Thursday, July 29, 2021
The Utah Supreme Court sustained misconduct findings and a one-year suspension and rejected the contention that the conduct at issue was not "knowingly" committed
In summary, Ms. Santana‟s own testimony indicates she was aware of the circumstances surrounding each instance of misconduct. She knew about the deadlines for initial disclosures but failed to act within those deadlines. She knew that Ms. Venegas‟s case was headed towards dismissal, but she did not tell her or respond to the motion to dismiss. When Ms. Venegas asked for her file, Ms. Santana failed to give it to her. And Ms. Santana knew the OPC had requested information from her, but she did not timely respond. So although the court never used the word “knowing” in its findings of fact, it clearly had sufficient evidence to conclude that Ms. Santana knowingly violated the rules of professional conduct.
The court sustained findings of several aggravating factors
After reviewing the record, we reject Ms. Santana's argument that the court's discussion of aggravating factors is not supported in the record. Each factor the court discussed is either directly supported by the evidence or reasonably inferred from the record. So we affirm the court's imposition of a one-year suspension.