Oregon State Bar Bulletin APRIL 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.
Note: More than 14,800 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.
CLIFFORD I. LEVENSON
By order dated Feb. 19, 2015, the Oregon Supreme Court publically reprimanded Phoenix attorney Clifford I. Levenson in a reciprocal discipline matter that arose after Levenson was disciplined by the state of Arizona.
After Levenson overdrew his trust account by $1,575, the Arizona Bar’s trust account examiner found multiple discrepancies in his records. For example, Levenson disbursed more funds to or on behalf of clients than they had in trust and paid himself fees without accurately noting the amounts in his client ledgers. As a result, funds of some clients were disbursed to or for the benefit of other clients. Due to numerous record-keeping errors for the prior five years, the examiner could not balance Levenson’s account with his client ledgers or determine how the shortage had occurred.
In reciprocal discipline matters, the court analyzes the attorney’s conduct under Oregon’s rules and statutes. The bar submitted that Levenson’s conduct violated the following professional conduct rules: RPC 1.15-1(a) (failure to keep client funds in trust and to maintain complete records of such funds); RPC 1.15-1(c) (failure to maintain in trust advance fees and expenses until the fees have been earned or the expenses incurred); and RPC 1.15-1(d) (failure to promptly deliver to a client funds the client is entitled to receive).
BARNES H. ELLIS
LOIS O. ROSENBAUM
On Feb. 20, 2015, the Oregon Supreme Court dismissed a disciplinary proceeding against Portland attorneys Barnes H. Ellis and Lois O. Rosenbaum, who had been charged with violations under the former Disciplinary Rules. The court concluded that, because the bar failed to prove an adversity of interests between a corporate client and individual clients, Ellis’ and Rosenbaum’s joint representation of them during a Securities and Exchange Commission investigation did not violate former DR 5-105(A)(1) and (2), DR 5-105(C ) or DR 5-105(E).
When Ellis and Rosenbaum later represented the corporate client in a limited capacity, a disclosure letter sent to some of their former clients was sufficient to cure any former client conflict of interest under DR 5-105(C). The omission of information from the letter did not constitute a misrepresentation in violation of DR 1-102(A)(3).