Disciplinary Case Summaries, 1220 COBJ, Vol. 49, No. 11 Pg. 82

PositionVol. 49, 11 [Page 82]

49 Colo.Law. 82

Office of the Presiding Disciplinary Judge Disciplinary Case Summaries

Vol. 49, No. 11 [Page 82]

Colorado Lawyer

December, 2020


No. 20PDI024. People v. Hodgson. 9/28/2020. The Presiding Disciplinary Judge approved the parties' conditional admission of misconduct and suspended Heather S. Hodgson (attorney registration number 33183) for 30 days, all stayed pending successful completion of a two-year period of probation, with conditions, including compliance with the terms of her criminal probation. H odgson's disciplinary probation took effect on September 28,2020. The sanction took into account substantial mitigation for personal and emotional problems.

Hodgson represented a client in a federal civil suit against the client's insurance company. During the lawsuit, Hodgson requested multiple extensions of time, including one out of time, to respond to a summary judgment motion. She did not tell her client about the summary judgment motion nor mention the order granting summary judgment. She was unaware of this order because her PACER account had been suspended earlier for failure to pay a fee. On several occasions her client requested information about the settlement negotiations and the upcoming trial, but Hodgson never responded. The court later assessed costs against Hodgson's client, after Hodgson failed to submit a response to a proposed bill of costs that the opposing party filed. The client independently learned of the order granting summary judgment and the order assessing costs against him, and he sent Hodgson a text with this information. Hodgson thereafter failed to communicate with him. She gave him no notice that the representation ended or that she would not complete any additional work on the matter. She also failed for more than four months to turn over his file to his new counsel, even though she initially acknowledged his request for the file.

In a separate matter, Hodgson pleaded guilty to driving under the influence, with one prior alcohol offense. She was sentenced in October 2019 to 15 days in jail, followed by 24 months of supervised probation and another 24 months of unsupervised probation. She was also ordered to complete 75 hours of community service, submit to an alcohol evaluation, complete education and therapy, attend a 12-step program, and do random sobriety testing. Hodgson was given a week...

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