Wednesday, January 13, 2010
The North Dakota Supreme Court imposed a 60 day suspension of an attorney for lack of diligence and failure to communicate with a divorce client. The attorney was in the process of closing her practice when the client contacted her legal assistant and daughter (who was not an attorney) about obtaining representation. Most of the communication was with the daughter, although the attorney met with the client four times. Three of those meetings were conducted in the Fryn' Pan restaurant in Fargo.
A hearing panel accepted the client's version of events over that of the lawyer. The lawyer had conceded that there was no contact with the client for almost two years. The hearing panel found that the lawyer "did not reasonably act to secure a timely resolution of the divorce, but rather relied on her non-lawyer daughter to oversee and pursue the matter." Eventually, the lawyer completed the representation and secured the divorce for the client.
The lawyer had previously been admonished four times. (Mike Frisch)