Lawyer Complaints

The Pontoon of Texas Lawyers Behavin’ Badly in December 2020

When you think the cards have been played before and the sanctions will be tougher on repeat offenders – these rogue Texas lawyers – you’d be wrong when it comes to the Texas Bar.

LIT COMMENTARY

Fourteen Texas lawyers behavin’ badly in December 2020 and the Texas 7 you’ll never know about, the private reprimands.

That’s a pontoon of rogue Texas attorneys’ to wrap up 2020. We’ll let you make up your own mind on how the ‘grievance committee’s’ appointed members handled their business. Feel free to comment, share and say hello on twitter.

14 Lawyers Disciplined on December List and the secret 7 you’ll never know about

December 1, 2020

Disciplinary Actions — December 2020 State Bar lists.

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

DISBARMENT

On September 17, 2020, Jeffrey Earl Crews [#24012475], 59, of Houston, was disbarred.

An evidentiary panel of the District 4 Grievance Committee found that, in representing a client, Crews neglected a legal matter entrusted to him, frequently failed to carry out completely the obligations he owed to his client, failed to keep his client reasonably informed about the status of her 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.

Crews, upon termination of representation, also failed to refund advance payments of fees that had not been earned 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.

Crews violated Rules 1.01(b)(1), 1.01(b)(2), 1.03(a), 1.03(b), 1.15(d), and 8.04(a)(8).

He was ordered to pay $2,500 in restitution and $1,480 in attorneys’ fees and direct expenses.

SUSPENSIONS

Thievin’ Lyin’ Texas Lawyer Stole $57G’s

On October 6, 2020, Paul Jason Brower [#24040581], 44, of Houston, accepted a five-year partially probated suspension effective November 1, 2020, with the first three months actively suspended and the remainder probated. [That’s 5% of the 5 year suspension folks].

An evidentiary panel of the District 4 Grievance Committee found that Brower accepted an appointment as guardian of a person and their estate, which he knew was beyond his competence; neglected the legal matter entrusted to him; and frequently failed to carry out completely the obligations he owed to his client.

Brower also failed to promptly deliver to a third party funds that they were entitled to receive; upon termination of representation, failed to refund advance payments of fees that had not been earned; knowingly made a false statement of material fact or law to the tribunal; knowingly, in an ex parte proceeding, failed to disclose to the tribunal an unprivileged fact that Brower reasonably believes should be known by that entity for it to make an informed decision; and knowingly offered or used evidence that he knew to be false.

Brower violated Rules 1.01(a), 1.01(b)(1), 1.01(b)(2), 1.14(b), 1.15(d), 3.03(a)(1), 3.03(a)(3), and 3.03(a)(5).

He was ordered to pay $57,580.09 in restitution and $513.50 in attorneys’ fees and costs.

Jeff Vaden, Texas Bar Grievance Committee Chair

3 Complaints by Clients against Fergie who is Actively Suspended for 1 month

Keyword for Lawyers “Concurrently”

(Versus Keyword for Civilians in the Dock: “Consecutively”)

Client 1: David Suchma

See Clients 2 and 3 Below for SBOT sanction(s). aka SLAP.

LAWYERS.COM REVIEWS

Client 2: Diana Gomez

On October 5, 2020, Corey Keitt Ferguson [#24036553], 45, of Conroe, accepted a seven-month partially probated suspension, with the first month actively suspended, effective October 1, 2020.

An investigatory panel of the District 3 Grievance Committee found that Ferguson neglected the legal matter entrusted to him, failed to keep his client reasonably informed about the status of her case, failed to promptly comply with his client’s reasonable requests for information, and failed to return unearned fees.

Additionally, Ferguson failed to timely respond to the grievance. Ferguson violated Rules 1.01(b)(1), 1.03(a), 1.15(d), and 8.04(a)(8).

He was ordered to pay $150 in restitution and $500 in attorneys’ fees and direct expenses.

C. Bruce Stratton, Texas Bar Grievance Committee Presiding Member

Note the last sentence; “shall run ‘concurrently’…”

C. Bruce Stratton, Texas Bar Grievance Committee Presiding Member

Client 3: Laura McSwain

On October 5, 2020, Corey Keitt Ferguson [#24036553], 45, of Conroe, accepted a seven-month partially probated suspension, with the first month actively suspended, effective October 1, 2020.

An investigatory panel of the District 3 Grievance Committee found that Ferguson failed to return unearned fees and further failed to timely respond to the grievance.

Ferguson violated Rules 1.15(d) and 8.04(a)(8).

He was ordered to pay $1,000 in restitution and $500 in attorneys’ fees and direct expenses.

Charlie’s Ray of Hope with a 6 Month Fully Probated Suspension after an in-depth Investigation

On October 9, 2020, Charles Ray “Chuck” Johnson Jr. [#24025742], 51, of Houston, accepted a six-month fully probated suspension effective October 1, 2020.

An evidentiary panel of the District 4 Grievance Committee found that, upon termination of representation, Johnson failed to timely surrender property consisting of an investigator’s fee. Johnson violated Rule 1.15(d).

He was ordered to pay $750 in attorneys’ fees.

At least Chuck’s got a great domain investment in houstonlawyer.com

Saavas T. Stefanides, Texas Bar Grievance Committee Panel Chair

Candy’s on a Sweet Deal, Fully Probated x 2, to run “Concurrently”

And we’re still not sure why these two recent October 2020 judgments are so vague and by two independent judges, written a day apart. All give an appearance of something very clandestine – but we do know Candy’s into politics and had the website chicksandpolitics.com which is now kaputz  and more, but the general basics have been confirmed.

Client 1

On October 7, 2020, Candice Lee Leonard [#24005603], 49, of Houston, accepted a one-year fully probated suspension effective October 1, 2020.

The 190th District Court of Harris County found that Leonard violated Rule 3.02 [took a position that unreasonably increased the costs or other burdens of the case or that unreasonably delayed resolution of the matter] and Rule 3.03(a)(1) [knowingly made a false statement of material fact or law to a tribunal].

Leonard was ordered to pay $1,000 in attorneys’ fees.

Candy’s represented by JARED WOODFILL, wasn’t his office raided on suspicion of theft of funds in 2019…yeah, READ ABOUT THAT HERE.

Client 2

On October 8, 2020, Candice Lee Leonard [#24005603], 49, of Houston, accepted a one-year fully probated suspension effective October 1, 2020.

The 189th District Court of Harris County found that Leonard violated Rule 3.02 [took a position that unreasonably increased the costs or other burdens of the case or that unreasonably delayed resolution of the matter], Rule 3.07(a) [knowingly disseminated an extrajudicial statement by means of public communication that had a substantial likelihood of materially prejudicing a proceeding], and Rule 4.04(b)(1) [threatened disciplinary charges solely to gain an advantage in a legal matter].

Leonard was ordered to pay $250 in attorneys’ fees.

Candi’s got quite the online resume, she’s been headlined by Houston Press at least thrice. The first article about “Local Photographer Threatened With Lawsuit by Woman Who Used Copyrighted Photo Without Permission” is followed quickly by “Candice Schwager, Jay Lee’s Harasser, Charged With Drunken Assault (Of Someone Else)“. The third article is an update; “More Charges Expected in Candice Schwager DWI Assault Case“.

John’s Status Qualifies for a Senior Discount, a Two For One Deal.

On October 1, 2020, John Luna Mendoza [#13937000], 80, of Houston, received a six-month partially probated suspension effective November 1, 2020, with the first month actively suspended and the remainder probated.

An investigatory panel of the District 4 Grievance Committee found that in representing two clients in separate matters, Mendoza neglected the legal matters entrusted to him and frequently failed to carry out the obligations he owed to his clients.

Mendoza violated Rules 1.01(b)(1) and 1.01(b)(2).

He was ordered to pay $1,500 in restitution.

Jeffery B. Vaden, Texas Bar Grievance Committee Panel Chair

PUBLIC REPRIMANDS

On October 5, 2020, Corey Keitt Ferguson [#24036553], 45, of Conroe, accepted a public reprimand.

An investigatory panel of the District 3 Grievance Committee found that Ferguson failed to keep his client reasonably informed about the status of his case and failed to promptly comply with his client’s reasonable requests for information.

Ferguson further failed to hold funds belonging in whole or in part to his client in a separate trust or escrow account, as well as failed to return unearned fees. Additionally, Ferguson failed to timely respond to the grievance.

Ferguson violated Rules 1.03(a), 1.14(a), 1.15(d), and 8.04(a)(8).

He was ordered to pay $4,000 in restitution and $500 in attorneys’ fees and direct expenses.

Mac’s $6G’s Lighter with a Public Warning to Go

Client: Brandon Koons

On October 14, 2020, Walter McNab “Mac” Miller IV [#24065758], 49, of Houston, accepted a public reprimand.

An evidentiary panel of the District 4 Grievance Committee found that Miller neglected his client’s case, failed to keep his client reasonably informed about the status of his case, and failed to promptly comply with his client’s reasonable requests for information.

Miller violated Rules 1.01(b)(1) and 1.03(a).

He was ordered to pay $3,500 in restitution and $2,500 in attorneys’ fees and direct expenses.

Tesha M. Peeples, Texas Bar Grievance Committee Member

REST OF THE STATE

DISBARMENT

LIT Told Y’all Last Time Vaughn’s Sanctions Were Way Too Light…

On August 31, 2020, Andrew David Vaughn [#24056764], 39, of Canton, was disbarred.

An evidentiary panel of the District 1 Grievance Committee found that in April 2017 the complainant retained Vaughn for representation in a potential criminal case and paid Vaughn an advance legal fee of $2,500.

Thereafter, Vaughn failed to keep the complainant’s funds in a separate trust or escrow account.

Further, Vaughn violated a disciplinary judgment by representing the complainant while he was actively suspended from the practice of law and failing to notify the complainant of his suspension.

Additionally, Vaughn 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.

Vaughn violated Rules 1.14(a), 8.04(a)(7), 8.04(a)(8), and 8.04(a)(10).

He was ordered to pay $2,500 in restitution and $1,984 in attorneys’ fees and costs.

RESIGNATION

Well Traveled Crosland Ended Up Bankrupt in Every District

On October 13, 2020, the Supreme Court of Texas accepted the resignation, in lieu of discipline, of Seth Parker Crosland [#24069551], 45, of Dallas.

At the time of Crosland’s resignation, there was one pending matter against him alleging that, since 2013, Crosland has been sanctioned multiple times by various bankruptcy courts.

The Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas sanctioned Crosland for multiple categories of misconduct in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy case.

The Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Texas sanctioned Crosland for misconduct in three Chapter 13 cases.

In September 2017, Crosland filed a Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition on behalf of an individual at the request of the individual’s ex-spouse.

In an adversary proceeding brought by the United States trustee, Crosland agreed to the imposition of sanctions and was suspended from filing cases in the Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District for two years.

In May 2019, Crosland violated his suspension by taking bankruptcy clients from the Northern District of Texas and filing their cases in the Eastern District of Texas, even though venue was improper.

Between January and June 2019, Crosland filed 19 bankruptcy cases in the Eastern District for 23 debtors who lived in the Northern District.

Crosland allegedly violated Rules 1.01(b)(2), 1.03(a), 1.03(b), 3.01, 3.03(a)(1), 3.04(d), 5.05(a), 8.04(a)(3), and 8.04(a)(7).

SUSPENSIONS

Collins Unresponsiveness Earns Him a 6 Month Break to Get Him Back to Speedy Trial Standards.

On October 15, 2020, Kyle B. Collins [#04613400], 66, of Austin, accepted an 18-month partially probated suspension (six months active and 12 months probated), effective December 1, 2020.

An investigatory panel of the District 9 Grievance Committee found that while representing two clients in criminal matters, Collins failed to timely return unearned fees to the clients.

Additionally, Collins failed to timely respond to the grievance filed by one of the clients. Collins violated Rules 1.15(d) and 8.04(a)(8).

He was ordered to pay $400 in restitution to one client and $1,850 in restitution to another client.

sylvia-hardman-dingle222
Sylvia F. Hardman, Texas Bar Grievance Committee Presiding Member
Collins is a repeat offender.

Harris’s Bookkeeping was Criminal for this Client.

On October 7, 2020, James Bruce Harris [#24026926], 50, of Wichita Falls, received an agreed judgment of fully probated suspension effective November 1, 2020, and ending on October 31, 2021.

An evidentiary panel of the District 14 Grievance Committee found that Harris was hired in May 2016 to represent a client in a criminal matter.

In representing his client, Harris neglected the legal matter entrusted to him by failing to perform legal work on the criminal matter and failing to explain the criminal matter to the extent reasonably necessary to permit the client to make informed decisions regarding the representation.

Harris also failed to promptly render a full accounting to his client regarding the fees paid.

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

Harris also failed to provide a response to the grievance.

Harris violated Rules 1.01(b)(1), 1.03(b), 1.14(b), 1.15(d), and 8.04(a)(8).

He was ordered to pay $5,000 in restitution and $2,300 in attorneys’ fees.

bradaltman161.fw
Brad Altman, Texas Bar Grievance Committee Presiding Member

Third Strike and the Bar is Shouting for Four Long Years. In the End, it’s Fully Probated, Again.

seymourabw200.fw
Seymour, Aaron

On October 26, 2020, Aaron Christian Seymour [#24094943], 35, of New Braunfels, agreed to a four-year fully probated suspension effective October 1, 2020.

An evidentiary panel of the District 15 Grievance Committee found that Seymour neglected a client’s matter and failed to keep a client reasonably informed.

Seymour violated Rules 1.01(b)(1) and 1.03(a).

He was ordered to pay $200 in restitution and $800 in attorneys’ fees and direct expenses.

Jody Fauley, Texas Bar Grievance Committee Presiding Member

Cynthia CAAP’d Out. The Bar Gives Her a Concurrent Sentence.

Client 1

On September 22, 2020, Cynthia Borgfeld Smith [#18553650], 72, of Georgetown, received a three-year partially probated suspension (one year active and two years probated).

An evidentiary panel of the District 8 Grievance Committee found that after Smith was hired in June 2018 to represent a client in a child custody matter, Smith failed to contact the client for four months.

The panel also found that after Smith met with the client in September 2018, for the purpose of signing final paperwork evidencing an agreement between the client and her ex-husband,

Smith failed to file the final paperwork with the court and failed to return any of the client’s attempts to communicate with Smith.

Subsequently, the client was forced to hire new counsel.

Smith further failed to file a response to the grievance as required by the Texas Rules of Disciplinary Procedure.

Smith violated Rules 1.01(b)(1), 1.03(a), 1.15(d), and 8.04(a)(8). She was ordered to complete 40 additional hours of CLE in the area of family law, eight additional hours in the area of law practice management, and to provide quarterly trust account reports to the State Bar of Texas.

Smith was further ordered to pay $3,000 in restitution and $2,612 in attorneys’ fees and direct expenses.

murray222
Joshua P. Murray, Texas Bar Grievance Committee Presiding Member

We’ll meet again, do know where, do know when….

On March 20, 2019Cynthia Borgfeld Smith [#18553650], 71, of Georgetown, accepted a one-year fully probated suspension effective March 15, 2019. An evidentiary panel of the District 8 Grievance Committee found that while representing a client in a child support modification, Smith told her client that she filed a petition on his behalf. However, no such petition was filed. Smith then ceased all communication with her client. Smith failed to respond to her client’s request for a copy of his file, an accounting of any earned fees, and the return of any unearned fees and further failed to file a response to the grievance as required by the Texas Rules of Disciplinary Procedure. Smith violated Rules 1.01(b)(1), 1.03(a), 1.15(d), and 8.04(a)(8). Smith was ordered to pay $400 in restitution and $580.50 in attorneys’ fees and direct expenses.

Client 2

On September 23, 2020, Cynthia Borgfeld Smith [#18553650], 72, of Georgetown, received a three-year partially probated suspension (two years active and one year probated).

An evidentiary panel of the District 8 Grievance Committee found that after Smith was hired in May 2018 to represent a client in a child custody matter, Smith failed to file the necessary pleadings for several months.

In September 2018, Smith told the client that she would draft the pleadings and those pleadings would be ready in a week.

However, between October and November 2018, the client was unable to reach Smith concerning the status of her case and the filing of the pleadings.

The client then terminated Smith’s services and requested the return of unearned fees.

Smith advised the client that she would return the unearned fees but failed to do so.

When the unearned fees were not returned, the client contacted the Client Attorney Assistant Program, or CAAP, for help with communicating with Smith. Smith advised CAAP that the unearned fees had been returned.

To date, the client has not received a refund from Smith. Smith further failed to file a response to the grievance as required by the Texas Rules of Disciplinary Procedure.

Smith violated Rules 1.01(b)(1), 1.03(a), 1.15(d), 8.04(a)(3), and 8.04(a)(8).

She was ordered to pay $2,500 in restitution and $2,849.51 in attorneys’ fees and direct expenses.

barrett
Carl Barrett Thomas, Texas Bar Grievance Committee Presiding Member

Who’s the Puppet Master? Judge Willett’s Words Ring Hollow as the Judiciary Controls His Decision-Making

ABOVE THE LAW: Private citizens who are brutalized by rogue federal officers (OF THE COURTS) can find little solace … DUE TO IMMUNITY.

Can You Interpret Judicial Acts as a Power Move? LIT Asks; Is Judge Jennifer Walker Elrod Vying for Judicial Supremacy

LIT believes Elrod see’s the changing of the guard in ‘active’ judgeships. As a 54 year old circuit judge, that’s regarded as a prime age and she revels in judicial and political power.

Fifth Circuit Judges Spark Noticable Split in First Amendment En Banc Case.

Trump Judges: Fifth Circuit Judges Kyle Duncan, Jim Ho, Don Willett and Andy Oldham are the minority in this en banc decision.

Vaughn’s Suspension is ‘Moot’. He’s Disbarred, see Above.

On August 31, 2020, Andrew David Vaughn [#24056764], 39, of Canton, received a 36-month active suspension effective March 1, 2021.

An evidentiary panel of the District 1 Grievance Committee found that in or about November 2017 the complainant hired Vaughn for representation in her divorce and paid Vaughn an advance legal fee of $2,000.

In representing the complainant, Vaughn neglected the legal matter entrusted to him by failing to complete any additional legal work on the case after filing the petition and negotiating an agreement for temporary orders, failed to keep the complainant reasonably informed about the status of her divorce, and failed to promptly comply with reasonable requests for information from the complainant.

Further, upon termination of representation, Vaughn failed to surrender papers and property to which the complainant was entitled and failed to refund advance payments of the fee that had not been earned.

Vaughn violated Rules 1.01(b)(1), 1.03(a), and 1.15(d).

He was ordered to pay $2,000 in restitution and $740.50 in attorneys’ fees and costs.

PUBLIC REPRIMAND

Curtis Lilly Ain’t Happy With a Second Texas Bar’s Sanction, He’s Appealin’.

On September 3, 2020, Curtis Lilly [#24030063], 48, of Fort Worth, received a public reprimand.

The District 6 Grievance Committee found that in August 2016, Lilly was hired to represent the complainant in a criminal matter.

Lilly failed to withdraw from representing the complainant when Lilly was discharged.

Lilly violated Rule 1.15(a)(3).

He was ordered to pay $1,897.68 in attorneys’ fees and direct expenses.

Lilly has filed an appeal.

Curtis Appeared in LIT’s New Year List of Sanctioned Texas Attorneys

On October 16, 2019, Curtis Lilly [#24030063], 47, of Fort Worth, received a nine-month fully probated suspension effective October 15, 2019. An evidentiary panel of the District 6 Grievance Committee found that in representing the complainant, Lilly neglected the legal matter entrusted to him by failing to appear at numerous court hearings.

Lilly knowingly disobeyed an obligation under a ruling by a tribunal by failing to appear at an October 27, 2017, hearing for which Lilly had been ordered to appear by the presiding judge.

On November 2, 2017, Lilly filed a motion to recuse the presiding judge in the complainant’s legal matter in which Lilly knowingly made several false statements of material fact to the tribunal. Lilly engaged in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation.

Lilly violated Rules 1.01(b)(1), 3.03(a)(1), 3.04(d), and 8.04(a)(3). He was ordered to pay $1,192.50 in attorneys’ fees and $474 in direct expenses.

Lenahan-Tom-2015-new[1]
Thomas B. Cowart, Texas Bar Grievance Committee Presiding Member
Mary L. Scott, Texas Bar Grievance Committee Presiding Member

The Pontoon of Texas Lawyers Behavin’ Badly in December 2020
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

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.

Donate to LawsInTexas. Make a Difference.

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

We keep your data private and share your data only with third parties that make this service possible. See our Privacy Policy for more information.

© 2020-21 LawInTexas com is an online trading name which is wholly owned by Blogger Inc., a nonprofit 501(c)(3) registered in Delaware. | All Rights Reserved.

To Top