30 day suspensions just do not make enough of a deterrent to make a difference for any attorney to cease unethical conduct.
ROCK SPRINGS — According to a court document, Robert Hiatt Jr., an attorney in Rock Springs has received a 30-day suspension from the practice of law. The suspension begins July 2, 2018.
The suspension comes after the Wyoming Supreme Court ruled June 11, 2018, on a Report and Recommendation for Order of Public Censure filed February 9, 2018, by the Board of Professional Responsibility of the Wyoming Bar Association.
The complaint alleges that a client paid a $3,000 fee which was non-refundable to Hiatt. The Order of 30-Day Suspension states that Hiatt neglected to pursue the issue diligently and failed to keep adequate communication with his client or refund the unearned portion.
The court found the following, click here to read the full document.
“ABA STANDARDS 4.42, 8.2, 9.22, AND OUR REVIEW OF SANCTIONS IMPOSED IN WYOMING AND OTHER JURISDICTIONS INDICATE THAT THE APPROPRIATE SANCTION IS A 30-DAY SUSPENSION. DESPITE RECEIVING A PUBLIC CENSURE FOR NEARLY IDENTICAL CONDUCT IN THE PAST, MR. HIATT FAILED TO ADEQUATELY COMMUNICATE WITH HIS CLIENT AND KEEP HIM APPRISED OF THE STATUS OF HIS CASE; HE FAILED TO PERFORM THE WORK FOR WHICH HE WAS HIRED, WHICH CAUSED A DELAY THAT LIKELY HARMED HIS CLIENT; AND, FINALLY, ONCE REPRESENTATION WAS TERMINATED, HE FAILED TO RETURN THE UNEARNED PORTION OF HIS FEE.
IT IS, THEREFORE, ORDERED:
[¶61] 1. MR. HIATT SHALL BE SUSPENDED FROM THE PRACTICE OF LAW FOR A PERIOD OF 30 DAYS, COMMENCING JULY 2, 2018, AND MUST COMPLY WITH RULE 21 OF THE WYOMING RULES OF DISCIPLINARY PROCEDURE;
2. MR. HIATT SHALL REIMBURSE HIS CLIENT $1,150.00 FOR UNEARNED LEGAL FEES THAT HAD BEEN PAID; AND
3. PURSUANT TO RULE 25 OF THE WYOMING RULES OF DISCIPLINARY PROCEDURE, MR. HIATT SHALL REIMBURSE THE WYOMING STATE BAR $3,674.39 FOR ITS COSTS INCURRED IN HANDLING THIS MATTER AND SHALL PAY AN ADMINISTRATIVE FEE OF $750.00. MR. HIATT SHALL PAY THE TOTAL AMOUNT OF $4,424.39 TO THE WYOMING STATE BAR ON NO LATER THAN DECEMBER 1, 2018.
DATED THIS 11TH DAY OF JUNE, 2018.” – E. JAMES BURKE CHIEF JUSTICE
Source: Sweetwater News