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of it, failed to submit a court-ordered settlement
conference memorandum, and conducted settlement negotiations after being suspended from
the practice of law on July 29, 2015, thereby
engaging in the unauthorized practice of law. In
count two, Ms. Mouser failed to timely notify
her client and opposing counsel of her July 29,
2015 suspension. In count three, Ms. Mouser
failed to timely respond to discovery requests,
failed to comply with a court order regarding
discovery, and failed to timely pay to the opposing party’s attorney court-ordered attorney’s fees
of $1,500. In count four, Ms. Mouser failed to
serve a complaint she filed on behalf of her client
resulting in the complaint’s dismissal. In count
five, Ms. Mouser conducted settlement negotiations after being suspended from the practice of
law. In count six, Ms. Mouser failed to help her
client with a parenting time issue after agreeing
to do so.
Aggravating factors were prior disciplinary
offenses, dishonest or selfish motive, a pattern of
misconduct, and multiple offenses.
Mitigating factors were personal and emotional problems, and imposition of other penalties or sanctions.
Ms. Mouser violated Rules 42, ERs 1. 2(a),
1. 3, 1. 5(a), 1. 5(b), 1. 16(d), 3. 2, 3. 4(c), 5. 5,
8. 1(b), 8. 4(c), and 8. 4(d); and 31, 54(c), 54(d),
and 72, ARIZ.R.S.CT.
Bar No. 028322; File No. 14-1900
PDJ No. 2016-9050
On May 19, 2016, the presiding disciplinary
judge issued a final judgment and order, and a
decision and order accepting discipline by consent, by which Adam Romney, Chandler, Ariz.,
was reprimanded and assessed $1,200 for the
costs and expenses of the disciplinary proceedings.
Mr. Romney was retained to represent two
individuals (the complainants in the bar charge)
who claimed an interest in pending litigation
based upon an assignment allegedly executed by
intervenors in the case. Complainants were both
experienced attorneys, although one of them has
been disbarred. Mr. Romney entered his appearance on behalf of the intervenors and eventually the parties, including the clients, reached a
mediated settlement. Before Mr. Romney could
disburse the settlement funds to the clients, the
validity of the assignment was challenged. One
client admitted that he forged signatures on the
settlement agreement, and physically threatened
Mr. Romney. Mr. Romney disbursed the settlement funds to the intervenors. Disputes continued between the clients and the intervenors
regarding the validity of the assignment and entitlement to the settlement funds.
Mr. Romney violated Rule 42, ARIZ.R.S.CT.,
ERs 1. 7 (Conflicts–Current Clients) and 1. 15
(Safeguarding Property). There were no aggravating factors.
Mitigating factors were absence of prior disciplinary history; absence of selfish or dishonest
motive; full and free disclosure to disciplinary
board or cooperative attitude towards proceedings; inexperience in the practice of law (Mr.
Romney was admitted in 2011); and remorse.
RICHARD A. SMITH
Bar No. 014264; File No. 16-0207
PDJ No. 2016-9060
By final judgment and order dated June 24,
2016, the presiding disciplinary judge accepted
an agreement for discipline by consent by which
Richard A. Smith, Phoenix, was reprimanded
for violating the Arizona Rules of Professional
Conduct. He also was ordered to pay costs and
expenses totaling $1,200.
Mr. Smith engaged in the unauthorized practice of law during his retirement from the State
Bar of Arizona by preparing various letters and
pleadings in a Moon Valley Justice Court case
intended to secure the rights of his client. Mr.
Smith also attended hearings in the case including a mediation wherein he signed a confidentiality agreement identifying himself as Richard
There were no aggravating factors. The only
mitigating factor was absence of a prior disciplinary record. Mr. Smith violated Rule 42,
ARIZ.R.S.CT., ERs 5. 5 and 8. 4(d).
HONORS & AWARDS
Erica L. Gadberry joined the Chandler firm
Struck Wieneke & Love as an associate. Her
practice focuses on law enforcement and government liability defense.
Nicole Sandoval joined Gust Rosenfeld PLC,
Phoenix, as an associate in the firm’s Bankruptcy,
Restructuring and Creditors’ Rights Practice Group.