed collection lawsuits, no subsequent efforts were made to locate the defendants or salvage the collection claim. While judgments were obtained in many of the lawsuits, little, if any, action was taken to collect the judgments.

DeBlasio has no prior discipline and has been a lawyer in Oregon since 1974. The stipulation noted that DeBlasio did not act with a dishonest or selfish motive and cooperated in the bar proceeding. DeBlasio also expressed remorse for the events in this matter and reimbursed the costs the client incurred for the cases that were erroneously filed.

LINDA J. WILSON
OSB #810085
Eugene
Form B resignation

Effective July 6, 2008, the Oregon Supreme Court accepted the Form B resignation of Eugene lawyer Linda J. Wilson. At the time of resignation, the bar was pursuing a disciplinary proceeding in which Wilson was alleged to have violated RPC 8.4(a)(3) (conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation that reflects adversely on a lawyer’s fitness to practice law) and was investigating two additional matters in which it was alleged that Wilson failed to provide competent representation, failed to adequately communicate with clients, charged a clearly excessive fee, engaged in the practice of law at a time when she was suspended, and failed to refund unearned fees to a client. Those allegations, if proven, would implicate RPC 1.1, 1.4(a), 1.4(b), 1.5(a), 5.5 and 1.16(d) of the Oregon Rules of Professional Conduct.

Wilson was admitted to practice in 1981. Her resignation recited that client files and records have been or will be placed in the custody of Eugene lawyer Carter Daum.

CHARLES DODSON
OSB #670261
California
Form B resignation

Effective June 18, 2008, the Oregon Supreme Court accepted the Form B resignation of California attorney Charles R. Dodson. At the time of his resignation, a formal proceeding was pending in Oregon regarding Dodson’s conduct in a California matter alleging violations of: California Business and Professions Code § 6106 (conversion of funds; making or delivering checks with insufficient funds); California Rules of Professional Conduct RPC 4-100(A) (commingling); RPC 4-100(B)(3) (failure to maintain and preserve complete records of client funds; failure to render an accounting for client funds); and RPC 4-100(B)(4) (failure to pay or deliver client funds). Dodson, who was also a member of the State Bar of California, previously resigned his California bar membership with charges pending in an investigation of the same matter.

Dodson was admitted to practice in Oregon in 1967. He was administratively suspended from membership in the Oregon State Bar in 1985, and he remained suspended at the time of his resignation.

 

 

Applications

Reciprocity applicants listed
The following have applied for admission under the reciprocity, house counsel or law teacher rules. The Board of Bar Examiners requests that members examine this list and bring to the board’s attention in a signed letter any information that might influence the board in considering the moral character of any applicant for admission. Send correspondence to Admissions Director, Oregon State Board of Bar Examiners, 16037 S.W. Upper Boones Ferry Rd., P.O. Box 231935, Tigard, OR 97281-1935.

Reciprocity: Emily Alice Crigger; Megan E. McCloskey; Eileen I. McKillop; Charles William West; Douglas K. Yoshida.

House Counsel: Lissa Scouten Gangjee; Marc Allen Stefan; Frank Louis Torresy

Notice of reinstatement applications
The following attorneys have filed applications for reinstatement as active members of the Oregon State Bar pursuant to Rule of Procedure (BR) 8.1.

Karen A. Feil, #943029, Feil, a Tualatin resident, transferred to inactive status in 2000, and then submitted a Form A resignation in 2005. Ms. Feil is now employed as a legal assistant with Portland General Electric, where she plans to remain after reinstatement.

Timothy J. Hayes, #951934. Hayes transferred to inactive status in Oregon in 1997, after relocating to Missouri. He is an active bar member in Missouri, Arkansas and Kansas. Hayes intends to remain in Missouri following reinstatement, assisting a client with legal matters in Oregon.

Michael C. Taylor, #763519. Taylor was employed with the FDIC in Maryland from 1995 until 2002, when he retired and transferred to inactive membership status. Taylor is seeking reinstatement to return to the FDIC on a temporary basis.

The Rules of Procedure require the Board of Governors to conduct an investigation of BR 8.1 reinstatement applications to determine whether applicants possess the good moral character and general fitness to practice law, and that the resumption of the practice of law in this state by these applicants will not be detrimental to the administration of justice or the public interest. Any person with information relevant to these applications is asked to contact promptly the Regulatory Services Division at the Oregon State Bar, P.O. Box 231935, Tigard, OR 97281-1935, (503) 620-0222, or (800) 452-8260, ext. 343.



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