Oregon State Bar Bulletin — FEBRUARY 2010

Bar Actions

Discipline

Note: More than 14,000 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.

R. SANDE TOMLINSON
OSB #722680
Eugene
Public reprimand

On Nov. 19, 2009, the disciplinary board approved a stipulation for discipline reprimanding Eugene attorney R. Sande Tomlinson for violations of former DR 5-101(A)(1) (conflict of interest, lawyer self-interest).

Tomlinson represented a client and certain of the client’s business entities on a variety of legal issues for several years. In 2002, Tomlinson entered into an agreement to purchase a townhouse the client was constructing. Disputes arose about the amount Tomlinson was required to pay for extras he ordered for the project. Tomlinson continued to represent the client concerning matters unrelated to the purchase of the townhouse when his own personal, business, property or financial interests reasonably could have affected his professional judgment on the client’s behalf. Tomlinson did not make full written disclosures within the meaning of former DR 10-101(B) in connection with the transactions and disputes and violated DR 5-101(A).

Tomlinson eventually withdrew from representing the client and his business entities. Thereafter, the client and Tomlinson resolved the dispute over the payment amount for the extras for the townhouse construction project, and at the client’s request Tomlinson agreed to complete certain estate planning work for the client. During this time, disputes arose between the client and Tomlinson and other purchasers of the townhouses concerning alleged construction defects. Even though Tomlinson knew of the disputes and was increasingly dissatisfied with the quality of the construction and related problems, he continued to represent the client when his own personal, business, property or financial interests reasonably could have affected his professional judgment on the client’s behalf. Tomlinson did not make full written disclosures within the meaning of former DR 10-101(B) and thereby violated DR 5-101(A).

Tomlinson was admitted to practice in 1972. He had no prior record of discipline.

PHILIP R. BENNETT
OSB #841687
Portland
120-day suspension

On Dec. 13, 2009, the disciplinary board approved a stipulation for discipline, effective immediately, suspending Portland lawyer Philip R. Bennett from the practice of law for 120 days for violating RPC 8.1(a)(2) (failure to cooperate in a bar investigation), and RPC 8.1(c) (failure to comply with the terms of a remedial program). In addition, Bennett will have to apply for formal reinstatement, as provided by Bar Rule 8.1.

In June 2008, Bennett signed a remedial program agreement with the State Lawyers Assistance Committee in which he was required to engage in a variety of activities. Beginning in August 2008, Bennett failed to comply with the terms of the remedial program in a number of respects.

Bennett also failed to respond to the bar’s inquiries about his conduct.

ALLEN BARTELD
OSB #972124
Hood River
Public reprimand

On Dec. 16, 2009, the disciplinary board approved a stipulation for discipline publicly reprimanding Hood River attorney Allen Barteld for violations of RPC 1.15-2(m) (failure to file IOLTA certificate of compliance form) and RPC 8.1(a)(2) (failure to respond to bar investigators).

Barteld failed to file the 2009 IOLTA certification of compliance form by Jan. 31, 2009. In February 2009, the Oregon Law Foundation sent Barteld a reminder, but he did not respond. In April 2009, the bar’s disciplinary counsel’s office sent Barteld a “last chance” notice to submit the IOLTA form before disciplinary counsel opened an investigation. Barteld did not respond, and a disciplinary investigation file was opened.

Over the next few months, the bar sent Barteld two letters and called him once asking him to explain his non-compliance. Barteld’s telephone number had been disconnected and he failed to respond to the bar’s written inquiries. After the State Professional Responsibility Board authorized the above-described charges against Barteld in September 2009, he filed his IOLTA certification of compliance form. He had no prior disciplinary record.

JAY R. JACKSON
OSB #761836
Lebanon
120-day suspension

On Dec. 24, 2009, the Oregon Supreme Court issued an opinion suspending Lebanon lawyer Jay R. Jackson for 120 days, effective Feb. 22, 2010, for violating RPC 1.3 (neglecting a legal matter), RPC 3.3(a)(1) (knowingly make a false statement of fact or law to a tribunal), RPC 8.4(a)(3) (conduct involving misrepresentation) and RPC 8.4(a)(4) (conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice).

Jackson undertook to represent a client in a dissolution of marriage proceeding. Thereafter, Jackson failed to pursue the matter. Among other things, Jackson failed to prepare for a settlement conference he had requested, and repeatedly failed to respond to inquiries from a court-appointed arbitrator. At a final resolution conference, Jackson made representations to the court that he had not pursued the client’s legal matter because of multiple burglaries at his law office. At the time Jackson made those representations, he knew that they were false.

In determining the appropriate sanction, the court took into account Jackson’s prior disciplinary history for similar misconduct.

 

ARTHUR P. KLOSTERMAN
OSB #860581
Salem
9-month suspension

Effective Dec. 28, 2009, the disciplinary board suspended Salem lawyer Arthur Klosterman for nine months for violating: RPC 1.15-2(m) (failure to comply with IOLTA compliance certification); RPC 3.4(c) (knowingly disobey an obligation under the rules of a tribunal); RPC 8.1(a)(2) (failure to comply with inquiries from a disciplinary authority); and RPC 8.4(a)(4) (conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice).

In April 2008, after Klosterman failed to return his annual IOLTA compliance report by the Jan. 31st deadline, the bar sent correspondence by e-mail and regular mail reminding him of the need to submit his report. Klosterman did not respond or return his report.

Between July and Oct. 2008, Klosterman did not respond to voicemail and written requests from the bar’s disciplinary counsel’s office that he file his report or explain why he had failed to do so. Subsequently, Klosterman also failed to respond to the numerous attempts by the local professional responsibility committee (LPRC) to reach him by telephone, e-mail and through in-person visits to Klosterman’s office. Klosterman also did not subsequently comply with a subpoena issued by the LPRC investigator for Klosterman to appear and produce documents relevant to his compliance with the IOLTA account rules.

In Dec. 2008, the LPRC investigator had Klosterman personally served with a court order that required Klosterman to appear within 30 days and show cause why he should not be found in contempt of court for failing to comply with the LPRC subpoena. Klosterman did not appear pursuant to the court order. As a result, Klosterman was found in contempt of court in March 2009.

In suspending Klosterman for nine months, the trial panel found that Klosterman’s misconduct was aggravated by his substantial experience in the practice of law, as well as by two instances of prior discipline, the most recent of which also involved his failure to respond to the bar.

 



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