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Board of Prof'l Responsibility v. Shreve

Supreme Court of Wyoming

November 19, 2014

BOARD OF PROFESSIONAL RESPONSIBILITY, WYOMING STATE BAR, Petitioner,
v.
DON FRANKLIN SHREVE, JR., Respondent

Page 371

ORDER SUSPENDING ATTORNEY FROM THE PRACTICE OF LAW

E. JAMES BURKE, Chief Justice.

[¶1] This matter came before the Court upon a " Report and Recommendation for Reciprocal Order of Suspension," filed herein October 21, 2014, by the Board of Professional Responsibility for the Wyoming State Bar, pursuant to Sections 20 (reciprocal discipline) and 16 (stipulated discipline) of the Disciplinary Code for the Wyoming State Bar. After a careful review of the Board of Professional Responsibility's Report and Recommendation and the file, this Court finds that the Report and Recommendation should be approved, confirmed and adopted by the Court, and that Respondent, Don Franklin Shreve, Jr., should be suspended from the practice of law for five years, consistent with the discipline imposed by the Nevada Supreme Court. It is, therefore,

[¶2] ADJUDGED AND ORDERED that the Board of Professional Responsibility's Report and Recommendation for Reciprocal Order of Suspension, which is attached hereto and incorporated herein, shall be, and the same hereby is, approved, confirmed, and adopted by this Court; and it is further

[¶3] ADJUDGED AND ORDERED that, consistent with the discipline imposed by the Nevada Supreme Court and as a result of the conduct set forth in the Report and Recommendation for Reciprocal Order of Suspension, Respondent, Don Franklin Shreve, Jr., shall be, and hereby is, suspended from the practice of law for a period of five years. The effective date of the suspension shall be February 10, 2012 (the effective date of Respondent's interim suspension); and it is further

[¶4] ORDERED that Respondent shall comply with Section 22 of the Disciplinary Code for the Wyoming State Bar. That Section governs the duties of disbarred and suspended attorneys; and it is further

[¶5] ORDERED that before seeking reinstatement to the practice of law in Wyoming, Respondent shall take and pass the Uniform Bar Examination in Wyoming; and it is further

[¶6] ORDERED that, upon seeking reinstatement, Respondent shall be required to show sufficient evidence of restitution to Farmers Insurance Exchange; and it is further

[¶7] ORDERED that, pursuant to Section 26 of the Disciplinary Code for the Wyoming State Bar, Respondent shall reimburse the Wyoming State Bar the amount of $50.00, representing the administrative costs incurred in handling this matter, as well as pay an administrative fee of $500.00, by paying the total amount of $550.00 to the Clerk of the Board of Professional Responsibility on or before December 31, 2014; and it is further

[¶8] ORDERED that, pursuant to Section 4(a)(iv) of the Disciplinary Code for the Wyoming State Bar, this Order Suspending Attorney from the Practice of Law, along with the incorporated Report and Recommendation for Reciprocal Order of Suspension, shall be published in the Wyoming Reporter and the Pacific Reporter; and it is further

[¶9] ORDERED that the Clerk of this Court shall docket this Order Suspending Attorney from the Practice of Law, along with the Report and Recommendation for Reciprocal Order of Suspension, as a matter coming regularly before this Court as a public record; and it is further

[¶10] ORDERED that the Clerk of this Court cause a copy of the Order Suspending Attorney from the Practice of Law to be served upon Respondent, Don Franklin Shreve, Jr.

[¶11] DATED this 19th day of November, 2014.

BEFORE THE SUPREME COURT STATE OF WYOMING

In the matter of DON FRANKLIN SHREVE, JR., WSB # 6-4028, Respondent.

WSB Nos. 2011-164 & 2012-022

REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION FOR RECIPROCAL ORDER OF SUSPENSION

Jenifer E. Scoggin, Chair.

THIS MATTER having come before the Board of Professional Responsibility pursuant to Bar Counsel's stipulated motion for reciprocal suspension of Respondent, and the Board having reviewed the stipulated motion, the affidavit of Respondent in support thereof, and being fully advised in the premises, FINDS, CONCLUDES and RECOMMENDS:

FINDINGS OF FACT

1. Respondent has been licensed to practice law in the State of Wyoming since 2008, and prior to his interim suspension maintained a practice in Cody, Wyoming. Since 1991, Respondent has been a member of the Nevada State Bar. Other than the above-captioned matter, Respondent has not been the subject of any professional discipline in Wyoming.

2. During 2011, Bar Counsel received information from David A. Clark, Bar Counsel for Nevada, that Respondent was the respondent in a disciplinary proceeding in Nevada in which Respondent was alleged to have received a $35,000 check from an insurance company but failed to remit the funds to the client. According to Mr. Clark, Respondent had refused to communicate with the office of Nevada Bar Counsel, despite numerous attempts to reach him over the course of more than a year. Nevada Bar Counsel had instituted disciplinary proceedings seeking Respondent's disbarment, based upon the allegations of professional misconduct and Respondent's lack of cooperation.

3. Following receipt of this information from Mr. Clark, on July 25, 2011, Bar Counsel telephoned Respondent at his office in Cody and told him what Bar Counsel had learned from Mr. Clark. Respondent told Bar Counsel he had been out of the office, but was intending to respond to the Nevada disciplinary action. Bar Counsel communicated that information to Mr. Clark.

4. On September 6, 2011, a hearing was held in the Nevada disciplinary proceeding. Respondent failed to appear. A hearing panel of the Southern Nevada Disciplinary Board took evidence and voted unanimously to recommend Respondent's disbarment to the Nevada Supreme Court.

Page 372

5. The hearing panel's findings in support of the recommendation for Respondent's disbarment included:

a. Respondent received a $35,000 settlement check during 2009 (after Respondent had been admitted to practice in Wyoming), and gave written assurance to his insurance company client, Century-National Insurance Company (" Century-National" ), that $10,000 of this sum would be paid to the insured and the balance, $25,000, would be remitted to his insurance company client.
b. Respondent deposited the settlement check into his trust account.
c. Over a period of months, Century-National made numerous attempts to contact Respondent by phone and correspondence. Respondent failed to respond.
d. After Century-National complained to the Nevada State Bar, Respondent failed to respond to numerous inquiries from Nevada Bar Counsel.
e. Documents subpoenaed from Respondent's bank reflect that the settlement check was deposited into Respondent's trust account in March of 2009, and that by the end of August, 2009, Respondent's ...

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