Friday, July 18, 2008
An attorney who had been subject to public reprimands on two prior occasions was suspended for five months and ordered to make restitution to clients. The attorney's misconduct involved mishandling of two bankruptcy cases and a petition for postconviction relief in a criminal matter. The court concludes:
we agree with the referee that a 90-day suspension would be inadequate. By her own admission, Attorney Boyd has handled in excess of 1,000 bankruptcies in her legal career. The mistakes she made in handling the Mr. and Mrs. M. and V.J. bankruptcies were serious failings which caused her clients to incur unnecessary expenses. Attorney Boyd also misled C.B. and M.H. into believing she was experienced in handling postconviction criminal matters. We agree with the referee that the sanction imposed must be sufficient to impress upon Attorney Boyd the seriousness of her misconduct. We believe, however, that a five-month suspension, rather than the six months recommended by the referee, will accomplish this goal. We also agree with the referee's recommendation that Attorney Boyd be required to make restitution to her clients in the amounts detailed in the addendum to the referee's report, and that she be required to pay the full costs of the proceeding.
The reprimands involved (1) forging a clients name to a refund check and (2) commingling, incompetent representation and charging an excessive fee. (Mike Frisch)