State Bar of Texas September 2013 Disciplinary Actions

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DISBARMENTS On May 24, 2013, Charles Shavers Jr. [#18138000], 73, of Dallas, was disbarred. The 14th Judicial District Court, Dallas County, found that Shavers committed professional misconduct by violating Rules 1.01(b)(1) [a lawyer shall not neglect a legal matter entrusted to the lawyer] and 8.04(a)(8) [a lawyer shall not fail to timely furnish to the Chief Disciplinary Counsel’s Office or a district grievance committee a response or other information]. Shavers was ordered to pay $2,123.55 in
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  DISBARMENTSOn May 24, 2013, Charles Shavers Jr. [#18138000], 73, of Dallas, was disbarred. The14th Judicial District Court, Dallas County, found that Shavers committedprofessional misconduct by violating Rules 1.01(b)(1) [a lawyer shall not neglect alegal matter entrusted to the lawyer] and 8.04(a)(8) [a lawyer shall not fail to timely furnish to the Chief Disciplinary Counsel’s Office or a district grievance committee a response or other information].Shavers was ordered to pay $2,123.55 in attorn eys’ fees and direct expenses. Shavers did not file an appeal.On May 29, 2013, Chukwu Uwakwe Oko [#24007771], 50, of Houston, wasdisbarred. The 133rd Judicial District Court of Harris County found that Okocommitted professional misconduct by violating Rule 8.04(a)(3) [a lawyer shall not engage in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation], Rule8.04(a)(7) [a lawyer shall not violate any disciplinary or disability order orjudgment], and Rule 8.04(a)(11) [a lawyer shall not engage in the practice of law when the lawyer is on inactive status or when the lawyer’s right to practice has been suspended or terminated]. Oko was ordered to pay $2,500 in restitution, $5,750 in attorneys’ fees, and $391 in direct expenses.Oko filed an appeal.SUSPENSIONSOn May 3, 2013, Cathy Jean Adams [#00793226], 53, of Kaufman, received a seven-month partially probated suspension, effective June 1, 2013, with the first monthactively suspended and the remainder probated. An evidentiary panel of the District 1 Grievance Committee found that in representing complainant in a child custodymodification matter, Adams failed to promptly comply with reasonable requests forinformation from complainant about the family law matter.Adams violated Rule 1.03(a). She was ordered to pay $500 in attorneys’ fees and direct expenses.On May 16, 2013, Gerald G. Staton [#24000064], 44, of Fort Worth, receiveda six-month active suspension, effective Jan. 10, 2015. An evidentiary panel of theDistrict 7 Grievance Committee found that Staton engaged in the practice of lawwhen his right to practice had been administratively suspended for failure to timelypay the Texas Attorney Occupation Tax and failed to timely furnish to the chief  disciplinary counsel’s office a response or other information as required by theTexas Rules of Disciplinary Procedure.Staton violated Rules 8.04(a)(8) and 8.04(a)(11). He was ordered to pay $1,939.90 in attorneys’ fees and direct expenses. On June 7, 2013, Christina E. Pagano [#07154500], 60, of Austin, received aone-year probated suspension. The 53rd District Court of Travis County found that   Pagano violated Rule 3.04(b), which prohibits lawyers from counseling or assistinga witness to testify falsely and Rule 8.04(a)(1), which prohibits lawyers from violating the disciplinary rules. Pagano was ordered to pay $1,070.25 in attorneys’ fees and costs.On June 18, 2013, Larry James Adams [#00869500], 62, of Corpus Christi,agreed to a six-month fully probated suspension effective Aug. 1, 2013. Anevidentiary panel of the District 11 Grievance Committee found Adams failed to holdan advance fee in trust, failed to promptly render a full accounting to his client, andfailed to refund the unearned portion of fee.Adams violated Rules 1.14(a), 1.14(b), and 1.15(d) and was ordered to pay $1,500 in attorneys’ fees and direct expenses.  On June 4, 2013, Jaime A. Villalobos [#00785151], 46, of El Paso, received a two-year fully probated suspension effective May 21, 2013. An evidentiary panel of theDistrict 17 Grievance Committee found Villalobos failed to hold funds in trust andfailed to promptly notify and deliver funds to the parties entitled.Villalobos violated Rules 1.14(a) and 1.14(b) and was ordered to pay$2,666.66 in restit  ution, $2,680 in attorneys’ fees, and $100 in direct expenses.  On June 27, 2013, Margaret E. Edwards [#17531600], 57, of Corpus Christi,received a four-year fully probated suspension effective July 1, 2013. An evidentiarypanel of the District 11 Grievance Committee found Edwards failed to deposit andhold settlement funds in trust, failed to respond to reasonable requests forinformation from clients, and failed to return a client file.Edwards violated Rules 1.03(a), 1.14(a), 1.14(c), and 1.15(d) and was ordered to pay $1,053.15 in restitution and $7,500 in attorneys’ fees and direct  expenses.PUBLIC REPRIMANDsOn June 3, 2013, Gregory L. Phifer [#15908580], 49, of Amarillo, accepted an agreedjudgment of public reprimand. An evidentiary panel of the District 13 Grievance Committee found Phifer neglected the complainant’s legal matter and failed to keep complainant reasonably informed about the status of the matter. Upon terminationof the representation, Phifer failed to refund advanced payments of unearned fees.Phifer also failed to respond to the complaint as required.Phifer violated Rules 1.01(b)(1), 1.03(a), 1.15(d), and 8.04(a)(8). He agreedto pay $1,625 in attorne ys’ fees and costs and $2,000 in restitution. On June 13, 2013, Javier J. Campos Davila [#00792445], 61, of Austin, accepted apublic reprimand. The evidentiary panel of the District 9 Grievance Committeefound that complainant hired Davila for a medical malpractice case regarding herdaughter in March 2008. During the course of the representation, Davila failed tokeep his client reasonably informed about the status of her matter and comply with  his client’s reasonable requests for information. Complainant’s matter was non -suited without her prior knowledge and consent.Davila violated Rules 1.02(a)(1), 1.03(a), and 8.04(a)(1). Davila agreed to pay $1,166.46 in attorneys’ fees and expenses.  PRIVATE REPRIMANDSListed below is a breakdown of Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct violations for 12 attorneys, with the number in parentheses indicating the frequencyof violation. Please note that an attorney may be reprimanded for more than onerule violation.1.01(b)(1) — for neglecting a legal matter entrusted to the lawyer (2).1.02(a)(1) — for failing to abide by a cli- ent’s decisions concerning the objectives and general methods of representation (1).1.03(a) — for failing to keep a client reasonably informed about the status of a matterand promptly comply with reasonable requests for information (6).1.14(a) — for failing to hold funds and other property belonging in whole or part to clients or third persons in a lawyer’s possession separate from the lawyer’s own property (1).1.14(b) — for failing, upon receiving funds or other property in which a client orthird person has an interest, to promptly notify the client or third person and rendera full accounting upon request (1).1.14(c) — for failing to keep funds or other property in which both the lawyer andanother person claim interests separate until there is an accounting and severanceof their interests (1).1.15(d) — for failing, upon termination of representation, to reasonably protect a client’s interests, give notice to the client  to seek other counsel, or surrender papersand property which belongs to the client (3).3.05(b)(2) — for communicating or causing another to communicate ex parte with atribunal for the purpose of influencing that entity or person concerning a pendingmatter (1).8.01(a) — for knowingly making a false statement of material fact (1).8.04(a)(8) — for failing to timely furnish a district grievance committee a responseor other information as re-quired unless he/she timely asserts a privilege or otherlegal ground for failure to do so (1). TBJ
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