Disciplinary Case Summaries, 0221 COBJ, Vol. 50, No. 2 Pg. 79

PositionVol. 50, 2 [Page 79]

50 Colo.Law. 79

Disciplinary Case Summaries

Vol. 50, No. 2 [Page 79]

Colorado Lawyer

February, 2021


No. 20PDJ070. People v. Berumen. 12/16/2020. Conditional Admission of Misconduct—Attorney Suspended.

The Presiding Disciplinary Judge approved the parties’ conditional admission of misconduct and suspended Mark Joseph Berumen (attorney registration number 29628) for 60 days, all to be stayed upon the successful completion of a one-year period of probation, with conditions. The probation took effect on December 16, 2020.

In April 2018, Berumen agreed to represent a married couple in their bankruptcy matter. Berumen filed the bankruptcy petition without including the required financial management certificates the couple had sent to his office. As a result, the bankruptcy court closed the case without discharge. The couple hired new counsel in April 2019, and their lawyer notified Berumen of the change in representation. In June 2019, without authorization and without notifying the couple, Berumen filed a motion to reopen on their behalf; he also filed the financial management certificates. That same day, the wife signed a new bankruptcy petition with her counsel. Two days later, she received an email from Berumen attaching a copy of the discharge in the original bankruptcy case. As a result, the couple’s lawyer had to move to reopen the case so that their new debt could be included.

Through this conduct, Berumen violated Colo. RPC 1.2(a) (a lawyer must abide by the client's decisions concerning the objectives of a case and consult with the client regarding the means to achieve the objectives).

The case file is public per CRCP 251.31.

No. 18PDI043. People v. Betterton-Fike. 3/15/2020. Opinion on Remand Imposing Sanctions—Attorney Suspended.

On remand from the Colorado Supreme Court, a hearing board suspended W. Bradley Betterton-Fike (attorney registration number 36250) for eight months, with the requirement that he seek reinstatement, if at all, under CRCP 251.29(c). Betterton-Fike appealed the hearing board's opinion on remand; the Colorado Supreme Court affirmed without opinion on November 2, 2020. Betterton-Fike's suspension took effect on December 18, 2020. To be reinstated, Betterton-Fike must prove by clear and convincing evidence that he has been rehabilitated, has complied with disciplinary orders and rules, and is fit to...

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