Vol. 42, No. 10
From the Courts
Colorado Disciplinary Cases
Disciplinary Case Summaries
The summaries of disciplinary case Opinions and Conditional Admissions of Misconduct are prepared by the Office of the Presiding Disciplinary Judge (PDJ) and are provided as a service by the Colorado Bar Association (CBA). The CBA cannot guarantee the accuracy or completeness of the summaries. The full text of the disciplinary Opinions, when published by the PDJ, follows the summaries page(s). The summaries and full-text Opinions also are accessible from the CBA website: www.cobar.org (click on "Opinions/Rules/Statutes"). Opinions, including exhibits, complaints, amended complaints, and summaries, also are available at the PDJ website, www.coloradosupremecourt.com/PDJ/pdj.htm, and on LexisNexis.®
Summary of Decision Issued by the PDJ
No. 12PDJ087. People v. Ringler. 06/21/2013. Attorney Disbarred.
The PDJ disbarred Victoria Lynne Ringler, attorney registration number 30727. The disbarment was effective July 26, 2013.
Ringler was hired by a client to assist in a dissolution of marriage matter. After making initial filings, Ringler failed to complete additional work, failed to respond to her client’s inquiries, and never returned her client’s retainer. Ringler’s misconduct constituted grounds for the imposition of discipline pursuant to CRCP 251.5, and violated Colo. RPC 1.3, 1.4(a)(3) and (4), 1.15(a), 1.16(d), and 8.4(c).
Summaries of Decisions Regarding
Conditional Admission of Misconduct Issued by the PDJ
The PDJ’s approval of a Conditional Admission of Misconduct does not result in a written Opinion but only a brief Order, which does not constitute precedent. Conditional Admissions of Misconduct are public record and are available for review at the Office of the PDJ, 1560 Broadway, Ste. 675, Denver, CO 80202; (303) 866-6658; www.coloradosupremecourt.com/PDJ/pdj.htm. They also are available on LexisNexis.®
No. 13PDJ061. People v. Byrne. 08/19/2013. Attorney Disbarred.
The PDJ approved a conditional admission of misconduct submitted by the parties and disbarred John Charles Byrne, attorney registration number 18327. The disbarment was effective August 19, 2013.
In 2005, Byrne was appointed trustee and fiduciary for his mother-in-law, a nursing home patient suffering from dementia. Acting in these capacities, Byrne stole more than $578,000 from her. Byrne pleaded guilty to class 4 felony and class 1 misdemeanor theft charges. He was sentenced to six years in prison and was ordered to pay $916,028.03 in restitution. Byrne’s misconduct constituted grounds for the imposition of discipline pursuant to CRCP 251.5, and violated Colo. RPC 8.4(b) and (c).
No. 13PDJ046. People v. Casey. 07/24/2013. Attorney Suspended.
The PDJ approved a conditional admission of misconduct submitted by the parties and suspended N. Franklyn Casey, attorney registration number 18558, for two years and one day. The suspension was effective July 24, 2013.
The Supreme Court of Oklahoma suspended Casey for two years and one day after determining that he violated several Oklahoma Rules of Professional Conduct, including Rules 1.5, 1.15(b) and (c), and 8.4(d). Casey’s misconduct involved his participation in an improper declaratory judgment action and his filing of a frivolous application for approval of a settlement, which was calculated to enable him to misappropriate funds to which another law firm claimed an interest. The Court found that this misconduct amounted to an intentional manipulation of the judicial system. Casey’s misconduct constituted grounds for the imposition of reciprocal discipline in Colorado pursuant to CRCP 251.21(e).
No. 13PDJ056. People v. Nimtz. 07/22/2013. Attorney Suspended.
The PDJ approved a conditional admission of misconduct submitted by the parties and suspended Andrew Steven Nimtz, attorney registration number 30081, from the practice of law for one year and one day, with sixty days to be served and the remainder to be stayed pending completion of a one-year period of probation with conditions. The suspension was effective August 1, 2013.
Nimtz represented a client whom Nimtz knew to be prohibited from obtaining a license to operate a medical marijuana dispensary due to a pending tax lien. For his client to continue operating the dispensary, Nimtz applied for the license in his own name, even though the client, not Nimtz, owned the dispensary in question. The State of Colorado granted Nimtz a license. After a police search of the dispensary, Nimtz was charged in Adams County with two class 4 felonies. On July 26, 2012, he pleaded guilty to possession of marijuana, a class 1 misdemeanor. Nimtz was sentenced to serve one year of probation, to pay fines and costs, and to complete forty hours of public service. His probation terminated early on January 9, 2013. Nimtz’s misconduct constituted grounds for the imposition of discipline pursuant to CRCP 251.5, and violated Colo. RPC 1.2(d), 4.1(a), and 8.4(b).
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