Anne Williams Bar Complaint Arizona

Anne M Williams Law Office

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Anne Michael Williams  - Timothy Bruce Bowen
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Attorney Anne Michael Williams                                    Timothy Bowen Gilbert School Teacher & Member Of The Firm

UPDATE: The court case against Attorney Anne Williams & Timothy Bowen has just been settled however the investigation continues..

The complaint against Tempe Arizona Attorney Anne M Williams fits directly into this case. Attorney Anne Williams  decided to once again interject herself in cases she has no business, this time conspiring with Major David Ellis by purchasing a judgement directly from her law client David M Ellis in an attempt harass and to to evade the courts orders. Anne Williams made multiple attempts to hide the truth and to avoid the thousands of dollars in sanctions against Anne Williams her husband Timothy Bowen and even Anne & Tim's attorney John Starkey . Fortunately the judge quickly saw through this shady attempt and sanctioned Anne Williams and Timothy Bowen and even John Starkey over 14,000.00 Anne Williams was also reprimanded by the Arizona State Bar for ethical misconduct last year and a malpractice suite was filed against both Anne Williams and Timothy Bowen ( Timothy Bowen is 4th grade teacher at the Gilbert School District however is also a member of the firm) . Attorney Anne Williams has also been accused of multiple counts of fraud in regards to her insurance applications and representations to the state bar. Please read on..

A printable version is here.

ANNE M WILLIAMS_BAR_COMPLAINT_PRINTABLE VERSION

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Attorney Anne M Williams

RE: Formal Ethics Complaint Against:
Anne M. Williams – SBN #012414
1761 E. McNair Drive

Tempe, AZ 85283

(480) 892-7177

The factual basis for this complaint arises from Ms. Anne M Williams’ (“Williams”) misconduct in Case No. CV2013-014095, Charles D Rodrick vs. Anne M Williams, et al., fraudulent “Misrepresentation” in applying for Lawyer Liability Insurance and egregious unethical conduct that required two separate sets of sanctions and an order of Contempt of Court to be issued by the Honorable Lori Horn Bustamante who is presiding over the case.

Violating her ethical obligations as an attorney as defined by the Arizona Rules of Professional Conduct contained within Rule 42, Ariz. R. Sup. Ct., and other applicable Supreme Court Rules by engaging in repeated instances of violating ER 1.6, ER 1.8,ER 3.2, ER 3.3, ER 3.4, ER 4.1, ER 7.1, ER 8.4 and Supreme Court Rule 32(c) 12. It is requested that the Review Department order that Williams be disbarred from the practice of law in this State and her name be stricken from the roll of attorneys.

The allegations herein regarding Williams’ misconduct are summarized as follows:

1) Serious Violations Involving the Disclosure of Coverage, Application for and Sworn Testimony Concerning Williams’ Lawyer Liability Insurance (“LLI”).

In violation of Supreme Court Rule 32(c) 12: Insurance Disclosure, Williams reported to the Arizona Bar Association (“ABA”) that she carried LLI for her practice prior to July 1, 2013. The ABA website, based on the information provided by Williams, inaccurately listed her practice as being covered with LLI in 2012 and the first half of 2013. This was not the case, as it was not until July 1, 2013, that Williams was issued a policy for LLI coverage by Travelers Insurance (“Travelers”) (Exhibit A). Per Supreme Court Rule 32(c) 12(c) Williams was subject to a Rule 62 motion suspending her from the practice of law. Furthermore, under Rule 32(c) 12 that she had provided false information should “subject her to the calling for appropriate disciplinary action.” Falsely claiming to have LLI for the calendar year 2012 would also represent a violation of ER 7.1 Communications of Lawyers’ Services.

Williams’ misconduct was not limited to falsely reporting when LLI coverage was active. In the process of obtaining LLI coverage, she was in violation of ER 4.1 Truthfulness in Statements to Others and ER 8.4 Misconduct. On June 27, 2013, Williams submitted an application for Travelers Insurance LLI (Exhibit B). On the application in the “Claim History” section, Williams was asked to disclose any “knowledge of any incident, act, error, or omission that is or could be the basis of a professional liability claim?” Williams falsely checked “No”. The Application listed several “Fraud Warnings”. In the section for “Signature and Authorization”, Williams agreed to the following; “The statements and representations made in this application are true and complete….” Williams signed the application June 26, 2013.

The lawsuit was filed against Williams on November 18, 2013, and although the policy required that Travelers be notified immediately of a possible claim, the written notice was not provided to Travelers by Williams until May 12, 2014, a full 6 months after the filing and two weeks before a scheduled deposition. On August 13, 2014, Travelers declined Williams’ submitted claim (Exhibit C). The letter written by Mellissa Manning outlines not one incidence defined by the policy but TEN occurrences that had transpired prior to submitting the application under false pretense that is obvious indications of a potential claim. The section entitled “COVERAGE ANALYSIS” does a far better job than I could of articulating the degree of “Misrepresentation” committed by Williams. The detailed analysis directly speaks to violations as described in ER 8.4 Misconduct, specifically (c) engage in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit and misrepresentation. Furthermore, the conclusions arrived by the analysis brings into question whether Williams’ misconduct would fall under an attempt to commit insurance fraud, which would be a serious violation of ER 3.3 Candor to the Tribunal. Specifically “(c) …engaged in criminal or fraudulent conduct related to the proceedings….”

Continuing with a consistent pattern of violating ER 4.1 Truthfulness in Statements to Others and ER 8.4 Misconduct (“dishonesty, fraud, deceit and misrepresentation”), Williams submitted an application with Hanover Insurance (“Hanover”) on June 23, 2014, to replace the Travelers insurance expiring July 1, 2014 (Exhibit D). No doubt switching insurance providers to avoid the significant increase in premiums that would be charged by Travelers now that their Risk Management Department had established a factual basis of the true nature of Williams’ obvious deceptive, dishonest and unethical manner in which she operated her law practice.

Once again, when required to disclose pertinent information in completing the Hanover application process, Williams chose to continue the willful and blatant practice of providing false answers. In the application for Hanover, there are four obvious lies. Under the heading “Current Insurance Information”, question 10 asks “Inception date of firm’s first claims made policy, maintained without interruption to date”. Williams falsely answers “07/01/02”, a lie documented by the Travelers Claims Denial letter of August 13, 2014 (Exhibit C) when noting Williams did not have coverage from at least November 2012 until July 1, 2013. Under the heading “Loss Information”, questions 26 and 27 ask very direct inquiries in regard to “proceedings”, “investigations”, “reprimand” and ”professional liability claim” made against “any member of the firm.” Williams falsely claimed “No” to all. NOTE: it is important to be cognizant that this application was signed and submitted seven months AFTER the filing of the lawsuit and only one month after Williams had been deposed in this suit. Not only consistent pattern of misconduct, surprisingly, the egregious level of dishonesty, fraud, deceit and misrepresentation in submitting the Hanover LLI application actually exceeded the Travelers LLI from the year before. Hanover issued the new policy for LLI effective July 1, 2014 (Exhibit E) based on the false answers submitted by Williams. Again, Williams’ misconduct could fall under an attempt to commit insurance fraud which would be a serious violation of ER 3.3 Candor to the Tribunal. Specifically “(c) …engaged in criminal or fraudulent conduct related to the proceedings….”

To further exacerbate the misconduct of Williams, a deposition occurred on May 28, 2014, wherein she was asked if she had LLI during 2012, to which she answered “Yes” (Exhibit E). It is arguably perjury to knowingly make false statements when providing sworn testimony and clearly is in violation of ER 4.1 Truthfulness in Statements to Others, ER 8.4 Misconduct and ER 3.4 Fairness to Opposing Party and Counsel.

2) Has Demonstrated a Repeated Disrespect to the Court and a Disregard in Obeying the Arizona Rules of Civil Procedure.

Throughout this lawsuit, Williams has made it a consistent pattern to ignore the Arizona Rules of Civil Procedure. Amongst the many violations, she has repeatedly refused to abide by the requirements of Rule 26.1 Prompt Disclosure of Information. The validity of this accusation is supported in the court’s record.

On November 12, 2014, Charles D Rodrick (“Rodrick”) filed a Motion for Order to Compel Disclosure of Documents and Information as Williams had refused to cooperate in the production of even the most basic of documents and information as required by Rule 26.1 (Exhibit F). On January 6, 2015, the Judge granted the Motion and sanctioned Williams by ordering her to pay the Attorney fees and cost pursuant to Rule 37 (a) (Exhibit G). However, Williams chose to disrespect the Court by defiantly ignoring the orders. On February 2, 2015, Rodrick was forced to file a Motion for Order Directing Compliance with the court’s previous discovery order and sanction award (Exhibit H). Again, Williams refused to comply with the court’s orders. On February 24, 2015, the Court issued ANOTHER order directing Williams to comply with Rule 26.1 and produce the discovery repeatedly requested and to also pay the sanctions amounting to $4,274.50 by March 13, 2015 (Exhibit I). AGAIN, Williams chose to disrespect the Court by defiantly refusing to comply with the orders. On March 16, 2015, Rodrick filed a Motion for Order to Show Cause Why Defendants should not be held in Contempt of Court for Willful Violations of Court Orders (Exhibit J). On May 1, 2015, the court held an Order to Show Cause Hearing. At the time of the hearing, Williams had not complied with the court’s orders and at the hearing continued to state her refusal to do so. On June 2, 2015, the Court ordered finding Williams in “CONTEMPT OF COURT.” The Court ordered sanctions against Williams in the amount of $5,000.00. The Court also ordered directing Williams to pay Rodrick his attorney fees and cost in the amount of $5,000.00 for the additional fees and costs involved in Williams “BLATANT” refusal to comply with the court’s orders and directives. It was furthered ordered that if Williams did not comply with Rule 26.1 Discovery requirements “IMMEDIATELY”, her continued refusal would result in further sanctions in the amount of $1,000.00 per week until the documentation was provided (Exhibit K).

These latest infractions come on the heal of Judge Whitten presiding over Rodrick’s Divorce proceedings ordering both sanctions and requiring Williams to pay attorney fees and cost for her misconduct. Specifically, Judge Whitten found Williams’ misconduct to be “troublesome” and “overly vitriolic and improper" (Exhibit L).

As an attorney with 23 years of experience practicing law in Arizona, it is hard to fathom how Williams can be so ignorant of the most basic procedural requirements of the Arizona Rules of Civil Procedure. Williams’ continued propensity to disrespect the Court and defy the court’s orders is inexcusable. Her actions to intentionally stonewall the proper litigation of this civil suit are just the continuation of years of misconduct. It is indisputable by the Court documents that Williams has been sanctioned numerous times for overtly offensive misconduct in separate cases presided by different Judges. The court records demonstrate Williams has engaged in a pattern of willful and blatant disregard for the Arizona Rules of Civil Procedure and disrespect for Court Orders, which are clear violations of ER 3.2 Expediting Litigation, ER 3.3 Candor Toward the Tribunal, ER 3.4 Fairness to Opposing Party and Counsel and ER 8.4 Misconduct.

3) Unconscionable Violations by Using a Minor as an Improper Shield to Circumvent the Exposure of Williams’ Repeated Misconduct and with No Regard to the Irreparable Damage Caused to the Child’s Parental Relationships.

In an attempt to circumvent the disclosure requirements of Rule 26.1, Williams has repeatedly attempted to hide her misconduct behind the minor son of Rodrick by claiming attorney-client privilege ER 1.6 (Exhibit M). This claim was summarily and repeatedly rejected by the Court, beginning with the ruling of January 6, 2015 (Exhibit G). The Court has noted the fact in the Ruling Minute Entry of June 2, 2015 “The legal services engagement agreement signed by Plaintiff’s minor children without parental oversight, guidance or consent…” (Exhibit G). Williams’ continued efforts to shield her misconduct by defiantly disregarding and disrespecting the court’s orders was in clear violation of ER 1.6 (d) (5), “to comply with other law or a final order of a court or tribunal of competent jurisdiction directing the lawyer to disclose such information.”

After illegally stonewalling the discovery process for more than 10 months, and only after an order of Contempt of Court and severe sanctions were levied, Williams produced the supposed legal services engagement agreement in June 2015 (Exhibit N). As Rodrick’s son was 12 years old at the time, Williams was acting without “parental oversight, guidance or consent” which was a breach of professional responsibility and common decency. As outlandish as Williams misconduct was, a far more egregious violation is the document is forged and/or altered in violation of ER 8.4 Misconduct, ER 3.3(3) Candor Toward the Tribunal (“offer evidence that the lawyer knows to be false”) and ER 3.4(a) Fairness to Opposing Party and Counsel (“unlawfully alter”). The signed legal services engagement agreement that was finally delivered in June 2015 was signed and dated “November 18, 2012”. In sworn testimony, the mother, Lois Flynn, testified the first time Williams met with Rodrick’s son was at a family social gathering in December 2012 (Exhibit O), clearly contradicting the document Williams finally produced after 10 months and only when forced to do so by multiple court orders.

The length to which Williams has taken to shield, hide, disobey court orders and circumvent the discovery process knows no bounds. It is unconscionable that Williams has now involved a minor to obstruct the exposure of the plethora of actions constituting professional misconduct and multiple violations of Rule 42 AZ R. Civil P. Furthermore, Williams has shown no remorse for the irreparable damage she created with the relationship of father and son. Prior to Williams’ inappropriate interloping into Rodrick’s divorce proceedings, there was normal, consistent visitation with the son. That stable relationship ended abruptly upon Williams’ interference. Since the day Williams filed the first Motions (all Stricken from the Court Record) in November of 2012, Rodrick has not seen his son.

4) A Blatant Attempt to Bypass Responsibility and the Obligations to Obey the Rules of the Arizona Rules of Civil Procedure with “Shady Legal Shenanigans.”

In an attempt to create another inappropriate shield protecting Williams from responsibility and accountability for her repeated and continuing misconduct, she introduced a lien against Rodrick claiming to have purchased from a previous client * (Exhibit P). Williams introduced the lien to the Court as a means to buffer herself from obeying the court orders and avoid paying sanctions levied against her in the amount of $4,274.50. Once again, Williams ignores the obvious violation of AZ R. Civ. P., in this instance 1.8 Conflict of Interest “(a) A lawyer shall not enter into a business transaction with a client or knowingly acquire an ownership, possessory, security or other pecuniary interest adverse to a client ….” Fortunately, the Court immediately saw through this smoke and mirror attempt to circumvent the litigation process. The Court would have nothing to do with such “shady legal shenanigans” and wrote in the court order of June 2, 2015: “This tactic is another attempt by the defendant to evade the court’s orders. This further demonstrates she will continue to disobey the court’s orders and have sanctions imposed against her since she believes she has over a $1 million “credit” that will allow an endless amount of sanctions to be imposed against her. The court finds sanctions are appropriate against the defendant and her attorney.”(Exhibit K). Williams makes it a practice to insult the Court and the litigation process with her never ending abuse of process tactics.

*Anne Williams represented David M Ellis case number FN 2013 092882

CONCLUSION

The State Bar is charged with the responsibility for protecting the public from problematic attorneys. As part of this duty, the State Bar should ensure that the public has ready access to information about attorney misconduct, so it can make informed decisions about who to retain when seeking counsel.

For these reasons, I submit this Complaint and ask that the Bar take action against Williams in the form of disbarment, and also make public the various acts of misconduct described herein.

Thank you in advance for your consideration and anticipated cooperation.

Exhibit A: Traveler Insurance Policy 07/01/2013

Exhibit B: Travelers Insurance Application 06/23/2013

Exhibit C: Travelers Insurance Claim Denial 08/13/2014

Exhibit D: Hanover Insurance Application 06/23/2014

Exhibit E: Hanover New Policy Issued For LLI Effective July/01/2014

Exhibit F: Motion To Compel 11/12/2014

Exhibit G: Judges Order To Compel 01/06/2015

Exhibit H: Motion for Order Directing Compliance 02/02/2015

Exhibit I: Order to Comply And Pay Sanctions - $4274.50 - 02/24/2015

Exhibit J: Motion to Show Cause - 03/16/2015

Exhibit K: Judges Order For Sanctions -14,274.50 - 06/02/2015

Exhibit L: Judge Whitten Order For Sanctions - 344 01/06/2013

Exhibit M: The Answers Anne Williams Interrogatories

Exhibit N: Ryan Retainer Agreement (12 years old)

Exhibit O: Lois Flynn Deposition Pages 8-9-10

Exhibit P: David Ellis Judgment Transfer