Thursday, April 7, 2011
In a reciprocal discipline matter where California had imposed a 90 day suspension followed by probation for one year, the Oregon Supreme Court concluded that a more stringent sanction was necessary to protect Oregonians:
Not only has the accused's misconduct spanned seven client matters, but, in handling some of those matters, the accused committed multiple ethical violations. For example, in one matter, the accused failed to communicate settlement offers to his client, and, once the case settled, delayed for a year in disbursing the settlement proceeds. In another matter, the accused settled the case and deducted his fee without court approval, as California law requires, and he charged an excessive fee that he later had to refund. The other five matters were variations on the two matters noted.
Considering the multiple instances of misconduct in which the accused has engaged over a span of seven clients, his prior disciplinary sanction, and the fact that the accused acted knowingly when he committed almost all the instances of misconduct, we suspend the accused from the practice of law in Oregon for a period of nine months. Unlike California, we do not stay any part of that period of suspension.
The accused is suspended from the practice of law for a period of nine months, commencing 60 days from the date of this decision.
California had imposed, but stayed, a one-year suspension in favor of the 90 days plus probation. (Mike Frisch)