Disciplinary Case Summaries, 0518 COBJ, Vol. 47, No. 5 Pg. 80

Position:Vol. 47, 5 [Page 80]

47 Colo.Law. 80

Disciplinary Case Summaries

Vol. 47, No. 5 [Page 80]

The Colorado Lawyer

May, 2018


No. 17PDJ060. People v. Belair. 2/12/2018. Following a sanctions hearing, the Presiding Disciplinary Judge disbarred Varen Craig Belair (attorney registration number 32696), effective March 19, 2018.

Belair was retained by a client to apply for and maintain certain intellectual property patents. Despite his many assurances over the course of years that all the client’s applications and patents were in good order, Belair had, in fact, knowingly neglected the work he had contracted to do yet continued to collect on invoices he issued to the client. By the time the client discovered his mendacity, Belair had converted close to $100,000 in unearned fees and had caused several of the client’s patents to be deemed abandoned. In another matter, Belair refused to pay a vendor who had performed work for him. When disciplinary authorities asked Belair to respond to a request for investigation, he failed to do so, though he promised he would.

Trough this conduct, Belair violated Colo. RPC 1.1 (a lawyer shall competently represent a client); Colo. RPC 1.3 (a lawyer shall act with reasonable diligence and promptness when representing a client); Colo. RPC 1.4(a) (a lawyer shall reasonably communicate with the client); Colo. RPC 1.4(b) (a lawyer shall explain a matter so as to permit the client to make informed decisions regarding the representation); Colo. RPC 8.1(b) (a lawyer shall not knowingly fail to respond to a lawful demand for information from a disciplinary authority); CRCP 251.5(d) (a lawyer must respond to a request from disciplinary authorities); Colo. RPC 8.4(c) (a lawyer shall not engage in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation); and Colo. RPC 8.4(d) (a lawyer shall not engage in conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice).

No. 17PDJ078. People v. Donohue. 2/27/2018. The Presiding Disciplinary Judge approved the parties’ conditional admission of misconduct and suspended Jay M. Donohue (attorney registration number 36355) for one year and one day, with nine months served and the remainder stayed upon successful completion of a two-year period of probation, effective February 27, 2018.

Beginning in 2006, three individuals worked together to develop residential real estate in Denver, purchasing older homes and building new residences on the properties. One person procured financing from investors and lenders. The other two were married to each other...

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