The State Bar Association of North Dakota Summer 2014 Gavel Magazine - Page 32

LAWYER DISCIPLINE NOTICE OF DISCIPLINE OF ATTORNEY Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court of the State of North Dakota, v. Camille O’Kara Hann No. 20140171 Camille O’Kara Hann filed a Petition for Reinstatement with the Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court. Hann had previously been suspended from the practice of law for a period of six months and one day starting September 1, 2012, due to misconduct. The matter was assigned to a hearing panel of the Disciplinary Board, and it filed its report with the Supreme Court. After evaluating the factors for reinstatement under N.D.R. Lawyer Discipl. 4.5, the hearing panel recommended Hann be reinstated subject to conditions. The report of the hearing panel was submitted to the Supreme Court and recommended Hann be allowed to apply to the Disciplinary Board to lift the conditions of reinstatement when evidence demonstrates they are no longer needed. At this time, Hann is unsure whether or not she will return to the practice of law. The Supreme Court adopted the report of the hearing panel and ordered Hann be reinstated to the practice of law in the State of North Dakota and she is eligible to obtain a license, effective immediately. It ordered the following conditions if Hann returns to the practice of law in North Dakota: (1) practice law in North Dakota only if associated with an experienced supervising lawyer; (2) work with the Lawyer Assistance Program and set up an individualized assistance plan to assist her with law practice management; (3) provide accountings, and if applicable, make refunds for any unearned fees; and (4) file a report with the Secretary of the Disciplinary Board indicating compliance with all conditions every six months with the first report being due six months after being licensed. The Supreme Court also ordered Hann to pay the costs and expenses of the reinstatement proceeding in the amount of $1,748.50. 32 THE GAVEL NOTICE OF DISCIPLINE OF ATTORNEY In the Matter of the Reciprocal Discipline of Mary T. Wynne, a Person admitted to the Bar of the State of North Dakota No. 20140227 On August 2, 2013, the Disciplinary Board of the Washington State Bar Association filed two orders issuing formal reprimands to Mary T. Wynne for engaging in misconduct by mishandling client funds in two cases. In one of those cases, Wynne made confusing statements to a court misleading it to believe her business account, in which she deposited client funds, was an Interest on Lawyers’ Trust Account (IOLTA) account. Wynne was notified that a certified copy of an order of discipline entered by the Supreme Court of Minnesota was received and that she had 30 days to file any claim that imposition of the identical discipline in North Dakota would be unwarranted and the reasons for the claim. No response was received. The North Dakota Supreme Court issued a reprimand against Mary T. Wynne. NOTICE OF ORDER DISBARRING ATTORNEY Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court of the State of North Dakota, v. Rebecca Lee Lawler No. 20140053-20140062 A hearing panel of the Disciplinary Board recommended that Rebecca Lee Lawler be disbarred from the practice of law in North Dakota, that she pay restitution to clients and the client protection fund, and that she pay the costs and expenses of the disciplinary proceedings. Lawler was using methamphetamine and crack cocaine from November 2010, to July 2012, and again from November 8, 2012, to January 25, 2013. During the first time period, Lawler removed trust account funds paid in advance by clients or received in trust for clients or others before fees were earned or expenses were incurred on behalf of clients. On July 26, 2012, Lawler was interim suspended, pending final disposition of the disciplinary proceedings arising out of the complaints filed against her. An appointed professional trustee identified 22 clients for which there were no funds in Lawler’s trust account to reimburse clients. In addition, Lawler failed to complete work for the clients, and in some cases failed to diligently act on behalf of or reasonably communicate with clients. After considering the aggravating and mitigating factors, the hearing panel concluded disbarment was the appropriate sanction. The Supreme Court adopted the hearing panel’s conclusion that Lawler violated N.D.R. Prof. Conduct 1.3, 1.4, 1.15(a), 1.15(c), 8.4(b) and N.D.R. Lawyer Discipl. 1.2(A)(2) in 10 consolidated matters. The Court ordered that Lawler be disbarred from the practice of law, that she pay $5,369.82 in costs of the disciplinary proceedings, that she pay restitution to clients and the client protection fund, and that she pay the costs and expenses of the disciplinary proceedings.