Editors Choice

Jumpin’ into July and It’s Sixteen Texas Lawyers Behavin’ Badly. Then there’s the Six You’ll Never Know About. It’s a Secret.

Texas Lawyers Behavin’ Badly in July 2020’s Texas Bar Journal Listing. From Thievin’ lawyers to Proud Boys, we’ve got a smokin’ hot analysis of why the Texas Bar and BODA are just not tough enough for dishin’ out the discipline. Defund The Bar.

LIT COMMENTARY

Published; Dec 28, 2020

We had a busy summertime and we’re only now circling back to keep y’all up-to-date in LIT style about Texas lyin’ lawyers sanctioned (or not) by the Texas Bar in the summer of 2020. We’re lookin’ at sizzlin’ July and what a month it was.

We’ve got continuous threats of violence from a Proud Boy Texas lawyer who was sanctioned not disbarred, despite his preferred residency in a Denton prison.

Then we’re scratchin’ our mulletts on how similar sanctionable conduct can result in disbarment for a lawyer all the way down to a public slap for another.

People who’ve had their funds finched by their misbehavin’ lawyer have to offer interest free loans over extended credit terms in order to obtain their money.

And what about Dean Robertson. Here’s a prime example of the Texas Bar and BODA being as smoked out as Deano himself. This dude was convicted in 2014 for transportation of hash for sale in Arizona….yet he was only suspended by the Texas Bar…and again, notice that discipline is not available from his profile, you have to go find the sordid details. But we’ve done the legwork for y’all. Now he’s stolen $67.5k’s worth of greens…benjamins this time.

We’ll leave it at that for now, scroll down and read on…like, share, subscribe and donate if y’all like what we’re offering at LIT. We light up corruption via investigative journalism that reveals the finer details not available anywhere else – in one easy to read blog.

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Disciplinary Actions — July/August 2020 State Bar lists ( 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 February 12, 2020, George B. Tennant Jr. [#24042016], 51, of Pearland, received a three-year fully probated suspension effective February 15, 2020. An evidentiary panel of the District 4 Grievance Committee found that while representing a client, Tennant neglected the legal matter entrusted to him and failed to refund advance payments of fees that had not been earned. While representing another client, Tennant failed to surrender papers and property to which his client was entitled and in both matters, he 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. Tennant violated Rules 1.01(b)(1), 1.15(d), and 8.04(a)(8). He was ordered to pay $700 in restitution and $500 in attorneys’ fees and direct expenses.

Now George was also profiled in the April’s Fool list by LIT – he’s popular.

On February 12, 2020, George B. Tennant Jr. [#24042016], 51, of Pearland, received a three-year fully probated suspension effective February 15, 2020. An evidentiary panel of the District 4 Grievance Committee found that, while representing four clients in separate matters, Tennant neglected legal matters entrusted to him, failed to keep clients reasonably informed about the status of their legal matters and failed to promptly comply with reasonable requests for information, failed to surrender papers and property to which clients were entitled, and failed to refund advance payments of fees that had not been earned. Tennant also engaged in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation and 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. Tennant violated Rules 1.01(b)(1), 1.03(a), 1.15(d), 8.04(a)(3), and 8.04(a)(8). He was ordered to pay $2,300 in restitution and $500 in attorneys’ fees and direct expenses.

On May 6, 2020, Juana Maria Calvillo [#24067537], 39, of Houston accepted a one-year partially probated suspension effective May 28, 2020, with the first week actively served and the remainder probated.

An evidentiary panel of the District 4 Grievance Committee found that Calvillo neglected a client’s legal matter, failed to keep her client reasonably informed, and failed to timely furnish a response to the Office of Chief Disciplinary Counsel and did not in good faith timely assert a privilege or other legal ground for failure to do so.

Calvillo violated Rules 1.01(b)(1), 1.03(a), and 8.04(a)(8). She was ordered to pay $2,500 in restitution and $1,000 in attorneys’ fees.

Juana Maria Calvillo

calvillo-headshot-removebg-preview

Gabe Giwa & Associates

PUBLIC REPRIMAND
On May 5, 2020, Gabriel Ibukun Giwa [#07990170], 66, of Houston, accepted an agreed judgment of public reprimand.

An evidentiary panel of the District 4 Grievance Committee found that Giwa engaged in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation while acting as a notary on a release of lien document as well as when he filed a document with the clerk’s office.

Giwa violated Rule 8.04(a)(3). He was ordered to pay $1,500 in attorneys’ fees.

DENNIS W. CRAGGS & ASSOCIATES

On May 19, 2020, Dennis Warren Craggs [#04975000], 75, of Houston accepted a two-year partially probated suspension effective May 19, 2020 which was then amended to make it a fully probated suspension in November.

An evidentiary panel of the District 4 Grievance Committee found that Craggs failed to file a response to the grievance.

Craggs violated Rule 8.04(a)(8). He agreed to pay $500 in attorneys’ fees and direct expenses.

IT's CRAGG's LIST

Rest of the state

DISBARMENTS
On April 2, 2020, Brenda Gail Hansen [#24010087], 66, of Arlington, was disbarred effective March 2, 2020.

The District 7 Grievance Committee found that in May 2018, the complainant hired Hansen for representation in a family law matter.

Hansen neglected the legal matter entrusted to her by failing to perform any legal services on behalf of the complainant. Hansen failed to keep the complainant reasonably updated as to the status of her legal matter and failed to promptly respond to reasonable requests for information from the complainant.

Upon termination of representation, Hansen failed to refund advance payments of a fee that had not been earned.

Hansen failed to timely furnish to the Office of Chief Disciplinary Counsel a response or other information as required and did not in good faith timely assert a privilege or other legal ground for failure to do so.

Hansen violated Rules 1.01(b)(1), 1.03(a), 1.15(d), and 8.04(a)(8). She was ordered to pay $1,900 in restitution and $1,760 in attorneys’ fees and direct expenses.

MS. BRENDA GAIL HANSEN

On February 6, 2020, Christianson O. Hartman [#24056682], 39, of Sweetwater, was disbarred.

An evidentiary panel of the District 16 Grievance Committee found that Hartman failed to hold a client’s or third person’s funds separate from his own property, misrepresented facts and failed to disclose information to a tribunal when disclosure was necessary to avoid assisting a criminal or fraudulent act, engaged in conduct involving a serious crime, and engaged in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, and misrepresentation.

Hartman violated Rules 1.14(a), 1.14(c), 3.03(a)(1), 3.03(a)(2), 8.04(a)(2), and 8.04(a)(3). He was ordered to pay $15,100 in attorneys’ fees and direct expenses.

Hartman has earned his own page on LIT, he’s quite a character.

On February 5, 2020, Damon Dean Robertson [#24005285], 46, of Austin, was disbarred by an evidentiary panel of the District 9 Grievance Committee.

The panel found that Robertson was hired to assist his client with probating an estate, an IRS lien, a business foreclosure, and an oil and gas lease.

Robertson neglected these matters, failed to communicate with his client, failed to render an accounting of the work performed, and failed to return the client’s file or any unearned fees.

Robertson further failed to file a written response to this grievance as directed. Robertson violated Rules 1.01(b)(1), 1.03(a), 1.14(b), 1.15(d), and 8.04(a)(8). He was ordered to pay $11,532 in restitution and $3,779.70 in attorneys’ fees and direct expenses.

Texas Lawyer Jami Nance aka Jami Hale was in a Jam after dipping into the Clients Funds and writing her client a “Hot Check” for $78k.

SUSPENSIONS

On February 5, 2020, Gaylyn Leon Cooper [#04774700], 66, of Port Arthur, received a four-year probated suspension effective April 1, 2020.

An evidentiary panel of the District 3 Grievance Committee found that, in one matter, Cooper neglected a legal matter entrusted to him, failed to keep his client reasonably informed about the status of their legal matter and failed to promptly comply with reasonable requests for information, and failed to explain a legal matter to the extent reasonably necessary to permit his client to make informed decisions regarding the representation.

In a second matter, Cooper failed to hold funds belonging to his client that were in his possession in connection with the representation separate from his own property.

In both matters, Cooper frequently failed to carry out completely the obligations he owed to his clients and, upon termination of representation, failed to refund advance payments of fees that had not been earned.

Cooper violated Rules 1.01(b)(1), 1.01(b)(2), 1.03(a), 1.03(b), 1.14(a), and 1.15(d). He was ordered to pay $2,350 in restitution and $2,687.50 in attorneys’ fees.

COOPERS' COLLECTION

On March 16, 2020, Amy Dalaine Long[#24036984], 53, of Tyler, received a 24-month fully probated suspension effective March 4, 2020.

An evidentiary panel of the District 2 Grievance Committee found that on September 21, 2018, the complainant hired Long to represent him in a modification of child custody case.

In representing the complainant, Long neglected the legal matter entrusted to her by failing to provide legal services to help the complainant obtain custody of his child. Long failed to keep the complainant informed about the status of his case.

Long also failed to explain to the complainant the process of filing a child custody modification and that she would not be representing him in Colorado to the extent reasonably necessary to permit the complainant to make informed decisions regarding the representation.

Further, Long failed to timely respond to the grievance. Long violated Rules 1.01(b)(1), 1.03(a), 1.03(b), and 8.04(a)(8).

RED ALERT, AMY CAN'T WORK

FULLY PROBATED, errr, NOT NOW

ROB NEWARK

On May 27, 2020, Robert Clarence Newark III [#24040097], 45, of Dallas, agreed to a 12-month fully probated suspension effective June 1, 2020.

The District 6 Grievance Committee found that on March 6, 2019, Newark was retained by the complainant to represent her in a civil matter.

In representing the complainant, Newark neglected the legal matter entrusted to him by failing to adequately prepare for trial and by allowing a default judgment to be rendered against the complainant.

Newark failed to keep the complainant reasonably informed about the status of her legal matter.  Newark engaged in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation when he made misrepresentations regarding the status of the complainant’s legal matter.

Newark violated Rules 1.01(b)(1), 1.03(a), and 8.04(a)(3). He was ordered to pay $675 in attorneys’ fees and direct expenses.

On April 30, 2020, Dennis Ramirez [#24037327], 43, of Donna, agreed to a one-year fully probated suspension effective April 1, 2020.

An evidentiary panel of the District 12 Grievance Committee found that Ramirez failed to hold client funds separate from his own property and failed to deliver funds to parties entitled to receive the funds promptly.

Ramirez violated Rules 1.14(a) and 1.14(b). He was ordered to pay $1,000 in attorneys’ fees and direct expenses.

FINCHED FUNDS FOR CHILDREN

On May 8, 2020, Peter Michael Zavaletta [#22251600], 59, of Corpus Christi, agreed to a two-year fully probated suspension effective June 1, 2020.

An investigatory panel of the District 11 Grievance Committee found that Zavaletta neglected a client’s matter, failed to keep a client reasonably informed, failed to return unearned fees, and failed to protect a client’s interest.

Zavaletta violated Rules 1.01(b)(1), 1.03(a), 1.15(a)(1), and 1.15(d). He was ordered to pay $10,000 in restitution and $900 in attorneys’ fees and direct expenses.

A CONFLICT OF INTEREST

THE PROUD BOY

On April 30, 2020, Jason Lee Van Dyke [#24057426], 40, of Decatur, agreed to an 18-month partially probated suspension effective May 1, 2020, with the first six months actively served and the remainder probated.

The 271st Judicial District Court of Wise County found that Van Dyke committed professional misconduct by violating Rules 8.04(a)(2) [A lawyer shall not commit a serious crime or commit any other criminal act that reflects adversely on the lawyer’s honesty, trustworthiness or fitness as a lawyer in other respects] and 8.04(a)(3) [A lawyer shall not engage in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation].

Van Dyke was ordered to pay $6,400 in attorneys’ fees and direct expenses.

2018 DISCIPLINE

AN ANNUAL EVENT

On May 5, 2020, Taj AdarRyl Warren [#24060802], 42, of Dallas, agreed to a 36-month partially probated suspension effective May 15, 2020, with the first 18 months actively served and the remainder probated.

An investigatory panel of the District 6 Grievance Committee found that Warren neglected the legal matter by not timely serving the defendant in a civil suit that he filed on the client’s behalf.

Warren failed to properly communicate with the client.

Warren failed to safeguard the retainer paid to Warren for future legal services and failed to return the client’s case file and refund any unearned fees.

Further, Warren failed to notify the court and client of his suspension by June 1, 2019, as required by a previous disciplinary judgment, and failed to comply with Texas Rules of Disciplinary Procedure Rule 13.01 relating to notification of an attorney’s cessation of practice.

Warren violated Rules 1.01(b)(1), 1.03(b), 1.14(a), 1.15(d), 8.04(a)(7), and 8.04(a)(10). He was ordered to pay $4,500 in restitution and $500 in attorneys’ fees and direct expenses.

INTEREST FREE FINCHIN' LOAN

WARREN'S PRIOR DISCIPLINE

Taj was on LIT’s list from exactly a year ago in July 2019. They say “Adaryl” is a study drug to focus…maybe…

On May 19, 2020, Christopher Eric Dennis [#90001539], 49, of Levelland, agreed to a judgment of indefinite disability suspension, effective immediately. The Board of Disciplinary Appeals signed an agreed judgment of indefinite disability suspension based on Dennis’ agreement that he suffers from a disability that results in his inability to practice law.

Can someone at the Texas Bar advise LIT why this lawyer, Christopher Dennis gets a mere public warning and yet earlier in the list, Brenda Hansen was disbarred more or less the exact same type of grievance (in fact the amount of restitution was less, only $1,900)?

PUBLIC REPRIMAND

On May 1, 2020, Paul Martin Weiss [#24034732], 59, of San Antonio, accepted a public reprimand.

An investigatory panel of the District 10 Grievance Committee found Weiss neglected a client’s matters, failed to respond to a client’s request for information, and upon termination of representation, failed to return unearned fees and failed to respond to grievances in a timely fashion.

Weiss violated Rules 1.01(b)(1), 1.03(a), 1.15(d), and 8.04(a)(8). He agreed to pay $2,050 in restitution and $800 in attorneys’ fees and direct expenses.

This Lawyer Tells The Texas Bar to Get Kraken’

Michigan Attorney Adam C. Reddick filed his grievance in the Lone Star State against Sidney Powell, who has filed several so-called Kraken lawsuits across the country in a bid to prevent President-elect Joe Biden from becoming president.

The Ninth Circuit Quickly Disposes of Selia Law. We Doubt it’s Over.

A unanimous panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled that the CID issued to Seila Law was validly ratified by Director Kraninger and affirmed the district court’s decision granting the CFPB’s petition to enforce the CID.

Texas Bar Journal 2021

Texas Bar Journal 2021 and links to the corresponding articles on LIT regarding the monthly list of lawyers behavin’ badly.

Jumpin’ into July and It’s Sixteen Texas Lawyers Behavin’ Badly. Then there’s the Six You’ll Never Know About. It’s a Secret.
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Laws In Texas is a blog about the Financial Crisis and how the banks and government are colluding against the citizens and homeowners of the State of Texas and relying on a system of #FakeDocs and post-crisis legal precedents, specially created by the Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit to foreclose on homeowners around this great State. We are not lawyers. We do not offer legal advice. We are citizens of the State of Texas who have spent a decade in the court system in Texas and have been party to during this period to the good, the bad and the very ugly.

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