Posted in Disbarred Attorneys, Thurston County

James Emmett Freeley

James Emmett Freeley

License Number: 11251
License Type: Lawyer
Eligible To Practice: No
License Status: Disbarred
WSBA Admit Date: 10/28/1980
Contact Information
Public/Mailing Address: Freeley & Nicolas LLC
2120 State Ave NE
Olympia, WA 98506-6514
Phone: (360) 754-7667
Fax: (360) 786-6948
Practice Information Identified by Legal Professional
Firm or Employer: Freeley & Nicolas LLC
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:
Member of these committees/boards/panels:
Disciplinary History
Action Effective Date
Suspension 05/03/2007

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 – James Freeley
License Number: 11251
Member Name: James Freeley
Discipline Detail
Action: Suspension
Effective Date: 5/3/2007
RPC: 1.15 – (prior to 9/1/2006) Declining or Terminating Representation
1.3 – Diligence
1.4 – Communication
8.4 (d) – Conduct Prejudicial to the Administration of Justice
8.4 (l) – Violate ELCs
Discipline Notice:
Description: James E. Freeley (WSBA No. 11251, admitted 1980), of Olympia, was disbarred effective May 3, 2007, by order of the Washington State Supreme Court following a default hearing. This discipline was based on his conduct in 2004 in several matters involving termination of representation without notice.

In approximately October 2004, Mr. Freeley ceased practicing law without notice to clients, courts, or opposing counsel.

In January 2004, Mr. Freeley had appeared as counsel of record in two domestic-violence matters. Throughout 2004, Mr. Freeley failed to appear at multiple hearings. By October or November 2004, other lawyers appeared for the clients. By that time, the prosecutor could no longer locate the victim in the first matter and was unable to serve the victim in the second matter. The prosecutor was obliged to dismiss both cases.

In April 2002, Mr. Freeley was appointed “standby” counsel in an attempted murder case. In late 2004, Mr. Freeley began showing up late for court. In October 2004, he was removed as standby counsel after failing to appear for a pretrial hearing. It took several weeks for the Office of Assigned Counsel to find and appoint another standby counsel.

In April 2004, Mr. Freeley was hired to represent the defendant in a probation violation matter related to a narcotics offense. In late 2004, the defendant ceased being able to reach Mr. Freeley. Mr. Freeley missed several court appearances in the matter. The defendant eventually resolved the matter pro se.

As a result of Mr. Freeley’s failure to appear in court on behalf of his clients, a grievance was filed with the Bar Association in November 2004. Mr. Freeley failed to respond to the Bar Association’s requests for information during the disciplinary investigation.

Mr. Freeley’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 keep a client reasonably informed about the status of a matter, to promptly comply with reasonable requests for information, and to explain a matter to the extent reasonably necessary to permit the client to make informed decisions regarding the representation; former RPC 1.15, governing the circumstances in which a lawyer may withdraw from representation and imposing duties on termination of representation; RPC 8.4(d), prohibiting a lawyer from engaging in conduct that is prejudicial to the administration of justice; 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.

Joanne S. Abelson represented the Bar Association. Mr. Freeley did not appear either in person or through counsel. Nancy K. McCoid 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.