The Supreme Court of Kansas has disbarred an attorney for his conduct as defense counsel in a capital murder case. In the Matter of Hawver, a Kansas attorney represented a criminal defendant accused of murder, despite having no prior experience trying capital murder cases. He also did not associate with competent co-counsel, or obtain additional training or education to become competent.
The Massachusetts Board of Bar Overseers (“BBO”) has issued an admonition of an attorney after finding that he violated the Massachusetts Rules of Professional Conduct. The attorney represented the victim of an auto accident, who was disabled as a result of the accident. The attorney filed the lawsuit timely, but failed to effect service, which resulted in dismissal of the case. The attorney was able to have the case reinstated, but it was dismissed again after the attorney failed to respond to discovery requests. Over one year later, the attorney moved to vacate the dismissal, but the motion was denied as untimely.
The BBO held that the attorney’s failure to diligently pursue the client’s case was a violation of Mass. R. Prof. C. 1.1 and 1.3. The attorney also failed to inform the client of either dismissal and did not respond to the client’s requests for status updates, as required by Mass. R. Prof. C. 1.4(a) and (b).