Monday, June 13, 2011
The North Dakota Supreme Court found sufficient evidence of a threat of public harm to warrant the imposition of an interim suspension while bar charges are pending:
The Application alleges that [the attorney] deposited client retainers into the law firm's business account instead of a trust account and used approximately $30,000 of client funds to pay the operating expenses of the law firm. By email to Assistant Disciplinary Counsel dated May 31, 2011, [He] admitted "there have been family law cases when I have deposited the retainer directly into my law firm's fees account." [His] law firm partner filed an affidavit stating that [he] admitted to using client funds to pay the operating expenses of the law firm. In addition, the Application alleges [the attorney] forged another attorney's signature and letterhead on title opinions to make it appear the other attorney had authored them when, in fact, [he] authored the opinions. In a letter to the inquiry committee dated April 18, 2011, [the attorney] admitted the forgery.