Disciplinary Case Summaries, 0719 COBJ, Vol. 48, No. 7 Pg. 84

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48 Colo.Law. 84

Disciplinary Case Summaries

Vol. 48, No. 7 [Page 84]

Colorado Lawyer

July, 2019

OFFICE OF THE PRESIDING DISCIPLINARY JUDGE

No. 19PDJ032. People v. Field. 5/8/2019. The Presiding Disciplinary judge approved the parties' conditional admission of misconduct and suspended Eric Victor Field (attorney registration number 14075) for one year and one day. The suspension was effective lune 12, 2019. To be reinstated, Field will bear the burden of proving by clear and convincing evidence that he has been rehabilitated, has complied with disciplinary orders and rules, and is fit to practice law.

In July 2017, Field was retained by a client in a post-decree divorce matter. Field agreed to assist the client for a flat fee. He treated the flat fee as earned on receipt but never completed any work in the client's case. Field did not provide the client with a billing statement or a refund after the client terminated his representation in October 2017. In April 2018, Field issued his client a full refund after she filed a request for investigation with disciplinary authorities.

Field regularly used a debit card to pay personal and business expenses from his trust account. Between August 2017 and April 2018, Field regularly spent all the funds in his trust account. He would also deposit his own funds into trust so that he could spend those funds using his debit card. He did not keep trust account records to track the money he deposited into trust. Nor did he record whether he earned such funds.

Through this conduct, Field violated Colo. RPC 1.3 (a lawyer shall act with reasonable diligence and promptness when representing a client); Colo. RPC 1.15A(a) (a lawyer shall hold client property separate from the lawyer's own property); Colo. RPC 1.15C(c) (a lawyer shall not use a debit card to withdraw cash from a trust account); Colo. RPC 1.15D(a) (a lawyer shall maintain trust account records); 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); and Colo. RPC 8.4(c) (a lawyer shall not engage in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation).

The case file is public per CRCP 251.31.

No. 18PDJ055. People v. Hailing. 3/20/2019. Following a sanctions hearing, the Presiding Disciplinary judge disbarred Dale B. Hailing (attorney registration number 25320). The disbarment took effect April 24, 2019.

Hailing was retained by three separate clients to apply for certain intellectual property patents. Despite his many assurances that the clients' applications and patents were in good standing and no action needed to be taken, Hailing had, in fact, knowingly neglected the work he had contracted to do and had abandoned two clients' matters entirely. Further, in two client matters he converted funds that had been earmarked for filing fees. Hailing caused all three clients' patents to be deemed abandoned. He neglected to hold client funds in trust and failed to communicate to each client the status of their patent applications. Though disciplinary authorities asked Hailing to respond to requests for investigation, he did not do so.

Through his conduct, Hailing 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 1.15A(a) (a lawyer shall hold client property separate from the lawyer's own property); Colo. RPC 1.16(d) (a lawyer shall protect a client's interests upon termination of the representation, including returning unearned fees to which the client is entitled); Colo. RPC 8.1(b)...

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