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counsel during his suspension but failed to properly apprise him of the status of the case.
In a divorce case the parties resolved certain
issues, and the client terminated the representation and requested a refund. Mr. Steadman
agreed to refund unearned fees within three to
five days but failed to do so for approximately
The presiding disciplinary judge determined
that three aggravating factors applied: prior disciplinary offenses, a pattern of misconduct, and
There were two mitigating factors: absence
of a dishonest or selfish motive, and full and free
disclosure to disciplinary board or cooperative
attitude toward proceedings.
Mr. Steadman violated Rule 42, ARIZ.R.S.CT.,
ERs 1. 2, 1. 3, 1. 4, 1. 16(d), 3. 2, 5. 5, and 8. 4(d).
MARK M. VENETOS
Bar No. 010737; File No. 14-0412
PDJ No. 2016-9078
By final judgment and order dated Jan. 3, 2017,
a discipline hearing panel disbarred Mark M.
Venetos, Phoenix, from the practice of law,
ordered him to pay $10,407.70 in restitution to
his client, and assessed costs and expenses totaling $4,000. If readmitted, Mr. Venetos shall be
placed on probation for two years with terms and
conditions to be determined at the time of readmission.
Mr. Venetos was hired to represent his client
in a personal injury suit stemming from an automobile accident. Mr. Venetos settled the case but
failed to timely inform his client of the settlement
and failed to timely disburse the settlement funds.
Mr. Venetos also misappropriated $6,010.23 owed
to lienholders, paid himself more in fees than the
amount to which he was entitled, used the client’s funds to pay other clients’ debts, and transferred money from his personal account to cover
disbursements to his client after spending the
settlement money. At an interim suspension hearing Mr. Venetos testified that he satisfied debts
owed to the lienholders knowing that statement
to be untrue. Mr. Venetos failed to appear for his
Aggravating factors include prior disciplinary
offenses, dishonest motive, a pattern of misconduct, bad faith obstruction of the disciplinary process, deceptive practices during the disciplinary
process, vulnerability of the victim, substantial experience in the practice of law, indifference to
making restitution, and illegal conduct.
Mr. Venetos’ conduct violated Rule 42,
ARIZ.R.S.CT., ERs 1. 2, 1. 3, 1. 4, 1. 15, 8. 1,
8. 4(b), 8. 4(c), and 8. 4(d); Rule 43, ARIZ.R.S.C T.;
and Rule 54, ARIZ.R.S.CT.
Nearly 17,000 attorneys are eligible to practice
law in Arizona. Many attorneys share the same
names. All discipline reports should be read
carefully for names, addresses and Bar numbers.