Thursday, December 7, 2023
The Wyoming Supreme Court has disbarred an attorney who was found culpable on disciplinary charges in two matters.
In her email objections to Bar Counsel's brief, she had asserted that the disciplinary system had a history of rubber stamping their submissions.
The hearing panel noted that the comment "demonstrates an unfortunate disregard and disrespect for the disciplinary process overseen by the Wyoming Supreme Court."
Sheridan Media reported on the action
Former Buffalo lawyer Tonia R. Hanson has been disbarred by the Wyoming Supreme Court.
In a release from the State Bar dated December 7, the Wyoming Supreme Court issued an order of disbarment of Hanson effective immediately, stemming from two complaints received by the State Bar’s Office of Bar Counsel.
The Bar Counsel’s investigation of the complaints revealed a pattern of violations of ethical rules regarding lawyer trust accounts as well as significant breaches of Respondent’s fiduciary duties regarding elderly, vulnerable clients and other ethical violations, including misrepresentations to the tribunal and failure to comply with court orders.
According to the release, in one case Hanson converted funds belonging to a guardianship/conservatorship to her own benefit, breaching her fiduciary duty to the guardianship/conservatorship.
In a second case Hanson served as the lawyer for the estate of an elderly female client from whom Respondent had received hundreds of thousands of dollars, Hanson committed a theft of funds from the estate in violation of a court order for distribution of the estate.
In so doing, Hanson defrauded the beneficiary of the estate, Wyoming Community Foundation, of substantial funds which should have been paid to the foundation.
In the order of disbarment, the Court directed Hanson to pay $40,000 in restitution to the Wyoming Community Foundation and to pay $4,128.99 in costs and administrative fees to the Wyoming State Bar.