Oregon State Bar Bulletin — NOVEMBER 2005

Discipline

Note: More than 12,450 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.

PAUL T. BEASLEY
OSB #90154
The Dalles
Form B resignation

Effective Sept. 27, 2005, the Oregon Supreme Court accepted the Form B resignation of The Dalles lawyer, Paul T. Beasley. At the time of resignation, there was a pending formal complaint alleging that Beasley engaged in criminal conduct, engaged in conduct involving dishonesty and misrepresentation, engaged in conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice, made misleading communications and engaged in the unlawful practice of law, in violation of DR 1-102(A)(2), DR 1-102(A)(3), DR 1-102(A)(4), DR 2-101(A)(1), DR 3-101(B), ORPC 5.5(a), ORPC 8.4(a)(3) and ORPC 8.4(a)(4). There were also allegations that Beasley failed to respond fully to disciplinary counsel’s inquiries, in violation of DR 1-103(C) and ORPC 8.1(a)(2).

Beasley was admitted to practice in 1990. Beasley’s resignation recites that open client files and records will be placed in the custody of various resident Oregon lawyers who were appointed by the circuit court to represent Beasley’s former clients, while closed client files and records will be placed in the custody of Jennifer Hinman, Esq.

KEITH D. CHURCH
OSB #96242
Santa Clara, Calif.
Form B resignation

Effective Sept. 27, 2005, the Oregon Supreme Court accepted the Form B resignation of Keith D. Church. At the time of the resignation, a formal disciplinary proceeding was pending against Church in connection with six client matters alleging multiple violations of the following disciplinary rules: DR 1-103(C) and RPC 8.1(a)(2) (failure to cooperate in a disciplinary investigation); DR 2-106(A) (charge or collect an illegal or clearly excessive fee); DR 2-110(A)(2) (improper withdrawal); DR 6-101(B) (neglect of a legal matter) and DR 9-101(C)(4) (failure to provide client property). Church was also charged with single violations of the following disciplinary rules: DR 1-102(A)(2) (criminal conduct reflecting adversely on fitness to practice; DR 9-101(C)(3) (failure to account for client funds) and RPC 1.15-1(d) (failure to timely provide client property, as requested).

Church was admitted to practice in 1996. Church indicated in his resignation that his client files have been or will be placed in the custody of Andrew C. Balyeat, Balyeat & Gregory LLP, 920 NW Bond Street, Ste 209, Bend, Oregon, 97701.

DANIEL Q. O’DELL
OSB #89102
Portland
2-year suspension

Effective Sept. 27, 2005, the Oregon Supreme Court accepted a stipulation for discipline suspending Daniel Q. O’Dell from the practice of law for 2 years, to run consecutive with a pending 3-year suspension on similar violations.

In the stipulation, O’Dell acknowledged that he neglected a number of criminal appellate and post-conviction matters (DR 6-101(B)) and then failed to cooperate in the bar’s subsequent investigations (DR 1-103(C)). O’Dell also admitted that he neglected and failed to properly or timely withdraw from another client matter in violation of DR 2-110(A)(2), DR 2-110(B)(2), DR 6-101(B) and DR 7-101(A)(2).

The stipulation recited mitigating factors including personal and emotional problems, but the sanction was aggravated by the number of offenses, O’Dell’s prior discipline and his substantial experience in the practice of law.

RANDY RAY RICHARDSON
OSB #94418
Portland
6-month suspension

Pursuant to a stipulation for discipline approved by the disciplinary board, Portland lawyer Randy Ray Richardson was suspended for six months, effective Aug. 15, 2005, for violation of: DR 1-102(A)(3) (conduct involving dishonesty or misrepresentation); DR 7-104(A)(2) (giving advice to an unrepresented person) and DR 7-102(A)(8) (knowingly engaging in illegal conduct). The charges arose out of two matters.

In the first matter Richardson represented the defendant husband in a criminal case arising from husband’s alleged assault upon his wife. Expecting that the wife would be served with a grand jury subpoena, Richardson advised the wife about the requirements for valid service of a subpoena and that she was not required to appear before the grand jury unless the subpoena was validly served. Richardson did not advise the wife to secure counsel. Richardson stipulated that this conduct violated DR 7-104(A)(2).

The second matter arose while Richardson was employed as a deputy district attorney. An acquaintance of Richardson’s began a debt collection proceeding in small claims court against another of Richardson’s acquaintances. On behalf of the plaintiff, and not in his capacity as a deputy district attorney, Richardson undertook to have the small claims notice served upon the defendant. He contacted a uniformed police officer and requested that this officer serve the notice. Richardson knew or had reason to know that the police officer believed Richardson was acting within the course and scope of his employment as a deputy district attorney when he asked the officer to effect service, but Richardson did nothing to correct this misimpression. Then, with the intent to obtain a benefit or to harm the defendant, Richardson represented to the police officer that the small claims proceeding related to fraud allegedly committed by the defendant. He also instructed the officer that when he effected service, he should advise the defendant that her automobile might be involved in a fraud and that the Oregon Attorney General’s Office might contact her in the future. Richardson stipulated that this conduct violated DR 1-102(A)(3) and DR 7-102(A)(8).

In arriving at a sanction, the stipulation recited the injury suffered by the individuals affected by Richardson’s conduct, as well as the actual and potential injury suffered by the government agencies and the public. In aggravation, the stipulation considered Richardson’s dishonest or selfish motive and multiple offenses. In mitigation, the stipulation recited that Richardson had no prior disciplinary record and was relatively inexperienced in the practice of law.

CHARLES H. CARREON
OSB #93469
Ashland
60-day suspension

Effective Oct. 24, 2005, the disciplinary board approved a stipulation for discipline suspending Ashland lawyer, Charles H. Carreon, from the practice of law for 60 days. Carreon admitted violations of DR 3-101(B) (unlawful practice of law) and DR 9-101(A) (failing to deposit or maintain client funds in trust).

From Fall 2001 to Spring 2002, Carreon was employed by SEG as house counsel for its U.S. legal matters and business operations in British Columbia, when Carreon was not admitted or licensed to practice law in any province in Canada. Carreon did not apply for or obtain a permit to act as house counsel for SEG, in violation of British Columbia rules.

As counsel for SEG, Carreon held in his trust account settlement proceeds for the benefit of SEG, received in connection with a litigation matter. Without consulting with SEG or obtaining its express consent, Carreon utilized $1,400 of the settlement proceeds to pay a portion of a money judgment that had been entered against Carreon and his wife for a residential lease they signed in connection with his employment in Canada, believing that SEG would ultimately be responsible for his lease obligation.

In the stipulation, Carreon admitted that acting as house counsel in Canada was in violation of regulations of the profession in that jurisdiction, and that by utilizing the client settlement funds, he failed to properly maintain client funds in his lawyer trust account.

Carreon’s sanction was aggravated by a selfish motive, multiple offenses and his substantial experience in the practice of law. Carreon was admitted in Oregon in 1993 and in California in 1987. However, in mitigation, the stipulation recited that Carreon had no prior discipline and that he displayed a cooperative attitude toward the disciplinary proceedings.

MATTHEW W. DERBY
OSB # 94291
Roseburg
1-year suspension

Effective Oct. 11, 2005, a trial panel suspended Roseburg attorney Matthew W. Derby for violating: DR 1-102(A)(4) (conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice); DR 1-103(C) (failure to cooperate in a disciplinary investigation); DR 6-101(B) (neglect of a legal matter); DR 7-101(A)(2) (failure to carry out a contract of employment) and DR 7-106(A) (disregard a ruling of a tribunal).

Derby had undertaken to represent the personal representative in a probate proceeding, but then failed to timely or fully comply with many of the statutory and court requirements, or adequately communicate with his client, resulting in the need for a number of court notices, citations and hearings. Derby failed to appear in response to a citation directed at him personally and was found in contempt of court. Derby then failed to respond to disciplinary counsel’s inquiries about his conduct.

In imposing a one-year suspension, the trial panel found that both the court and Derby’s client suffered actual injury as a result of Derby’s conduct. The trial panel noted that the sanction was aggravated by: Derby’s prior disciplinary offenses on similar violations; the multiple violations; Derby’s substantial experience in the practice of law and the vulnerability of his victims. However, the sanction was mitigated by a finding that Derby was affected by a mental disability at the time of the misconduct and was experiencing personal or emotional problems, his lack of dishonest or selfish motive and his remorse.

MIKEL R. MILLER
OSB #91475
Bend
Public reprimand

On Sept. 30, 2005, the disciplinary board approved a stipulation for discipline reprimanding Bend attorney Mikel R. Miller for violation of DR 6-101(B) (neglect of a legal matter).

Miller was consulted by a client regarding potential tort claims against the state of Oregon. Miller declined to pursue the claims, but Miller agreed to file a tort claim notice to preserve any cause of action the client might have against the state while the client determined whether to pursue the claims without Miller’s assistance. The client consulted Miller about various matters over the following months. On at least one occasion, the client asked about the tort claim notice. Miller assured his client that the notice would be timely filed. However, Miller did no work to prepare a tort notice, and Miller failed to file the notice within the 180-day period for giving such notice or at any time thereafter. As a result, Miller’s client was denied the opportunity to pursue his tort claims against the state and to have those claims decided on their merits. In arriving at a sanction, the stipulation noted that Miller had no record of prior discipline.


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