Disciplinary Reporter Case Digest

Attorney ID 0
Attorney Name Anonymous,    
DBP Docket No. 24 DB 2003
Supreme Court Docket No. N/A
Disciplinary Counsel Patti S. Bednarik
Counsel for Respondent
Decision Date 2004-02-18
Effective Date 2004-02-18
Case Digest In 1997, Respondent was retained to represent a client in an uncontested divorce for a fee of $190. Even though Respondent had never before represented the client, he failed to communicate the basis of his fee in writing within a reasonable time after commencing the representation. In 1997, Respondent filed the complaint in divorce. In March 2000, Respondent told his client that he needed an additional $160 to complete the divorce because her husband was contesting the divorce. From March 2000 until August 2001, Respondentís client attempted to contact Respondent regarding her case to no avail. In August 2001, Respondentís client advised him that her husband was no longer contesting the divorce. Between August 2001 and October 2002, Respondent again had no contact with his client despite attempts by the client to find out the status of the case. In October 2002, one of Respondentís staff admitted to the client that her legal file had been lost or misplaced. After Office of Disciplinary Counsel involvement, Respondent immediately finalized the divorce in December 2002.
Rule Violation(s) 1.3, 1.4(a), 1.5(b)
Discipline Imposed Non-summary Private Reprimand
Points of Law Even though this was a "garden variety" neglect case, this case went to formal charges, because Respondent had previously received a private reprimand for his neglect in handling 7 criminal matters and a divorce.
Report/Opinion not available