Oregon State Bar Bulletin JANUARY 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.
JAMES L. McGEHEE
Effective Nov. 4, 2014, the disciplinary board approved a stipulation for discipline publicly reprimanding Stayton attorney James McGehee for violations of RPC 1.3 (neglect) and RPC 1.4(a) (failure to keep a client reasonably informed and comply with reasonable requests for information).
McGehee represented a client against an auto painting business over its failure to honor a lifetime warranty. Over a three-year period, he delayed sending an initial demand, failed to respond to numerous messages from his client and failed to file suit after securing expert testimony to support the claim.
Although McGehee’s conduct was aggravated by factors including his substantial experience in the practice of law, mitigation included no prior discipline, absence of a dishonest motive, personal family issues and remorse.
SARA LYNN ALLEN
6-month suspension, stayed; 3 years probation
The disciplinary board approved a stipulation for discipline suspending Lake Oswego attorney Sara Lynn Allen for 6 months for violations of: RPC 1.3 (neglect); RPC 1.4(a) (duty to adequately communicate with client); RPC 1.4(b) (duty to explain matter reasonably necessary to permit the client to make informed decisions); RPC 1.16(c) (duty to comply with rules upon withdrawal); RPC 1.16(d) (duty to take practicable steps to protect client upon termination of employment); and RPC 8.1(a)(2) (duty to respond to a disciplinary authority) in connection with six separate guardianship and domestic relations matters. However, all of the suspension is stayed pending Allen’s completion of a three-year term of probation.
Toward the end of 2012 and through 2013, Allen failed to attend to a number of client matters, to adequately communicate with clients, and to provide requested accountings or return unearned funds. Allen also failed to respond to the court in one matter and the bar in a number of instances. During this time period Allen was moving her office and was wrestling with depression.
The stipulation recited that Allen’s violations were aggravated by a pattern of misconduct, multiple offenses and substantial experience in the practice of law. In mitigation, Allen has no prior discipline, did not act with a dishonest motive, had personal or emotional problems, and expressed remorse.
JOHN J. KOLEGO
Effective Feb. 1, 2015, the disciplinary board approved a stipulation for discipline suspending Eugene attorney John Kolego for 90 days for violations of DR 1-102(A)(2) and RPC 8.4(a)(2) (criminal conduct reflecting adversely on fitness to practice).
Between 1992 and 2008, Kolego failed to deduct and withhold from employee wages federal income, Social Security and Medicare taxes, and to pay to the government the amounts withheld each quarter. Kolego also failed to file federal Form 941 on a quarterly basis to report employee wages in the amount of payroll taxes withheld from those wages. During this same period, Kolego also failed to file personal and/or corporate income taxes on a number of occasions.
Although Kolego engaged in a pattern of misconduct that included multiple offenses and has substantial experience in the practice of law, the stipulation reflects that his conduct was mitigated by his absence of prior discipline, a lack of dishonest motive, cooperation in the disciplinary proceedings, good character and reputation, and remorse.