DON’T REPRESENT YOURSELF!
How often do you advise clients to represent
themselves when accused of wrongdoing?
Why give yourself different advice?
G eneral questions regarding attorney discipline should be directed to the Chief
Disciplinary Counsel’s Office, toll-free (877) 953-5535 or (512) 453-5535.
The Board of Disciplinary Appeals may be reached at (512) 475-1578. Information
and copies of actual orders are available at txboda.org. The State Commission on
Judicial Conduct may be contacted toll-free, (877) 228-5750 or (512) 463-5533.
Please note that persons disciplined by the Commission on Judicial Conduct are
STEVEN L. LEE not necessarily licensed attorneys.
OVER 25 YEARS EXPERIENCE
REINSTATEMENT States of America v. Luther Jones, in the
11 years experience with the State Bar of J. Robert Love [#00791139], 45, of U.S. District Court for the Western Dis-
Texas as Assistant and Deputy General Houston, has filed a petition in the trict of Texas, El Paso Division. Jones
Counsel as well as Acting General Counsel 113th District Court of Harris County was sentenced to six years in the custody
for reinstatement as a member of the of the U.S. Bureau of Prisons for each
State Bar of Texas. count, the sentences to run concurrently.
LIONE & LEE, P.C. Jones was also ordered to pay a fine in
3921 STECK AVENUE
BODA ACTIONS the amount of $50,000 and an assess-
ment in the amount of $200. The Board
AUSTIN, TEXAS 78759 On Jan. 31, the Board of Disciplinary
retains jurisdiction to enter a final judg-
(512) 346-8966 Appeals signed a final judgment of dis-
ment when the criminal appeal is final.
barment against Ted H. Roberts
Representing Lawyers & Law Students Since 1991 BODA Cause No. 49601.
[#17019705], 55, of San Antonio. On
Editor’s Note: Luther G. Jones III
STATEWIDE REPRESENTATION Oct. 2, 2007, the Board of Disciplinary
[#10973200], of Dallas, is not the attor-
Appeals signed an interlocutory order of
ney referred to in this action.
suspension against Roberts because on
June 12, 2007, he was found guilty by a On Jan. 30, the Board of Disciplinary
GRIEVANCE DEFENSE & jury of three counts of theft under Texas Appeals signed an interlocutory order of
LEGAL MALPRACTICE Penal Code 31.03, an intentional crime suspension against Scott M. Tidwell
as defined in the Texas Rules of Discipli- [#20020730], 51, of Odessa. On Oct.
nary Procedure, in Cause No. 13, 2011, Tidwell was found guilty by a
2006CR6404B styled, The State of Texas jury of two counts misuse of official
v. Ted H. Roberts, in the 226th District information and two counts of retalia-
Hasley Scarano, L.L.P.
attorneys & counselors Court of Bexar County. He was sen- tion, third-degree felonies and intention-
tenced to five years in the Institutional al crimes as defined in the Texas Rules of
Jennifer A. Hasley Division of the Texas Department of Disciplinary Procedure, in Case No.
Board Certified, Civil Trial Law Criminal Justice. Roberts appealed the 5191, styled, The State of Texas v. Scott
18 Years Trial Experience, conviction and on Dec. 18, 2010, the Tidwell, in the 109th District Court of
over 8 years with the Court of Appeals for the Fourth District Winkler County.
State Bar of Texas as of Texas issued its mandate affirming the
Assistant Disciplinary Counsel Tidwell was sentenced to 10 years in
conviction. BODA Cause No. 40196. the custody of the Institutional Division
The firm’s statewide of the Texas Department of Criminal
practice focuses on On Jan. 26, the Board of Disciplinary
civil litigation, Justice. The court suspended the con-
attorney discipline and Appeals signed an agreed interlocutory finement and placed Tidwell on commu-
disability law, and order of suspension against Luther nity supervision for 10 years. Tidwell
professional liability. Jones [#10928000], 65, of El Paso. On was also ordered to pay a fine in the
Aug. 22, 2011, Jones was found guilty of amount of $4,000 and court costs of
5252 Westchester, Suite 125 conspiracy to commit wire fraud and $305. The Board retains jurisdiction to
Houston, Texas 77005 deprivation of honest services and of enter a final judgment when the criminal
P.O. Box 25371 conspiracy to commit mail fraud and appeal is final. BODA Cause No. 49518.
Houston, Texas 77265
deprivation of honest services, intention-
713.667.6904 FAX al crimes as defined in the Texas Rules of On Jan. 31, the Board of Disciplinary
firstname.lastname@example.org Disciplinary Procedure, in Case No. EP- Appeals signed a final judgment of dis-
09-CR-1567-FM(1), styled, The United barment against James Joseph Everett
242 Texas Bar Journal • March 2012 www.texasbar.com
[#06742100], 56, of Scottsdale, Ariz. On Jan. 30, the Board of Discipli-
On Aug. 18, 2009, the Board of Disci- nary Appeals signed a final judgment
plinary Appeals signed an interlocutory suspending Patrick H. Cordero, Jr.
order of suspension against Everett [#00787286], 43, of Midland, from the
because on Jan. 23, 2009, Everett was practice of law for the term of his crimi-
found guilty of violating Title 18 U.S.C. nal probation. On July 15, 2011,
§152(3), false declaration in bankruptcy Cordero was placed on probation for five
proceedings; Title 18 U.S.C. §157, years, including home confinement with
bankruptcy fraud; and Title 18 U.S.C. electronic monitoring for one year and
§1956(a)(1)(B)(i), money laundering/ ordered to complete 300 hours of com-
concealment, intentional crimes as munity service; to pay a fine of $10,000,
defined in the Texas Rules of Discipli- an assessment of $100, and restitution of
nary Procedure, in Cause No. CR 06- $170,101.80; and to forfeit to the Unit-
00795-001-PHX-JAT, styled, United ed States a money judgment in the
States of America v. James Joseph Everett, amount of $245,718.75 in Cause No.
in the U.S. District Court for the Dis- 7:11-CR-060-02 RAJ styled, United
trict of Arizona. States of America v. Patrick Cordero, in
Everett was sentenced to 13 months the U.S. District Court for the Western
in the custody of the U.S. Bureau of District of Texas, Midland Division,
Prisons, followed by supervised release after Cordero pleaded guilty to aiding
for three years, and ordered to pay a fine and abetting wire fraud in violation of
of $7,500 and an assessment of $3,300. 18 U.S.C. §1343 and 18 U.S.C. §2, an
On Nov. 8, 2010, the U.S. Court of intentional crime as defined in the Texas
Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed Rules of Disciplinary Procedure. The
his conviction and issued its mandate. criminal judgment is final. BODA Will you REPRESENT YOURSELF?
Everett answered, but failed to appear at Cause No. 49554. Socrates did and how did that
the hearing. BODA Cause No. 44745. turn out for him?
On Feb. 1, the Board of Disciplinary
On Jan. 31, the Board of Disciplinary Appeals affirmed the judgment of dis- GRIEVANCE
Appeals signed a final judgment disbar- barment of Beatrice E. Oliver
ring Robert Leonadis “Pete” McKin- [#00789847], 57, of Webster, signed by
ney [#13723400], 61, of Houston. On an evidentiary panel of the District 4-D MALPRACTICE
May 12, 2011, McKinney was sentenced Grievance Committee on Feb. 12, 2011, DEFENSE
to prison for four months, followed by in Case No. H0090520967. BODA
supervised release for three years, and Cause No. 48339.
ordered to pay a fine of $250,000 and an
assessment of $100 in Cause No. On Feb. 1, the Board of Disciplinary
1:11CR00059-001 styled, United States Appeals affirmed the judgment of dis- BRUCE A. CAMPBELL
of America v. Robert L. McKinney, in the barment of David Robertson
U.S. District Court for the Northern [#17052600], 58, of Longview, signed OVER 25 YEARS EXPERIENCE IN
DISCIPLINARY MATTERS AND
District of Ohio, Eastern Division, after by an evidentiary panel of the District 4-
LEGAL MALPRACTICE DEFENSE
McKinney pleaded guilty to conspiracy 2 Grievance Committee on March 7,
to commit bribery in federally funded 2011, in Case No. D0011039322. STATEWIDE PRACTICE
programs in violation of 18 U.S.C. §371 BODA Cause No. 48769.
(18 U.S.C. §666), an intentional crime Editor’s Note: David W. Robertson CAMPBELL & CHADWICK, PC
as defined in the Texas Rules of Discipli- [#17053500], of Austin, is not the attor- 4201 SPRING VALLEY RD.
nary Procedure. ney referred to in this action. SUITE 1250
The criminal judgment is final. DALLAS, TX 75244
BODA Cause No. 48984. On Feb. 1, the Board of Disciplinary 972-277-8585 (O)
Editor’s Note: Robert McKinney Appeals affirmed the judgment of par- 972-277-8586 (F)
[#00784572], of Austin, is not the attor- tially probated suspension of Kristin INFO@CLLEGAL.COM
ney referred to in this action. Diane Wilkinson [#24037708], 48, of CAMPBELLCHADWICK.COM
www.texasbar.com/tbj Vol. 75, No. 3 • Texas Bar Journal 243
Houston, signed by an evidentiary panel was a violation of Rule 8.04(a)(3) to
of the District 4-E Grievance Committee issue a subpoena over his name and bar
on Jan. 21, 2011, in Case No. card number while administratively sus-
H0080827321. Wilkinson remains on pended from the practice of law.
active suspension until April 30, 2013, The Board rendered the same sanc-
with the remainder probated until May tion as the evidentiary panel: a 60-day
1, 2015. BODA Cause No. 48195. active suspension served from Feb. 16,
2011, to April 17, 2011. BODA Cause
On Feb. 1, the Board of Disciplinary No. 48195.
Appeals affirmed in part and reversed in
part the judgment of active suspension On Feb. 1, the Board of Disciplinary
of Daniel A. Bass [#01875695], 55, of Appeals signed a judgment of public rep-
San Antonio, signed by an evidentiary rimand of Peggy J. Lee [#12130500],
panel of the District 10-2 Grievance 63, of Memphis, Tenn. Lee entered an
Committee, on March 10, 2011, in Case appearance but did not answer or appear.
No. S0100922631. On Feb. 16, 2011, the Supreme Court of
The Board affirmed the finding that the State of Tennessee at Nashville issued
Bass violated Texas Disciplinary Rule of a public censure against Lee in a matter
Professional Conduct 8.04(a)(11) and styled: PEGGY J. LEE, BPR #009013
reversed the finding that he did not vio- An Attorney Licensed to Practice Law in
late Rule 8.04(a)(3), concluding that it Tennessee (Shelby County), No.
M2011-00331SC-BPO-BP, BOPR no.
2005-1531-9-LC. In accordance with
Part IX of the Texas Rules of Discipli-
nary Procedure, Lee is publicly repri-
manded. BODA Cause No. 48981.
NED BARNETT JUDICIAL ACTION
On Jan. 3, the State Commission on
Judicial Conduct issued a public admo-
nition against Bobby R. Nicholds, jus-
tice of the peace, Precinct 3, Trinity
CRIMINAL County. The Commission found that
Nicholds allowed his relationship with a
DEFENSE criminal defendant and her mother to
influence his conduct and judgment,
causing him to repeatedly intercede in a
pending criminal matter on behalf of the
Defending Texans Since 1994 defendant. The judge’s activities on
behalf of the defendant lent the prestige
of his judicial office to advance her and
Former Assistant United States Attorney her mother’s interests, particularly when
Former Assistant District Attorney he contacted the prosecutor and the dis-
Founding Member of the National College of DUI Defense trict judge in an attempt to influence
of Counsel Williams Kherkher Hart Boundas, LLP them to discharge her second bond and
to release her from custody on her first
bond and attempted to influence law
Law Offices of Ned Barnett enforcement officials to curtail any
8441 Gulf Freeway, Suite 600 • Houston, Texas 77017 investigation into possible ongoing crim-
713-222-6767 inal activities by the criminal defendant.
www.nedbarnettlaw.com The Commission concludes that Judge
Nicholds’ conduct in this matter consti-
Board Certified in Criminal Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization
244 Texas Bar Journal • March 2012 www.texasbar.com
tuted willful and/or persistent violation She agreed to pay $1,100 in attorney’s
of Canon 2B of the Texas Code of Judi- fees and expenses.
On Jan. 11, Juan Antonio Vega
SUSPENSIONS [#00795697], 43, of San Antonio,
On Nov. 23, 2011, Charles Dee accepted a 15-month, fully probated sus-
Septowski [#18032325], 57, of St. pension effective March 1, 2013. An evi-
Louis, Mo., received a one-year, partially dentiary panel of the District 10-1
probated suspension effective Dec. 1, Grievance Committee found that Vega
2011, with the first month actively neglected a client representation and
served and the remainder probated. The failed to respond to the grievance.
126th District Court of Travis County Vega violated Rules 1.01(b)(1) and
found that Septowski was suspended 8.04(a)(8). He was ordered to pay $800
from the practice of law from Sept. 1, in attorney’s fees and expenses and
2009, to Jan. 7, 2010, for failure to pay $1,000 in restitution.
State Bar dues and that on Oct. 23, On Jan. 11, Vega accepted a 15-
2009, while suspended, Septowski filed a month, fully probated suspension effec-
divorce on behalf of his client in tive March 1, 2013. An evidentiary panel
Williamson County. The Court further of the District 10-1 Grievance Commit-
found that on Nov. 2, 2009, while sus- tee found that Vega failed to return a
pended, Septowski appeared in court in client file and to respond to the grievance.
an attempt to finalize the divorce. Vega violated Rules 1.15(d) and
Septowski violated Rules 8.04(a)(1) 8.04(a)(8). He was ordered to pay $800
and (a)(11). He was ordered to pay in attorney’s fees and expenses.
$11,000 in attorney’s fees and costs.
On Jan. 27, John S. Chase, Jr.
On Dec. 15, Kennitra M. Foote [#04149100], 59, of Houston, accepted
[#24029552], 39, of Houston, accepted a three-year, partially probated suspen-
a two-year, partially probated suspension sion effective Jan. 31, with the first six
effective Dec. 15, with the first three months actively served and the remain- Experience when you need it
months actively served and the remain- der probated. An evidentiary panel of most. When you’re being served,
der probated. An evidentiary panel of the District 4-E Grievance Committee you shouldn’t have to wonder if
the District 4-A Grievance Committee found that in representing a client, you can count on your malpractice
found that in connection with represen- Chase failed to maintain communication
carrier. There’s never a more
tation in a personal injury matter, Foote with the client. Upon Chase’s settlement
failed to explain an offer of settlement to of the client’s matter, Chase failed to important time for reliable, up-
the extent reasonably necessary to permit notify the client of his receipt of settle- to-date liability insurance. Texas
the client to make an informed decision ment funds and to promptly forward any Lawyers’ Insurance Exchange has
regarding the offer of settlement and to funds to the client. Chase converted the been a steadfast provider with
abide by the client’s decision of whether funds for his own use, but repaid the reasonable rates for over 30 years.
to accept the settlement offer. Upon funds prior to a scheduled disciplinary
Look to TLIE for experience you can
receiving settlement funds in which the hearing. Chase commingled his own
client had an interest, Foote failed to funds with the client’s settlement funds. count on.
promptly notify the client of her receipt Chase failed, upon the conclusion of a
of the funds and to promptly deliver set- contingent fee matter, to provide the
tlement funds the client was entitled to client with a written statement describ-
receive. ing the outcome of the matter and show-
Also, Foote failed to withdraw from ing the remittance to the client and the
representing the client after she had been method of its determination.
discharged. Chase violated Rules 1.03(a), 1.04(c),
Foote violated Rules 1.02(a)(2), and 1.14(a) and (b). He agreed to pay 512.480.9074 / 1.800.252.9332
1.03(a) and (b), 1.14(b), and 1.15(a)(3). $1,384.04 in attorney’s fees and costs. J INFO@TLIE.ORG WWW.TLIE.ORG
www.texasbar.com/tbj Vol. 75, No. 3 • Texas Bar Journal 245