|Oregon State Bar Bulletin NOVEMBER 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.
LISETTE M. SPENCER
Effective Sept. 1, 2010, the disciplinary board approved a stipulation for discipline suspending Klamath Falls attorney Lisette Spencer for 90 days for violations of RPC 1.2(a) (failing to abide by a client’s decisions concerning the objectives of the representation); RPC 1.3, (formerly DR 6-101(B), neglect of a legal matter); RPC 1.4(a) (formerly DR 6-101(B), failure to keep a client reasonably informed about the status of a matter or promptly comply with reasonable requests for information); RPC 1.5(a) (charging or collecting an illegal or clearly excessive fee) and RPC 8.4(a)(4) (conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice), in connection with two separate client matters.
In one matter, Spencer failed to act in response to an improper garnishment that had been filed against her client for support payments that were no longer owed. Spencer took no action for more than 7 months and failed to respond to inquiries from her client. The client was forced to quit his job to stop the wrongful withholding before the matter was straightened out. More than a year after the garnishment matter was resolved, without notice to or consultation with her client, Spencer filed a motion to satisfy the child support judgment and had it served on the client’s former wife and relevant child support agencies. When the client learned of the motion, he arranged on his own to have it withdrawn. More than a year after this filing, Spencer billed the client for her time in preparing the unauthorized motion. The client objected to paying for services he did not request and Spencer thereafter charged him interest on the balance due.
In the second matter, Spencer was hired to complete a stepparent adoption of the clients’ adult daughter. The clients requested that the adoption be completed within a couple of months and Spencer agreed to try. However, she thereafter took no action to complete the adoption for 7 months, and failed to respond to the clients’ inquiries. The clients eventually terminated her.
The stipulation recited more mitigating than aggravating factors, including no prior discipline, absence of a dishonest motive, and cooperation in the disciplinary proceeding. Spencer has been a lawyer in Oregon since 1996.
DANIEL W. DICKERSON
Effective August 7, 2010, a trial panel of the disciplinary board disbarred former Portland lawyer Daniel W. Dickerson for violations of RPC 1.3 (neglect of a legal matter); RPC 1.4(a) (failure to communicate with client); RPC 1.5(a) (excessive fees); RPC 1.15-1(a) (failure to deposit clients funds in a lawyer trust account); RPC 1.15-1(c) (failure to maintain client funds in a lawyer trust account); RPC 1.15-1(d) (failure to promptly deliver and account for property); RPC 1.16(d) (failure to take reasonably practicable steps to protect a client upon termination of the representation); RPC 8.1(a)(2) (failure to respond to disciplinary inquiries); and RPC 8.4(a)(3) (dishonesty and misrepresentation).
The misconduct for which Dickerson was disbarred occurred in six different client matters. The panel found that in five of the matters, Dickerson failed to account for funds and return unearned funds after his clients had asked him to do so, and that in the sixth he failed to deliver the client’s file after being requested to do so. The panel found that Dickerson failed to deposit one client’s funds in a trust account and knowingly misappropriated the funds. The panel found that Dickerson was dishonest in his communications with another of the clients. The panel also found that Dickerson neglected the legal matters of, or failed to communicate with, three of the clients, and in one of those cases he also failed to take appropriate steps upon termination of the representation such as providing the client file to successor counsel. The panel also found that Dickerson failed to respond to disciplinary inquiries relating to the complaints of two of the clients.
Dickerson was admitted to practice in 1998. In 2005, Dickerson was reprimanded for engaging in, without the necessary consent after full disclosure, various conflicts of interest that arose from business dealings in which he was himself involved and in which he also represented multiple parties with differing interests.
MICHAEL R. JORDAN
On August 19, 2010, the disciplinary board approved a stipulation for discipline suspending Portland lawyer Michael R. Jordan from the practice of law for 60 days for violating RPC 1.3 (neglect of a legal matter), RPC 1.4 (a) and (b) (failure to keep a client reasonably informed about the status of a legal matter/failure to communicate), and RPC 8.4(a)(3) (conduct involving misrepresentation by omission).
In June 2005, Jordan undertook to represent a client in a dissolution of marriage proceeding. Jordan negotiated a settlement agreement and prepared a stipulated final judgment, but did not obtain the opposing party’s signature prior to the opposing party’s move out of the country. Ultimately, the court dismissed the dissolution case for lack of prosecution. For two years, Jordan did not inform his client of the dismissal, making no attempt to reinstate her case or otherwise communicate with her regarding the status of the proceeding.
Jordan was admitted to the practice of law in 1974 and has substantial experience in the practice of law. He had no prior record of discipline.
On Aug. 16, 2010, the disciplinary board approved a stipulation for discipline reprimanding lawyer Priscilla Maloney for violating RPC 1.4(a) (failing to keep a client reasonably informed about the status of a matter and failing to comply with reasonable requests for information.)
In 2004, Maloney, who was then practicing law in Portland, undertook to represent a client in an appeal of a criminal matter. After October 2006, Maloney failed to communicate with her client despite numerous inquiries from him. In November 2006, and February 2007, two courts issued decisions in the client’s legal matter. Maloney failed to inform her client of the decisions.
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: Gwen M. Bee; Raymond Jesse Branch, III; Rosemary White Brewer; Alvin Dean Files; Daniel Jeffrey Gibbons; Theodore Nelson Gilliam; James Bradley Klepper; Jeffrey Scott Mackie; Kurt Edward Mosley; Richard James O’Brien; Laura Eve Rosenbaum; Darren Philip Schenck; John Tseng; and Lance Douglas Wilson.
House Counsel: Lisa Michelle Neal-Graves and Jesse John Rebello.
Pro Bono: Arthur Louis Stein.
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:
Richard D. Blake of California, #001396. Richard Blake seeks reinstatement from a 2002 financial suspension. Also admitted to the Iowa and Wisconsin bars, he worked as manager of an Iowa spa and alternative health products company from 2001 to 2008. Since moving to California in April of 2008, Blake has been self-employed as a consultant to various renewable energy companies as well as serving as the managing land agent for the Alta Wind Energy Center in Tehachapi, Calif. Upon reinstatement, he plans to return to Oregon and open a private law practice.
Jeanne P. Robinson of California, #782484. Inactive in Oregon since 1985, Jeanne Robinson is an active member of the California bar, where she has been in private practice since 2006. Prior to that, she taught legal writing, volunteered as a library aide for schools in Santa Rosa, Calif., and The American School of The Hague in The Netherlands. Robinson is also an active volunteer for the National Women’s History Project. She has no specific plans to return to the practice of law in Oregon following reinstatement.
Brian J. Dobie of New Jersey, #902490. Brian Dobie seeks reinstatement following a two-year disciplinary suspension which began Feb. 22, 2008. In re Dobie, 22 DB Rptr 18 (2008). Also a member of the Massachusetts bar, he is serving a reciprocal suspension in that Commonwealth based on the Oregon discipline. Dobie is managing member of Filia Energy, which develops solar energy projects for use in commercial and agricultural settings. He has no plans to return to the practice of law in Oregon if reinstated, but is pursuing reinstatement in Massachusetts.
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.