|Oregon State Bar Bulletin MAY 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.
CRAIG P. COLBY
Effective March 3, 2010, pursuant to a stipulation for discipline approved by the disciplinary board, Portland lawyer, Craig P. Colby, was suspended for 30 days for violating RPC 1.3 (neglect of a legal matter), RPC 1.4(a) (failure to keep a client reasonably informed and comply with reasonable requests for information) and RPC 1.4(b) (failure to explain a matter to a client) in two client matters.
Colby undertook to represent a client in an arbitration matter. Thereafter, Colby failed to take steps to have an arbitrator appointed or set an arbitration hearing. Accordingly, the court dismissed Colby’s client’s case after notice to Colby, who then failed to reinstate his client’s case or, for a period of time, inform his client that the case had been dismissed. Colby failed to respond to the client’s attempts to contact him and otherwise failed to keep the client reasonably informed about the status of his case. Colby stipulated that this conduct violated RPC 1.3 and RPC 1.4(a).
Colby undertook to draft a complaint for property damage for another client and to effect service of the complaint after his client had filed it with the court. The client notified Colby that she had filed the complaint. Thereafter, Colby failed to effect service of the complaint or to respond to his client’s attempts to contact him about the status of her case. The court dismissed the case for lack of prosecution, after having notified Colby of its intent to do so. Colby took no steps to either avoid dismissal or to reinstate the case after the court had dismissed it. He failed to inform his client that the court intended to dismiss her case or, for a month, that the court had dismissed her case. Colby stipulated that this conduct violated RPC 1.3, RPC 1.4(a) and RPC 1.4(b).
In arriving at a sanction, the stipulation cited Colby’s substantial experience in the practice of law, the injuries suffered by the clients and that Colby had engaged in a pattern of misconduct and committed multiple offenses. In mitigation, the stipulation noted that Colby has no prior disciplinary record, was experiencing personal health problems at the time of the conduct and cooperated with the bar’s investigation.
DANIEL J. LOUNSBURY
On March 22, 2010, the disciplinary board approved a stipulation for discipline reprimanding Salem attorney Daniel J. Lounsbury for violations of RPC 1.5(a) (charging a clearly excessive fee), RPC 1.15-1(c) (failure to deposit client funds into trust) and RPC 1.16(d) (failure to return client funds on termination of employment).
In October 2008, Lounsbury undertook to represent a client in a criminal prosecution. Lounsbury accepted advance payment of $5,000, pursuant to a written fee agreement that designated this payment as a “non-refundable flat fee” for representation of his client through the sentencing in the event that the client entered into a plea agreement with the state. The fee agreement did not specify that the $5,000 was to be earned upon receipt. The client’s mother paid Lounsbury $5,000. Lounsbury did not deposit the $5,000 payment into his lawyer trust account, erroneously believing that the fee agreement provided for an “earned upon receipt” fee.
The client terminated Lounsbury’s employment before he completed the agreed upon services. Thereafter, Lounsbury failed to return the unearned portion of the fee he had been paid in advance. Ultimately, the client’s mother recovered a portion of the fee.
Lounsbury was admitted to practice in 1993. The stipulation recited that he had no prior record of discipline, did not act with a dishonest motive and has a good reputation in his community.
Moses Lake, Wash.
Effective March 25, 2010, the Oregon Supreme Court suspended Oregon lawyer Theodore Mahr for three years in a reciprocal disciplinary proceeding under BR 3.5.
Mahr is also a member of the Washington State Bar Association. On Nov. 3, 2009, the Washington Supreme Court approved a stipulation suspending Mahr for three years. The stipulation consolidated 18 separate matters in which Mahr engaged in a variety of misconduct during his representation of 21 clients, most of whom he represented in immigration matters.
In virtually all of the matters, Mahr engaged in neglect, failed to adequately communicate and failed to provide requested documentation to his client or their families. In a number of matters, Mahr took action without consulting his clients, charged or attempted to charge a clearly excessive fee, made misrepresentations to clients and failed to return unearned fees and/or client files upon termination.
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: Stephen Joseph Brown, Anna Hajin Choe, Scott Macfie Clark, Thomas Whitfield Davis, Jeffrey Erwin Ellis, Lathe Sheldon Gill, Rebecca Biddle Wood Hardesty, Kevin Alexander Johnson, Megan Kathleen Connolly Kirk, Charles Phillip Edward Leitch, Daniel McDonald McCarthy, Jeffrey Shannon Meyers, Angela Maria Michael, Celeste Mountain Monroe, Jonathan Wells Monson, Ramon Anthony Pagan, Pancho Garfield Morris, Bumjoon Park, Brian Scott Pasko, Boyd Larsen Rogers, Jessica Anne Skelton, Erin McDougal Stines, Duane Charles Weaver, Norman Moser White and Thomas Alden Wolfe.
Rule 8.10: William Foster Sherman.
Pro Bono: Richard Isaac Goldsand.