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Attorney Discipline

Why you can’t trade legal services for construction work and not share with your partners

When trading legal services for construction work will get you suspended

In a recent attorney discipline case, the question of the appropriate sanction for an attorney who traded his legal services for construction work on his home and yard came before the Utah Supreme Court.  In In the Matter of Discipline of Joseph P. Barrett, an attorney was suspended from the practice of for law for 150 days for misappropriating firm funds arising from two situations where the attorney traded legal services for construction on his home and yard.  On appeal, […]

Aggravating lawyer gets suspension, not disbarment

A recent case before the Utah Supreme Court shows what can happen when a lawyer argues with a judge, even after the judge asked the lawyer not to interrupt him and sit down.  In Ciardi v. OPC, the lawyer in question was disbarred following his conduct at the courthouse during a roll call, as well as his conduct during a screening panel hearing before the Ethics and Discipline Committee of the Utah Supreme Court.  On appeal, while the Utah Supreme […]

Accepting Disputed Funds Can Get You Disbarred

Accepting disputed funds can get you disbarred

The question of whether an attorney may accept payment of his or her fees from disputed funds recently came before the Utah Supreme Court.  The attorney at issue had been disbarred from the practice of law for accepting payment of his fees from funds that he knew or should have known were the subject of litigation and were paid from bank accounts that were the subject of an injunction. Attorney Challenges Disbarment Over Accepting Disputed Funds In In the Matter […]

ABA - American Bar Association

ABA passes anti-discrimination rule

Early last week, the American Bar Association (“ABA”) House of Delegates passed an amendment to the Model Rules of Professional Conduct prohibiting lawyers from engaging in any harassment or discrimination as it relates to the practice of law.  The amendment’s passage comes after months of debate, comment, and revision.  Revised Resolution 109 passed the ABA House of Delegates by a voice vote and without any dissenting comments from the house floor.  The newly adopted version of the rule is reflective […]

Burden of Proof

Burden of proof in attorney discipline cases

In a recent attorney discipline case before the Utah Supreme Court, the disciplined attorney argued that the proper burden of proof for attorney disciplinary proceedings involving “criminal acts” is proof beyond a reasonable doubt.  However, the Supreme Courts rejected the attorney’s invitation, holding that the burden of proof applicable to attorney discipline proceedings, whether or not they involve claims of criminal acts, under the Utah Rules of Lawyer Discipline is proof “by a preponderance of the evidence.” Disciplined Attorney Charged […]