Saturday, September 1, 2012
The Utah Supreme Court has imposed a public reprimand of an attorney who had failed to provide a client with an accounting and return the file after discharge. The client was not harmed by the accounting lapse but was by the attorney's failure to return the file when the client discharged him in favor of new counsel.
The court found that reprimand was appropriate because of the harm caused the client.
The court questioned a Rule 8.4(a) charge, which makes it an ethical violation to violate another rule.
The court expressed concern that such a charge amounted to "piling on" of ethics charges. The matter of Rule 8.4(a) was referred to the court's rules committee for study but here the court declined to impose any sanction for the violation. (Mike Frisch)