Disciplinary Case Summaries, 0920 COBJ, Vol. 49, No. 8 Pg. 80

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49 Colo.Law. 80

Disciplinary Case Summaries

Vol. 49, No. 8 [Page 80]

Colorado Lawyer

September, 2020

August, 2020

OFFICE OF THE PRESIDING DISCIPLINARY JUDGE

No. 20PDJ023. People v. Becnel III.

6/2/2020. The Presiding Disciplinary Judge approved a conditional admission of misconduct and imposed reciprocal discipline, suspending Daniel Elmore Becnel III (attorney registration number 39678) from the practice of law in Colorado for one year and one day, effective June 2, 2020. Becnel must petition for reinstatement and show by clear and convincing evidence that he has been rehabilitated, has complied with disciplinary orders and rules, is fit to practice law, and has been reinstated in Louisiana.

This reciprocal discipline case arose out of discipline imposed by the Supreme Court of Louisiana on January 30, 2019, suspending Becnel from the practice of law for one year and one day. Becnel was disciplined for technical conversion of client funds and for failing to properly manage his trust account.

Becnel’s misconduct constituted grounds for reciprocal discipline under CRCP 251.5 and 251.21.

The case file is public per CRCP 251.31

No. 19PDJ080. People v. Caldbeck.

5/5/2020. The Presiding Disciplinary Judge disbarred Weldon Stephen Caldbeck (Pennsylvania attorney registration number 32027) from the practice of law in Colorado, effective June 9, 2020.

While practicing federal immigration law in Denver, Caldbeck failed to diligently pursue his client’s matter and missed critical filing deadlines. He failed to keep his client reasonably informed about the status of her case, ignoring many of her requests for information over several years. Caldbeck failed to perform the services for which he was retained, and he engaged in an ongoing pattern of neglect; he also knowingly misled and deceived his client about the status of her client matter. Finally, he knowingly converted for his own use an unearned retainer and failed to return his client’s documents and funds upon termination of their attorney-client relationship

Through this conduct, Caldbeck 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 1.5(f) (a lawyer does not earn fees until a benefit is conferred on the client or the lawyer performs a legal service); Colo. RPC 1.15A(a) (a lawyer shall hold client property separate from the lawyer’s own property); Colo. RPC 1.15A(b) (on receiving funds or other property of a client or third person, a lawyer shall promptly deliver to the client or third person any funds or property that person is entitled to receive and, if requested, promptly render a full accounting regarding such property); Colo. RPC 1.16(d) (a lawyer shall protect a client’s interests upon termination of the representation, including by giving reasonable notice to the client and returning unearned fees and any papers and property to which the client is entitled); and Colo. RPC 8.4(c) (providing that it is professional misconduct for a lawyer to engage in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation).

The case file is public per CRCP 251.31.

No. 20PDJ032. People v. Goff.

5/29/2020. The Presiding Disciplinary Judge approved the parties’ conditional admission of misconduct and suspended Richard James Goff...

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