Attorney Discipline

ADMONITION
On February 25, 2009, the Chair of the Ethics and Discipline Committee of the Utah Supreme Court entered an Order of Discipline: Admonition against an attorney for violation of Rules 1.9(a) (Conflict of Interest: Former Clients) and 8.4(a) (Misconduct) of the Rules of Professional Conduct.
In summary:
An attorney was hired to represent a client in a divorce matter. The attorney’s office sharing arrangement was the functional equivalent of being in the same firm as a family member. The attorney took a case against a former client of his family member.

RESIGNATION WITH DISCIPLINE PENDING
On February 11, 2009, the Honorable Matthew B. Durrant, Associate Chief Justice, Utah Supreme Court, entered an Order Accepting Resignation with Discipline Pending concerning David W. Snow for violation of Rules 1.3 (Diligence), 1.4(a) (Communication), 1.4(b) (Communication), 1.15(a) (Safekeeping Property), 1.15(d) (Safekeeping Property), 1.16(d) (Declining or Terminating Representation), 8.4(c) (Misconduct), and 8.4(a) (Misconduct) of the Rules of Professional Conduct.
In summary there are three cases:
Mr. Snow was hired to help his client resolve various debt issues. Mr. Snow was given a large sum of money to resolve the client’s outstanding debt. Mr. Snow was to receive 15% of the amount he was able to reduce his client’s debt. Mr. Snow failed to pursue the work he was hired for in a timely matter. Mr. Snow failed to communicate with his client and failed to return the unused funds that should have remained in his trust account. Mr. Snow commingled his client’s funds with his own funds and used his client’s funds to pay his own expenses.
In another matter, Mr. Snow was given a large sum of money to assist a client in resolving various debts. Mr. Snow was to receive 15% of the amount he was able to reduce his client’s debt. Mr. Snow negotiated with a creditor and the client approved payment to settle the debt. Mr. Snow did not mail the check to the creditor until after the settlement offer had expired. Mr. Snow’s client expressed frustration communicating with Mr. Snow. Many of the client’s creditors had not had contact with Mr. Snow. A new fee arrangement was negotiated with Mr. Snow and his client. After some time had passed, and Mr. Snow had only settled one more account, the client indicated he would handle the remaining accounts himself. Mr. Snow has yet to return the unused portion of his client’s money. Mr. Snow failed to keep his client’s money in his trust account and used the client’s money to pay his own debts.
In the last matter, Mr. Snow was hired to represent a client in a bankruptcy proceeding. Mr. Snow filed the bankruptcy petition and then had no contact with his client for several months. Mr. Snow filed an objection to the trustee’s Motion to Dismiss and stated the failure to file the declaration was because of his delay. Mr. Snow failed to timely file notices of two creditors, causing his clients to be unable to include the two creditors in their bankruptcy, and failed to respond to his client’s inquiries.
DISBARMENT
On January 14, 2009, the Honorable David N. Mortensen, Fourth Judicial District Court, entered an Order of Disbarment disbarring Paul J. Young from the practice of law for violations of Rules 8.4(b) and 8.4(a) (Misconduct) of the Rules of Professional Conduct.
In summary:
On December 27, 2005, Mr. Young was found guilty of one count of Conspiracy to Defraud the United States in violation of 18 United States Code, section 371. Mr. Young was sentenced to incarceration for a period of 45 months, followed by supervised release for a period of three years.
PUBLIC REPRIMAND
On January 28, 2009, the Chair of the Ethics and Discipline Committee of the Utah Supreme Court entered an Order of Discipline: Public Reprimand against Daniel V. Irvin for violation of Rules 1.3 (Diligence), 8.4(d) (Misconduct), and 8.4(a) (Misconduct) of the Rules of Professional Conduct.
In summary:
Mr. Irvin failed to appear at a previously scheduled trial in a client’s case. Mr. Irvin failed to appear at a previously scheduled pretrial hearing in another client’s case. Mr. Irvin failed to take necessary steps to follow-up on client matters after his computer crashed and he lost computer data regarding upcoming hearing dates.

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