|Oregon State Bar Bulletin JUNE 2010|
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.
AMANDA L. STANLEY
Form B resignation
On April 8, 2010, the Oregon Supreme Court accepted the Form B resignation of Portland attorney Amanda L. Stanley, effective immediately.
At the time of her resignation, there was a formal proceeding pending against Stanley alleging violations of: RPC 1.15-1(c) (failure to maintain client funds in a lawyer trust account), RPC 1.16(d) (failure to take reasonably practicable steps upon termination of employment to protect client interests), RPC 8.4(a)(2) (criminal conduct reflecting adversely on fitness to practice law), RPC 8.4(a)(3) (dishonesty — conversion of funds) and ORS 9.527(2) (conviction of a felony). Stanley had earlier stipulated to her suspension pending the outcome of the disciplinary proceeding.
The disciplinary proceeding concerned allegations that Stanley converted client funds and abandoned her clients when she fled the state with her infant child in early 2009. Stanley was subsequently convicted by plea of custodial interference in the first degree. The resignation states that Stanley can be contacted regarding client files through her attorney, Kevin Keaney.
Effective April 8, 2010, the Oregon Supreme Court accepted a stipulation for discipline suspending former Woodburn attorney, Jonathan Sushida, for three years for multiple violations of the disciplinary rules related to four separate client matters and the bar’s investigation.
The stipulation recited generally that Sushida failed to attend to client matters and failed to adequately communicate with clients or adequately handle their funds and subsequently failed to respond to the bar, in violation of RPC 1.1 (competence), RPC 1.2(a) (failing to abide by clients’ decisions), RPC 1.3 (neglect), RPC 1.4(a) & (b) (failing to adequately communicate with clients), RPC 1.15-1(a) & (c) (failing to properly handle client funds), RPC 1.15-1(d) (failing to promptly deliver client property), RPC 1.16(a)(2) (failing to withdraw where a mental condition impairs ability to represent clients), RPC 1.16(d) (failing to protect client interests upon withdrawal), RPC 8.1(a)(2) (failing to correct a misapprehension and failing to respond to a disciplinary authority) and RPC 8.4(a)(3) (dishonesty or misrepresentation).
Although there were multiple offenses and a pattern of misconduct, Sushida’s sanction was mitigated by his lack of prior discipline and the fact that he was experiencing emotional problems during the period in which the conduct in these matters occurred that may have contributed to or exacerbated his misconduct.
JAMES N. WELTY
Effective April 22, 2010, the disciplinary board approved a stipulation for discipline publicly reprimanding Portland lawyer James Welty, for violations of former DR 9-101(C)(3) (failure to account for client funds) and former DR 9-101(C)(4) (failure to deliver client funds).
The violations arose years earlier when Welty was an associate with a law firm in Southern Oregon. Welty prepared a sales contract and associated documentation on behalf of certain shareholders in connection with the sale of a publishing company. Welty’s firm agreed to provide collection escrow services for the transaction, collecting periodic payments made by the buyers and distributing the proceeds to the shareholder clients.
The sales transaction called for portions of monthly payments on two separate notes to be allocated and distributed among multiple payees in a rather complicated fashion. The firm used the figures set out in a corporate resolution to make each monthly distribution. Through errors in bookkeeping, the firm failed to distribute as much as it received. In some months, it was only a few cents that were not distributed, but in other months, it was as much as a few hundred dollars. Although Welty was provided with documentation of the amounts received every month and instructed the bookkeeper on how to distribute those amounts, he failed to notice the accumulation of funds in the firm trust account and did not distribute them to the clients. Compounded over several months, more than $4,200 accrued in the trust account where they remained for several years after Welty left the firm.
The stipulation noted that Welty had no prior discipline, did not act with a dishonest or selfish motive and cooperated in the bar’s investigation.
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, P.O. Box 231935, Tigard, OR 97281.
Reciprocity: Andrew Abraham, Patrick Neil Bryant, John Edward Cahill, III, Joaquin Miguel Hernandez, Karen Adell Kalzer, Alexander Sether Kleinberg, Deirdre Ann McDonnell, William Lee Parks, Jennifer Lynn Tait Solseng, Craig Alan Stokes, James Allen Tanner, Sophia S Tzeng and Stephen Merlin Zier.
Notice of Reinstatement Application
The following attorneys have filed an application for reinstatement as an active member of the Oregon State Bar pursuant to Rule of Procedure (BR) 8.1:
Bernard Frank Veljacic of Portland, #041803. Bernard F. Veljacic transferred to inactive status in 2005 because he was employed by the Clark County, Wash., Prosecuting Attorney’s Office. (He was admitted to practice in Washington in 1998.) He recently left the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office and joined the Portland law firm of Barker Martin.
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 whether the resumption of the practice of law in this state by the 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 OSB Regulatory Services Division, P.O. Box 231935, Tigard, OR 97281; phone: (503) 620-0222, or toll-free in Oregon, (800) 452-8260), ext. 343.