Lawyer Complaints

As LIT Data Confirms, The Woeful Texas Bar Discipline in September 2020 Would Return to Haunt Them

The Secret Six plus another 4 Texas lawyers slapped by the Texas Bar – who apparently forgot to return to work after the vacation month of August 2020.

LIT COMMENTARY

The Secret Six plus another 4 lawyers slapped by the Texas Bar who forgot to return to work after the vacation month of August 2020. As would be proven in a few short months, for the majority of suspensions, it was clearly woeful discipline once again.

Disciplinary Actions — September 2020 State Bar lists (verbatim from the State Bar of Texas) General questions regarding attorney discipline should be directed to the Chief Disciplinary Counsel’s Office, toll-free (877) 953-5535 or (512) 453-5535.

The Board of Disciplinary Appeals may be reached at (512) 475-1578. Information and copies of actual orders are available at www.txboda.org. The State Commission on Judicial Conduct may be contacted toll-free, (877) 228-5750 or (512) 463-5533.

Please note that persons disciplined by the Commission on Judicial Conduct are not necessarily licensed attorneys.

Houston area

SUSPENSIONS

On June 23, 2020, Daniel K. Chism [#24064182], 44, of Houston, received a six-month fully probated suspension effective July 1, 2020, through January 1, 2021.

An investigatory panel of the District 4 Grievance Committee found that Chism failed to keep his client reasonably informed about the status of the client’s legal matter and failed to promptly comply with her reasonable requests for information about the case.

Chism also upon receiving funds to which his client was justly entitled, failed to promptly deliver to his client said funds that she was entitled to receive.

Chism violated Rules 1.03(a) and 1.14(b).

REPRESENTING THE TEXAS BAR, IT'S VADEN...

On June 29, 2020, Thomas Austin Willbern III [#21507700], 68, of Houston, received a 12-month fully probated suspension effective June 30, 2020, through June 30, 2021.

An investigatory panel of the District 4 Grievance Committee found that Willbern failed to timely furnish to the Office of Chief Disciplinary Counsel a response or other information as required by the Texas Rules of Disciplinary Procedure.

Willbern did not, in good faith, timely assert a privilege or other legal ground for failure to do so.

Willbern violated Rule 8.04(a)(8).

THE WILLBERN RAP SHEET (BUT HE STILL QUALIFIES FOR A FULLY PROBATED SUSPENSION)

REPRESENTING THE TEXAS BAR, OF COURSE IT'S VADEN...

Rest of the state

REINSTATEMENT

James Jeffrey Crook [#05111000], 82, of El Paso, filed a petition in the 168th Judicial District Court of El Paso County for reinstatement as a member of the State Bar of Texas. Here’s his old TXBODA charge – 13 counts of barratry…a criminal conviction.

SUSPENSIONS

On June 26, 2020, Kyle B. Collins [#04613400], 66, of Austin, accepted a one-year fully probated suspension effective July 1, 2020.

An investigatory panel of the District 9 Grievance Committee found that while representing a client in a criminal matter, Collins neglected the legal matter and failed to keep his client reasonably informed about the status of the matter.

Collins further failed to timely return the unearned fee to his client and timely file a response to the grievance.

Collins violated Rules 1.01(b)(1), 1.03(a), 1.15(d), and 8.04(a)(8).

LIT wrote a special article on Habermann

On July 6, 2020, Richard Otto Habermann [#08665530], 74, of McAllen, agreed to a five-year partially probated suspension effective July 1, 2020, with the first six months actively served and the remainder probated.

An investigatory panel of the District 12 Grievance Committee found that Habermann failed to hold funds related to a representation separate from his own property and failed to deliver funds to parties entitled to receive the funds promptly.

Habermann violated Rules 1.14(a) and 1.14(b).

He was ordered to pay $88,672 in restitution and $800 in attorneys’ fees and direct expenses.

THE SECRET LIST OF SIX UNETHICAL TEXAS LAWYERS

The September Secret Six – those lyin’ lawyers you’ll never know about. Conduct violations for six attorneys detailed in the TBJ – how ridiculous that looks.

May Day Alert 2021: Texas Bar Report on Rogue Texas Lawyers

LIT’s detailed review of Texas Bar Discipline for May 2021. The Grievance Committee members decide who gets slapped – based on who you are.

Texas Becomes the Last State to Abolish a Prohibition on Law Firm Trade Names

Whether you’re opening a new law firm or looking to rebrand, it’s important to choose a name that your audience will identify with.

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As LIT Data Confirms, The Woeful Texas Bar Discipline in September 2020 Would Return to Haunt Them
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