Monday, June 22, 2009
An Arizona hearing officer has recommended a suspension of 30 days followed by probation for one year for an attorney in a matter that had originated in notification to the Bar of a series of trust account overdrafts. The lawyer retained a certified public accountant to review the escrow account who identified three causes of the problem: a device that allowed selection between trust and operating account options on the firm's credit card that resulted in deposits in only the operating account, failure to maintain sufficient funds to cover merchant fees and "non-material errors" due to typos.
The attorney had failed to cause monthly reconciliations and to properly supervise employees. The rapid growth of the lawyer's firm from a solo practice to a firm with multiple lawyers had contributed to the misconduct. The lawyer had fully coopetated with the Bar's investigation and was remorseful. (Mike Frisch)