Disciplinary Case Summaries, 0418 COBJ, Vol. 47, No. 4 Pg. 90

Position:Vol. 47, 4 [Page 90]

47 Colo.Law. 90

Disciplinary Case Summaries

Vol. 47, No. 4 [Page 90]

The Colorado Lawyer

April, 2018


No. 17PDJ049. People v. Bath. 1/16/2018. Following a sanctions hearing, the Presiding Disciplinary Judge suspended David Eugene Bath (attorney registration number 05679) for two years, effective February 20, 2018.

While representing a client in a personal injury matter, Bath was made aware that his client had a medical lien for the treatment of her injuries and that the lien was to be paid from the settlement funds. When he received the settlement funds, however, Bath paid his attorney fees, reimbursed himself $19,000—an amount that he had advanced his client for her living expenses—and distributed the remainder to his client. Bath then offered to settle the medical lien with his client’s medical provider, indicating that if the provider accepted his officer he would forward the check on to his bookkeeper for processing. But he did not do so and never paid the medical lien.

Trough his conduct, Bath violated Colo. RPC 1.8(e) (a lawyer shall not provide financial assistance to a client in connection with pending or contemplated litigation); Colo. RPC 1.15A(c) (a lawyer shall keep separate any property in which two or more persons claim an interest until there is a resolution of the claims); and Colo. RPC 8.4(c) (a lawyer shall not engage in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation).

No. 17PDJ048. People v. Bishop. 1/9/2018. Following a sanctions hearing, the Presiding Disciplinary Judge disbarred Leah Rae Bishop (attorney registration number 31377), effective February 13, 2018.

While assisting clients in two domestic relations cases, Bishop failed to diligently represent her clients, ignored court orders, refused to timely return files and funds owed to her clients, and knowingly converted client funds. She later disregarded requests for information from disciplinary authorities. She thus abdicated her duties to her clients, the courts, and the legal profession.

Trough her conduct, Bishop violated Colo. RPC 1.3 (a lawyer shall act with reasonable diligence and promptness when representing a client); Colo. RPC 1.4(a)(3) (a lawyer shall keep a client reasonably informed about the status of the matter); Colo. RPC 1.4(a)(4) (a lawyer shall promptly comply with reasonable requests for information); Colo. RPC 1.16(d) (a lawyer shall protect a client’s interests upon termination of the representation, including by returning unearned fees and any papers and property to which the client is entitled); Colo. RPC 3.4(c) (a lawyer shall not knowingly disobey an obligation under the rules of a tribunal); Colo. RPC 8.1(b) (a lawyer shall not knowingly fail to respond to a lawful demand for information from a disciplinary authority); Colo. RPC 8.4(c) (a lawyer shall not engage in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit...

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