Posted in Disbarred Attorneys

Brian Walter Chance

Brian Walter Chance
License Number: 11649
License Type: Lawyer
Eligible To Practice: No
License Status: Disbarred
WSBA Admit Date: 5/14/1981
Contact Information
Public/Mailing Address: 170 Merrimack St Ste 206
Lowell, MA 01852-5934
Phone: (978) 453-9505
Fax: (978) 453-6445
Practice Information Identified by Legal Professional
Firm or Employer:
Office Type and Size: Not Specified
Practice Areas: None Specified
Languages Other Than English: None Specified
Professional Liability Insurance
Private Practice:
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Last Updated:
Committees
Member of these committees/boards/panels:
None
Disciplinary History
Action Effective Date
Disbarment 05/08/2002

In some cases, discipline search results will not reveal all disciplinary action relating to a Washington licensed legal professional, and may not display links to the official decision documents.

Discipline Notice – Brian Chance
License Number: 11649
Member Name: Brian Chance
Discipline Detail
Action: Disbarment
Effective Date: 5/8/2002
RPC: 1.1 – Competence
1.15 – (prior to 9/1/2006) Declining or Terminating Representation
1.2 – Scope of Representation
1.3 – Diligence
1.4 – Communication
8.4 (c) – Dishonesty, Fraud, Deceit or Misrepresentation

Discipline Notice:
Description: Brian W. Chance (WSBA No. 11649, admitted 1981), of Massachusetts was disbarred effective May 8, 2002, by order of the Washington Supreme Court based on the identical discipline imposed in Massachusetts. This discipline was based on his conduct in 1998 and 1999, involving misuse of client funds in two trust and estate matters.

Matter 1: In 1999, Mr. Chance drafted estate planning documents for an elderly client. In January 2000, the client died, leaving all of her assets in trust for the care of her disabled son. An employee in Mr. Chance’s office was appointed trustee and executor of the client’s estate. The employee gave Mr. Chance a $204,585.19 check to deposit into his IOLTA account until an estate account could be established. Between July 2000 and February 2001, Mr. Chance disbursed $120,000 of the estate funds for unrelated matters. When Mr. Chance failed to provide an accounting, the employee filed a civil suit seeking return of the funds.

Matter 2: In 1998, Mr. Chance agreed to represent a trustee in funding and managing a trust. In September 1998, Mr. Chance paid himself $8,900 from these trust funds without authorization. Between August 1998 and November 2000, Mr. Chance disbursed another $67,000 in trust funds to himself without the trustee’s authorization. In July 2000, the trustee discharged Mr. Chance. After his discharge, Mr. Chance disbursed $20,000 to the trustee, using funds belonging to the estate discussed in matter 1.

Mr. Chance’s conduct violated Massachusetts Rules of Professional Conduct 1.15(a), (b), (d) and (e), requiring lawyers to withdraw when asked by the client and to protect the client’s interests upon withdrawal; 8.4(c); prohibiting dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation; 1.1, requiring lawyers to provide competent representation; 1.2(a); requiring lawyers to abide by their client’s decisions concerning the objectives of the representation; 1.3, requiring lawyers to diligently represent their clients; and 1.4(a), requiring lawyers to keep their clients reasonably informed of the status of their matters.

Felice Congalton represented the Bar Association. Mr. Chance represented himself.

In some cases, discipline search results will not reveal all disciplinary action relating to a Washington licensed legal professional, and may not display links to the official decision documents.

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Posted in Disbarred Attorneys, King County, Snohomish County

Mary Cornaby Jarvis

Mary Cornaby Jarvis
License Number: 11639
License Type: Lawyer
Eligible To Practice: No
License Status: Disbarred
WSBA Admit Date: 5/12/1981
Contact Information
Public/Mailing Address: 16000 Bothell Everett Hwy Ste 330
Mill Creek, WA 98012-1577
Phone: (425) 775-1523
Practice Information Identified by Legal Professional
Firm or Employer:
Office Type and Size: Not Specified
Practice Areas: None Specified
Languages Other Than English: None Specified
Professional Liability Insurance
Private Practice:
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Last Updated:
Committees
Member of these committees/boards/panels:
None
Disciplinary History
Action Effective Date
Disbarment 01/07/1993

In some cases, discipline search results will not reveal all disciplinary action relating to a Washington licensed legal professional, and may not display links to the official decision documents.

Discipline Notice – Mary Jarvis
License Number: 11639
Member Name: Mary Jarvis
Discipline Detail
Action: Disbarment
Effective Date: 1/7/1993
RPC:
Discipline Notice:
Description: Ms. Cornaby Jarvis was disbarred from the practice of law, effective January 7, 1993.

In some cases, discipline search results will not reveal all disciplinary action relating to a Washington licensed legal professional, and may not display links to the official decision documents.

Posted in Disbarred Attorneys, Thurston County

Daniel A Wright

Daniel A. Wright
License Number: 11560
License Type: Lawyer
Eligible To Practice: No
License Status: Disbarred
WSBA Admit Date: 5/11/1981
Contact Information
Public/Mailing Address: 1007 Maplewood Ln SE
Tumwater, WA 98501-4149
Phone: (360) 352-4674
Practice Information Identified by Legal Professional
Firm or Employer:
Office Type and Size: Law firm with 2-5 WSBA members
Practice Areas: Estate Planning/ Probate/ Wills, Family
Languages Other Than English: None Specified
Professional Liability Insurance
Private Practice: Yes
Has Insurance? Yes – Click for more info
Last Updated: 3/7/2008 8:00:00 AM
Committees
Member of these committees/boards/panels:
None
Disciplinary History
Action Effective Date
Disbarment 10/06/2009

In some cases, discipline search results will not reveal all disciplinary action relating to a Washington licensed legal professional, and may not display links to the official decision documents.

Discipline Notice – Daniel Wright
License Number: 11560
Member Name: Daniel Wright
Discipline Detail
Action: Disbarment
Effective Date: 10/6/2009
RPC: 1.3 – Diligence
1.4 – Communication
8.1 – Bar Admission Matters
8.4 (c) – Dishonesty, Fraud, Deceit or Misrepresentation
8.4 (l) – Violate ELCs
Discipline Notice:
Description: Daniel A. Wright (WSBA No. 11560, admitted 1981), of Tumwater was disbarred, effective October 6, 2009, by order of the Washington State Supreme Court, following a default hearing. This discipline was based on conduct involving failure to act with reasonable diligence, failure to communicate, making false statements in connection with a disciplinary matter, dishonest conduct, and violating a duty imposed under the Rules for Enforcement of Lawyer Conduct.

In September 2005, a client hired Mr. Wright to represent her in the dissolution of her marriage. As part of the dissolution, the client’s husband executed a promissory note in favor of the client, which was secured by a trust deed on a certain piece of real property. The client’s husband executed the note and trust deed on or about February 1, 2007. Mr. Wright did not record the promissory note or trust deed. In June 2007, the client retrieved her client file from the firm where Mr. Wright was an associate. She subsequently learned that the trust deed had not been recorded and that a senior lien holder had foreclosed on the property on May 7, 2007.

On August 14, 2007, the client telephoned Mr. Wright about his failure to record the trust deed. Mr. Wright told his client that she had instructed him not to record the trust deed and that he had sent her a letter at that time confirming those instructions. The client told Mr. Wright that she had not given him instructions not to record the trust deed. She also told Mr. Wright that she had not received any letter from him confirming those instructions and that she intended to file a grievance with the Association. Mr. Wright wrote and sent the client a follow-up letter confirming the telephone conversation, including his assertion that she instructed him not to record the trust deed, and enclosed a copy of a letter dated February 12, 2007. The letter dated February 12, 2007, from Mr. Wright to the client, purported to confirm the client’s instructions to Mr. Wright not to file the trust deed. Mr. Wright represented to her that the letter had been created and mailed to her on February 12, 2007. In fact, Mr. Wright created the letter on August 14, 2007, after the telephone conversation with the client. In connection with the investigation of the grievance filed by the client, Mr. Wright falsely stated to the Association that the letter dated February 12, 2007, had been created and sent to the client on February 12, 2007.

Mr. Wright’s conduct violated RPC 1.3, requiring a lawyer to act with reasonable diligence and promptness in representing a client; RPC 1.4, requiring a lawyer to promptly inform the client of any decision of circumstance with respect to which the client’s informed consent is required, reasonably consult with the client about the means by which the client’s objectives are to be accomplished, keep the client reasonably informed about the status of the matter, and promptly comply with reasonable requests for information; RPC 8.1(a), prohibiting a lawyer, in connection with a disciplinary matter, from knowingly making a false statement of material fact; RPC 8.4(c), prohibiting a lawyer from engaging in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation; and RPC 8.4(l), prohibiting a lawyer from violating a duty or sanction imposed by or under the Rules for Enforcement of Lawyer Conduct in connection with a disciplinary matter (here, ELC 5.3(e)).

Debra J. Slater represented the Bar Association. Mr. Wright did not appear either in person or through counsel. Malcolm L. Edwards was the hearing officer.

In some cases, discipline search results will not reveal all disciplinary action relating to a Washington licensed legal professional, and may not display links to the official decision documents.

Posted in Disbarred Attorneys, King County

William Wheeler

William Wheeler

License Number: 11557
License Type: Lawyer
Eligible To Practice: No
License Status: Disbarred
WSBA Admit Date: 5/11/1981
Contact Information
Public/Mailing Address: 4907 159th Pl SE
Bellevue, WA 98006-3260
Phone: (425) 643-3035
Fax: (425) 643-1082
Practice Information Identified by Legal Professional
Firm or Employer:
Office Type and Size: Not Specified
Practice Areas: None Specified
Languages Other Than English: None Specified
Professional Liability Insurance
Private Practice:
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Last Updated:
Committees
Member of these committees/boards/panels:
None
Disciplinary History
Action Effective Date
Disbarment 06/30/2001

In some cases, discipline search results will not reveal all disciplinary action relating to a Washington licensed legal professional, and may not display links to the official decision documents.

Discipline Notice – William Wheeler
License Number: 11557
Member Name: William Wheeler
Discipline Detail
Action: Disbarment
Effective Date: 6/30/2001
RPC: 8.4 (a) – Violate the RPCs
8.4 (c) – Dishonesty, Fraud, Deceit or Misrepresentation
8.4 (i) – Moral Turpitude
8.4 (k) – Violate Oath of Attorney
8.4 (n) – Conduct Demonstrating Unfitness to Practice Law
Discipline Notice:
Description: William Wheeler (WSBA No. 11557, admitted 1981), of Bellevue, has been disbarred by order of the Supreme Court approving a stipulation, effective June 30. The discipline is based on his acts of fraud, dishonesty and misrepresentation while attempting to arrange a world-class boxing match in 1991 and 1992.

In 1991, Mr. Wheeler and a business partner operated a boxing promotion company named Wheeler and Associates (W&A). In February, W&A agreed to assist a Chinese corporation (CX) in planning a world-class boxing event in China, agreeing to act as agent for CX. Later in 1991, a disagreement regarding W&A’s compensation developed. When CX asked for the names of W&A’s directors, Mr. Wheeler provided a false response, naming two individuals who were not directors of W&A.

In December 1991, CX and W&A signed a supplemental agreement providing that CX would advance $700,000 for Mr. Wheeler to sign boxer George Foreman. Mr. Wheeler did not sign Mr. Foreman, but used the money for personal and business expenses. When Mr. Wheeler suggested that the main event involve two other fighters, CX agreed, and the parties signed another agreement in March 1992. This agreement was signed in both Chinese and English. The Chinese version was four pages and did not contain any fee provisions for W&A. The English version contained five pages, the last of which included an $850,000 fee for W&A. Mr. Wheeler caused CX’s president, who could not read English, to sign this last page without knowledge of the fee.

In March 1992, Mr. Wheeler delivered two signed boxing services agreements to CX. These agreements purported to be signed by the agents of the two main-event fighters. In fact, Mr. Wheeler’s business partner had forged the signatures at Mr. Wheeler’s direction. Mr. Wheeler falsely told CX that he had advanced $1.8 million dollars of W&A’s money to secure the two main-event fighters. On April 21, CX wired $1 million to Mr. Wheeler’s personal account.

On May 1, 1992, Mr. Wheeler told CX, falsely, that the two main-event boxers’ contracts were cancelled to avoid a $5.6 million-dollar charge, because W&A and CX had not rescheduled the boxing match. Mr. Wheeler also falsely told CX that the $2.4 million already advanced to the two fighters was forfeited as a result of the cancellation of the boxing match. On May 11, knowing that he would not be able to sign the two main-event fighters, Mr. Wheeler allowed CX to announce the fight in a press conference in China.

During May, Mr. Wheeler continued to demand that CX reimburse him for the money he falsely claimed to have paid the fighters. On May 16, CX wired $600,000 to Mr. Wheeler’s personal bank account and another $800,000 on May 18. On May 27, Mr. Wheeler transferred $1 million to an investment account. Mr. Wheeler continued to press CX for more money, indicating that if he did not receive $400,000 “there will be no event.”

In August 1992, Mr. Wheeler and his business partner were in Beijing, meeting with the CX representatives. Mr. Wheeler and his partner gave CX a false letter of credit, to show that they had obtained funding for the television pay-per-view contracts. Mr. Wheeler’s partner drafted the letter on bank stationery, and Mr. Wheeler signed a fictitious name as bank chairman. Later, Mr. Wheeler told CX that the letter was only a sample. On the way home from Beijing, Mr. Wheeler vacationed in Europe, financing his trip mostly with money from the $3.1 million provided by CX.

On August 24, Mr. Wheeler and his business partner split the remaining funds. A former employee of Mr. Wheeler and his partner contacted CX and suggested that they ask for an accounting. In response to CX’s requests for cancelled checks and receipts, Mr. Wheeler produced a false report stating that $1.2 million had been advanced to each main-event fighter and that the money had been forfeited due to cancellation. Mr. Wheeler paid one fighter’s manager $70,000 at most, and made no payments to the other.

Mr. Wheeler’s conduct violated RPCs 8.4(a), prohibiting lawyers from knowingly assisting others to violate the RPCs; 8.4(c), prohibiting lawyers from engaging in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation; RLD 1.1(a), prohibiting lawyers from committing acts involving moral turpitude, dishonesty, corruption or other acts reflecting disregard for the rule of law; RLD 1.1(c) and APR 5(d), prohibiting lawyers from violating the oath or duties as a lawyer; and RLD 1.1(p), prohibiting lawyers from engaging in conduct demonstrating unfitness to practice law.

Linda Eide and Anne I. Seidel represented the Bar Association. Mr. Wheeler represented himself.

In some cases, discipline search results will not reveal all disciplinary action relating to a Washington licensed legal professional, and may not display links to the official decision documents.

Posted in Disbarred Attorneys, King County

Joseph Harper Mitchell

Joseph Harper Mitchell

License Number: 1148
License Type: Lawyer
Eligible To Practice: No
License Status: Disbarred
WSBA Admit Date: 2/23/1966
Contact Information
Public/Mailing Address: PO Box 15175
Seattle, WA 98115-0175
Phone: (206) 523-2602
Practice Information Identified by Legal Professional
Firm or Employer:
Office Type and Size: Not Specified
Practice Areas: None Specified
Languages Other Than English: None Specified
Professional Liability Insurance
Private Practice:
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Last Updated:
Committees
Member of these committees/boards/panels:
None
Disciplinary History
Action Effective Date
Disbarment 04/03/1992

In some cases, discipline search results will not reveal all disciplinary action relating to a Washington licensed legal professional, and may not display links to the official decision documents.

Discipline Notice – Joseph Mitchell
License Number: 1148
Member Name: Joseph Mitchell
Discipline Detail
Action: Disbarment
Effective Date: 4/3/1992
RPC:
Discipline Notice:
Description: Mr. Mitchell was disbarred from the practice of law, effective April 3, 1992.

In some cases, discipline search results will not reveal all disciplinary action relating to a Washington licensed legal professional, and may not display links to the official decision documents.

Posted in Disbarred Attorneys, King County, Suspension

Richard Alan Basarab

Richard Alan Basarab
License Number: 11444
License Type: Lawyer
Eligible To Practice: No
License Status: Disbarred
WSBA Admit Date: 5/11/1981
Contact Information
Public/Mailing Address: 1593 Gillam Way
Fairbanks, AK 99701-6045
Email: laborrrelations@gmail.com
Phone: (907) 750-0579
Practice Information Identified by Legal Professional
Firm or Employer:
Office Type and Size: Not Specified
Practice Areas: None Specified
Languages Other Than English: None Specified
Professional Liability Insurance
Private Practice:
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Last Updated:
Committees
Member of these committees/boards/panels:
None
Disciplinary History
Action Effective Date
Disbarment 01/07/1999

In some cases, discipline search results will not reveal all disciplinary action relating to a Washington licensed legal professional, and may not display links to the official decision documents.

Discipline Notice – Richard Basarab
License Number: 11444
Member Name: Richard Basarab
Discipline Detail
Action: Disbarment
Effective Date: 1/7/1999
RPC: 1.3 – Diligence
1.4 – Communication
5.5 – Unauthorized Practice of Law
8.4 (b) – Criminal Act
8.4 (l) – Violate ELCs
8.4 (n) – Conduct Demonstrating Unfitness to Practice Law

Discipline Notice:
Description: Seattle lawyer Richard A. Basarab (WSBA No. 11444, admitted May 11, 1981) has been disbarred by order of the Supreme Court, effective January 7, 1999. The discipline is based upon his practicing law, and collecting fees from clients to practice law, while his license was suspended; failing to diligently represent his clients; and contacting a party represented by counsel.

On May 24, 1991, Mr. Basarab’s license to practice law was suspended for non-payment of dues. His license remained suspended until he was disbarred. On May 15, 1997, Mr. Basarab pled guilty, pursuant to an Alford plea, to one count of first-degree theft, one count of second-degree theft, and two counts of unauthorized practice of law.
Matter 1. On October 4, 1993, Mr. Basarab agreed to represent a client in a wrongful discharge suit. Mr. Basarab signed the summons, but did not put his WSBA number on the complaint. He failed to conduct discovery and did not attempt to answer the opposing party’s interrogatories, until after a motion to compel was filed. Mr. Basarab submitted the interrogatories unsigned and without the three binders of supporting documentation his client had provided. On May 1, 1995, the client learned that Mr. Basarab’s license was suspended, terminated his services and requested her file. The client discovered a motion to compel scheduled for the day before she received her file. Mr. Basarab had not notified the client of this motion. The Court entered a $1,000 judgment for terms against the client for failure to comply or appear at the motion. Mr. Basarab stated that he intended to find substitute counsel for his client, if litigation was necessary. However, the client terminated his services prior to his attempts to find other counsel.

Matter 2. In April 1995, Mr. Basarab agreed to draft an employment agreement for a parking lot construction estimator. Although Mr. Basarab told the client he could draft employment agreements, the contract draft contained mistakes that were not in the client’s best interests. During this same meeting, the client told Mr. Basarab that he needed a civil suit filed because his former employer did not pay his medical insurance premiums. Mr. Basarab filed the lawsuit in January 1996, and promised to inform the client’s creditors that they would be paid out of the settlement proceeds. Mr. Basarab altered a money order he received from another client to pay the $110 filing fee for the client’s complaint. Mr. Basarab also agreed to collect on a bounced commission check and file suit against another previous employer who failed to pay commissions. Mr. Basarab did not file the suit or collect the check. Finally, Mr. Basarab agreed to draft the contract for the sale of the client’s company. Mr. Basarab completed the sale.

Matter 3. Between October 1992 and October 1993, a client paid Mr. Basarab $750 to file a bankruptcy petition. Mr. Basarab did not file the bankruptcy petition. On October 5, 1995, the Lawyers’ Fund for Client Protection paid the client. Mr. Basarab has not reimbursed the fund. Mr. Basarab stated that he agreed only to assist the client in preparing documents, not to appear as her lawyer.

Matter 4. In June 1994, Mr. Basarab agreed to review a settlement proposal in a wrongful termination claim. Mr. Basarab told the client that he was experienced in labor law. Mr. Basarab and the client agreed that the settlement was not acceptable. Subsequently, the Human Rights Commission dismissed the client’s complaint. Mr. Basarab agreed to file a civil lawsuit for the client. On January 16, 1996, the client sent Mr. Basarab a money order for $110 for the filing fee. Mr. Basarab altered the money order and used it to pay for another client’s filing fee. Mr. Basarab never filed the lawsuit or refunded the client’s money.

Matter 5. In June 1995, Mr. Basarab agreed to represent the alleged father in a paternity action. The client gave Mr. Basarab the papers he received from the Office of Support Enforcement, and Mr. Basarab agreed to take care of the matters. Mr. Basarab did not respond to the Office of Support Enforcement. In October 1995, the King County Prosecuting Attorney filed a Motion for Default Judgment against the client, citing failure to appear. Mr. Basarab told his client that the Court was wrong, because he had filed a response the day the default order was entered. The client took no further action and DSHS began garnishing his paycheck.

Matter 6. In July 1995, Mr. Basarab agreed to represent the tenant in an unlawful detainer action.
Mr. Basarab drafted a Motion for an Order of Stay for the client to sign pro se. The client believed that he had retained Mr. Basarab as his lawyer. Mr. Basarab and his client went to court together and obtained a one-day stay. During the court appearance, Mr. Basarab told the court that he was assisting, not representing, the client. Later, the Snohomish County Sheriff removed the rented mobile home, because the medically disabled client was not able to pay the back rent.

Matter 7. Mr. Basarab represented a client in an American Arbitration Association (AAA) arbitration. Mr. Basarab told the parties and the arbitrator that he was not licensed to practice, and the arbitrator allowed him to represent the client. During the arbitration proceeding, Mr. Basarab presented exhibits, examined and cross-examined witnesses, and submitted memoranda on behalf of his client. The arbitrator awarded Mr. Basarab $3,625 as “representative fees,” pursuant to an attorney’s-fees clause in the disputed contract. Following the arbitration, Mr. Basarab contacted the opposing party directly, instead of through counsel, to attempt to collect the fees. The opposing party challenged the award of fees, and the King County Superior Court denied Mr. Basarab’s fees. The Court concluded that the contract allowed attorney’s fees, and Mr. Basarab could not have been acting as an attorney, because his license was suspended.

Matter 8. In late 1995, Mr. Basarab accepted $750 and agreed to file a lawsuit for a client. In mid-1997, the client learned that Mr. Basarab’s license was suspended and that he had not filed the lawsuit.

Matter 9. On May 6, 1998, Mr. Basa-rab appeared with a client in Poulsbo Municipal Court. Mr. Basarab requested, and the Court granted, a continuance of the pre-trial conference scheduled to be heard that day. The Judge asked Mr. Basarab if he intended to file a notice of appearance in the case. Mr. Basarab stated that he would file a notice of appearance and hoped to reach an agreement after speaking to the prosecutor.

Mr. Basarab’s conduct violated RPCs 8.4, prohibiting a lawyer from committing a crime that reflects adversely on the lawyer’s honesty, trustworthiness, or fitness as a lawyer; RCW 2.48.180, making it a crime to engage in the unauthorized practice of law; RPC 5.5(a), prohibiting the practice of law where doing so violates the regulation of the legal profession; RLD 1.1(l), prohibiting a lawyer from engaging in the practice of law while suspended; RLD 1.1(p), prohibiting conduct demonstrating unfitness to practice law; RLD 8.2, prohibiting a disbarred or suspended attorney from accepting a retainer, giving legal advice, or acting as a lawyer for another in a legal matter; RPC 1.3, requiring a lawyer to act with reasonable diligence and promptness in representing a client; and RPC 1.4(a), requiring a lawyer to keep clients informed as to the status of their matters.

Sachia Stonefeld represented the Bar Association. Kevin Keefe represented Mr. Basarab. Geoffrey Revelle acted as the hearing officer.

In some cases, discipline search results will not reveal all disciplinary action relating to a Washington licensed legal professional, and may not display links to the official decision documents.

Posted in Disbarred Attorneys, Grant County, Reprimand

Mark Stansfield

Mark Stansfield
License Number: 11356
License Type: Lawyer
Eligible To Practice: No
License Status: Disbarred
WSBA Admit Date: 11/3/1980
Contact Information
Public/Mailing Address: 212 G St SE
Quincy, WA 98848-1556
Phone: (509) 787-1795
Fax: (509) 787-2849
Practice Information Identified by Legal Professional
Firm or Employer:
Office Type and Size: Law firm with 2-5 WSBA members
Practice Areas: Criminal, Estate Planning/ Probate/ Wills, Personal Injury, Workers’ Compensation
Languages Other Than English: None Specified
Professional Liability Insurance
Private Practice: Yes
Has Insurance? No – Click for more info
Last Updated: 2/25/2009 6:07:09 AM
Committees
Member of these committees/boards/panels:
None
Disciplinary History
Action Effective Date
Reprimand 07/17/2008
Disbarment 07/30/2013

In some cases, discipline search results will not reveal all disciplinary action relating to a Washington licensed legal professional, and may not display links to the official decision documents.

Discipline Notice – Mark Stansfield
License Number: 11356
Member Name: Mark Stansfield
Discipline Detail
Action: Reprimand
Effective Date: 7/17/2008
RPC: 1.2 – Scope of Representation
1.9 – (prior to 9/1/2006) Conflict of Interest; Former Client
Discipline Notice:
Description: Mark Stansfield (WSBA No. 11356, admitted 1980), of Quincy, was ordered to receive two reprimands on July 17, 2008, by order of the Washington State Supreme Court following an appeal. This discipline was based on conduct involving purporting to represent a person’s estate without authorization and conflicts of interest. For more information, see In re Disciplinary Proceeding Against Stansfield, 164 Wn.2d 108, 187 P.3d 254 (2008).

In May 2003, a two-car accident in Quincy resulted in the death of three people. The police report stated that there was probable cause to believe that the collision was due to the driver of one of the vehicles (Mr. V) operating his Lexus “while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or any drug.” Mr. V was uninsured. In May 2003, the widow of the driver of the other vehicle (Mrs. U) and her daughter hired Mr. Stansfield to file an insurance claim on her husband’s behalf and to probate his estate. Mrs. U also asked Mr. Stansfield about suing Mr. V for wrongful death of her husband, which Mr. Stansfield counseled her against because Mr. V lacked assets.

Around the same time, Mrs. U informed Mr. Stansfield that the widow of the passenger in her husband’s car (Mrs. C) lived in Guatemala and had given her authority to act as personal representative for Mr. C’s estate. Mr. Stansfield had Mrs. U sign a retainer agreement and other documents as personal representative of Mr. C’s estate. He then notified Mr. U’s insurance company that he represented the estates of both Mr. U and Mr. C and requested that they communicate directly with him. Mr. Stansfield wrote two letters to Mrs. C, translated into Spanish, asking whether she wanted him to handle her husband’s estate. He received no response. In fact, Mrs. C had authorized a relative who lived in Washington to hire another lawyer (Lawyer B) to represent their family. When Lawyer B contacted the insurance company, he was told that Mr. Stansfield claimed to represent Mr. C’s family. He wrote to Mr. Stansfield and requested that he cease his representation. Mr. Stansfield promptly filed an attorney’s lien for $2,299.32 against Mr. C’s estate, which delayed the family’s receipt of the insurance funds. Mr. Stansfield sent a formal notice of vacation of his lien in November 2005.

In September 2003, approximately two weeks after Mr. Stansfield concluded matters regarding the insurance claim and estate probate for Mrs. U, Mr. Stansfield agreed to represent Mr. V, who was charged with three counts of vehicular homicide and two counts of vehicular assault from the motor vehicle collision. Although the two representations were substantially related and the two clients had materially adverse interests, Mr. Stansfield neither informed Mrs. U of his representation of Mr. V nor obtained her consent thereto. On September 22, 2003, before the arraignment, Mr. Stansfield had Mr. V sign a fee agreement and received a $10,000 nonrefundable flat fee. Mr. Stansfield represented Mr. V at his arraignment, where Mr. V pleaded not guilty. On the same day, Mr. Stansfield filed a notice of appearance, a notice of demand for discovery, a demand for preservation of evidence, a demand for jury trial, and a demand for a bill of particulars on behalf of Mr. V. Mrs. U attended the arraignment and was shocked and extremely upset to see Mr. Stansfield representing Mr. V. After the arraignment, Mrs. U expressed her concerns to the prosecutor. Mr. Stansfield decided to withdraw from the case and transferred all but $250 of the $10,000 to substitute counsel.

Mr. Stansfield’s conduct violated former RPC 1.2(f), prohibiting a lawyer from willfully purporting to act as a lawyer for any person without the authority of that person; and former RPC 1.9(a), prohibiting a lawyer who has formerly represented a client in a matter from representing another client in the same or a substantially related matter in which that person’s interests are materially adverse to the interests of the former client unless the former client consents after consultation and a full disclosure of the material facts.

Natalea Skvir represented the Bar Association. Leland G. Ripley represented Mr. Stansfield. Paul M. Larson was the hearing officer.

In some cases, discipline search results will not reveal all disciplinary action relating to a Washington licensed legal professional, and may not display links to the official decision documents.

Discipline Notice – Mark Stansfield
License Number: 11356
Member Name: Mark Stansfield
Discipline Detail
Action: Disbarment
Effective Date: 7/30/2013
RPC: 8.4 – Misconduct
Discipline Notice: Order Approving
Stipulation
Supreme Court Order
Description: Mark Stansfield (WSBA No. 11356, admitted 1980), of Quincy, was disbarred, effective 7/30/2013, by order of the Washington State Supreme Court. The lawyer’s conduct violated the following Rules of Professional Conduct: 8.4 (Misconduct). Natalea Skvir represented the Bar Association. Mark Stansfield represented himself. William John Murphy was the hearing officer. The online version of NWLawyer contains links to the following documents: Stipulation to Disbarment; Disciplinary Board Order Approving Stipulation; and Washington State Supreme Court Order.

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