Oregon State Bar Bulletin JUNE 2015
Bar Actions - Discipline
Note: More than 15,200 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.
SAMANTHA N. DANG
Garden Grove, Calif.
Effective April 23, 2015, the Oregon Supreme Court accepted a stipulation for discipline from bankruptcy attorney Samantha N. Dang. Pursuant to the stipulation, Dang was suspended for a period of three years.
Dang stipulated that on March 23, 2012, under penalty of perjury, she voluntarily filed her own Chapter 7 petition, schedules and statements. In her sworn petition, and at subsequent creditors meetings, she knowingly made numerous false statements to the bankruptcy trustee about her income, debts and assets.
Dang acknowledged that her conduct violated the following: RPC 8.4(a)(2)(criminal act reflecting adversely upon honesty, trustworthiness or fitness as a lawyer); RPC 8.4(a)(3) (misrepresentation and dishonesty); and RPC 8.4(a)(4)(conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice). The sanction took into account Dang’s substantial experience in the practice of law, her prior record of discipline, the fact that her actions involved illegal conduct and that her conduct was selfishly motivated.
Effective Apr. 20, 2015, the disciplinary board suspended Rosemary Foster for 30 days for violations of: RPC 5.5(b)(2) (falsely holding self out as admitted to practice); RPC 7.1(a)(1) (advertisement containing material misrepresentation); and RPC 8.1(a)(1) (misrepresentation in response to a disciplinary inquiry).
In June 2013, a trial panel found Foster guilty of violating multiple rules of professional conduct, including the unlawful practice of law, and suspended her for 30 days. In 2013, shortly after the trial panel decision and while still administratively suspended, Foster held herself out to the public in both a television and Internet advertisement as an attorney at law and otherwise expressed or implied to the public that she was authorized to practice law in this state. When disciplinary counsel’s office asked Foster about the content of the ads and for Foster to explain whether the ads were removed, she misrepresented to the bar that the ads had been removed and that she had been unaware the ads described her as an attorney.
Although Foster’s conduct was aggravated by factors including her prior discipline and the submission of false statements during the bar’s investigation, mitigation included remorse and a timely good faith effort to rectify the consequences of her misconduct.
ROBERT H. SHEASBY
Effective April 21, 2015, a trial panel of the disciplinary board suspended Bend lawyer Robert H. Sheasby for four years, for violations of: RPC 1.3 (neglect); RPC 1.4(a) (failing to keep a client reasonably informed); RPC 1.15-1(a), (c) and (d) (mishandling and failing to return client property); and RPC 8.1(a)(2) (failing to respond to a disciplinary authority). Sheasby did not respond to the bar’s formal complaint, and an order of default was entered against him.
Sheasby’s violations occurred in two different client matters, but the misconduct was essentially the same. Sheasby was hired by both clients to help secure patents. He was paid retainers but failed to take any steps to secure the patents. Sheasby also failed to respond to multiple requests for information from the clients. Following termination in one of the matters, he failed to provide a requested accounting or refund of the unearned portion of the funds paid by his client. Sheasby failed to respond to the bar’s inquiries in both matters.
In suspending Sheasby, notwithstanding a lack of prior discipline, the trial panel found aggravating factors including a pattern of misconduct, bad faith obstruction of the disciplinary proceeding and substantial experience in the practice of law.
VICKI R. VERNON
60-day suspension, all stayed, two-year probation
Effective April 26, 2015, the disciplinary board suspended Portland attorney Vicki R. Vernon for 60 days for violation of RPC 1.3 (neglect of a legal matter) and RPC 1.4(a) (failure to communicate with a client), with all of the suspension stayed pending her successful completion of a two-year period of probation.
Vernon agreed to represent a client on a petition for post-conviction relief and failed to promptly pursue the petition or communicate with her client about its status. Vernon was suspended by the disciplinary board in October 2013 for similar misconduct. Vernon’s misconduct in the current matter occurred prior to the sanction in the prior case. Vernon’s probation will be supervised by attorney Diane L. Grover.