BOARD OF PROFESSIONAL RESPONSIBILITY, WYOMING STATE BAR, Petitioner,
LAURENCE W. STINSON, WSB No. 6-2918, Respondent
JAMES BURKE, Chief Justice.[*]
Suspending Attorney FROM THE Practice of Law
[¶1] This matter came
before the Court upon a " Report and Recommendation for
Suspension," filed herein December 9, 2015, by the Board
of Professional Responsibility for the Wyoming State Bar.
After a careful review of the Report and Recommendation; the
attached " Affidavit of Costs and Expenses; "
Respondent's February 10, 2016 letter (in which he
informs the Court he does not file exceptions to the report);
and the file, this Court finds the Report and Recommendation
for Suspension should be approved, confirmed, and adopted by
the Court and that Respondent, Laurence W. Stinson, should be
suspended from the practice of law for a period of nine
months. It is, therefore,
[¶2] ADJUDGED AND ORDERED
that the Board of Professional Responsibility's Report
and Recommendation for 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
[¶3] ADJUDGED AND ORDERED
that, as a result of the conduct set forth in the Report and
Recommendation for Suspension, Respondent, Laurence W.
Stinson, shall be, and hereby is, suspended from the practice
of law for a period of nine months, beginning March 7, 2016;
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
[¶5] ORDERED that, pursuant
to Section 26 of the Disciplinary Code for the Wyoming State
Bar, Laurence W. Stinson shall reimburse the Wyoming State
Bar the amount of $25,247.99, representing the costs incurred
in handling this matter, as well as pay an administrative fee
of $500.00, by paying the total amount of $25,747.99 to the
Clerk of the Board of Professional Responsibility on or
before June 1, 2016; and it is further
[¶6] ORDERED that, pursuant
to Section 4(c) of the Disciplinary Code for the Wyoming
State Bar, Laurence W. Stinson, on or before June 1, 2016,
shall make restitution to John McClure and Robin McClure in
the amount of $11,641.17, which represents the attorneys'
fees and costs the McClures incurred in defending the New
Dehli lawsuit; and it is further
[¶7] 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 Suspension, shall be published in the Wyoming Reporter
and the Pacific Reporter; and it is further
[¶8] 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 Suspension, as a matter coming regularly
before this Court as a public record; and it is further
[¶9] 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
Laurence W. Stinson.
[¶10] DATED this 24th day
of February, 2016.
matter of LAURENCE W. STINSON, WSB #
THE WYOMING SUPREME COURT STATE OF WYOMING
AND RECOMMENDATION FOR SUSPENSION
E. Scoggin, Chair
MATTER having come before the Board of Professional
Responsibility (Board) for hearing September 21-25, 2015, at
the Cody Hotel, 232 West Yellowstone Avenue, Cody, Wyoming,
and the Wyoming State Bar appearing by and through Mark W.
Gifford, Bar Counsel, and Respondent, Laurence W. Stinson,
appearing in person and representing himself, and the Board
having heard the testimony of witnesses and having reviewed
the exhibits received into evidence at the hearing, and being
fully advised in the premises, FINDS, CONCLUDES and
commencement of the hearing, Respondent requested and was
provided an opportunity to voir dire each member of
the Board to determine whether any member harbored bias or
prejudice against Respondent. After conducting such voir
dire, Respondent made no objection to the Board or any
individual member, and the hearing proceeded.
Respondent has been licensed to practice law in the State of
Wyoming since 1995, and has maintained, and continues to
maintain, a law practice in Park County, Wyoming. This matter
arises from certain disputes that arose between Respondent
and two former clients, John and Robin McClure, from whom
Respondent purchased a lot in a residential subdivision in
Cody, Wyoming, in 2007.
the time of the lot purchase, the McClures owned and operated
McClure Custom Builders, Inc., a company that performed
construction work in Park County, Wyoming. John McClure was a
licensed general contractor and had provided construction
work at Respondent's residence and at his office in Cody.
Robin McClure was a licensed real estate agent.
McClures owned an unimproved lot (" Lot 10" )
adjacent to their home on Ina Avenue in the Meadows
Subdivision in Cody.
early 2007, Respondent talked with the McClures about
purchasing Lot 10 and having the McClures build a house for
him on the lot.
Seeking legal advice regarding business planning and estate
issues, the McClures met with Respondent on February 20,
2007. On March 31, 2007, Respondent sent the McClures an
invoice in the amount of $150.00 for a one-hour meeting on
February 20, 2007. BC-1. Respondent's billing records
indicate that the McClures next sought legal advice from
Respondent on September 11, 2007, when they requested his
assistance in preparing an addendum to a construction
contract for one of the McClures' construction projects
unrelated to Respondent. BC-9.
Prior to Respondent's purchase of Lot 10 from the
McClures, the McClures provided Respondent with several books
containing various house designs. Respondent selected a
design he liked, and asked the McClures to order a set of
plans for him.
conjunction with ordering the plans for the house design
selected by Respondent, the McClures purchased an online
budget tool from Cobs Homes which would generate a "
Cost to Build Budget" based upon square footage,
materials, cost of the land, and other factors. On March 20,
2007, the McClures provided Respondent with a copy of the
Cost to Build Budget, which indicated a total cost to build
of $370,944.00, inclusive of a land cost of $65,000.00.
March 29, 2007, Respondent executed a written Purchase
Agreement for Lot 10 (BC-2), agreeing to purchase the lot
from the McClures for $65,000.00. In the Purchase Agreement,
Respondent was identified as " BUYER" and the
McClures were identified as " SELLER." The Purchase
Agreement provided, among other things:
o " SELLER Robin O. McClure is an active and licensed
real estate agent with the State of Wyoming for Worthington
Realty of Wyoming, LLC."
o " BUYER is an attorney with the law firm of Bonner
Stinson, PC, and has, in that capacity, represented Seller or
their interests. SELLER acknowledges that neither BUYER or
his law firm is representing the seller herein, and the same
are not protecting SELLER'S interest in this transaction.
SELLER and BUYER further acknowledge and agree that the sale
price agreed herein was the asking price set by SELLER and
was accepted by BUYER without further negotiation."
o " 5. There are no verbal agreements between BUYER and
SELLER or either party's agent to modify terms and
conditions of this contract... . [T]here are no
representations by SELLER or its AGENT not included in this
Notwithstanding the Purchase Agreement's written
disclaimer of additional verbal agreements between the
parties, Respondent contends and testified that he entered
into the Purchase Agreement based upon the McClures'
representation that the house selected by Respondent could be
built on Lot 10 for $400,000.00 or less, inclusive of the
$65,000.00 cost of the lot. The McClures deny making such
representations, and state that the Cost to Build Budget was
merely a " starting point" for further discussions
regarding construction of a house on Lot 10.
Respondent's purchase of Lot 10 closed on April 26, 2007,
with Respondent paying the purchase price and receiving a
deed in return. BC-3.
May 8, 2007, Robin McClure emailed a draft contract entitled
" SHORT-FORM FIXED PRICE AGREEMENT" to Respondent.
order to arrive at an accurate cost estimate for constructing
the home on Lot 10, it was necessary to have an engineer
prepare a foundation design for the structure before bids
could be obtained from subcontractors. In May 2007 John
McClure engaged a professional engineer to design a
foundation for the house. LWS-5.
Sometime after May 8, 2007 (but before Respondent sent his
July 8, 2007, email set forth in ¶ 15 below), Robin
McClure sent the following undated email to Respondent:
I wanted to send you another copy of this email. I made two
grammar mistakes that I needed to change anyway!
This email contain some important items for your home.
These are costs to build your home.
o Utility will add approximately 115.5 sq ft (main level 1944
total), basement 1944 sq ft with a total of approx. 3888 sq.
o At $400k, that is less than $103 sq ft. Now if you change
the floor plan or whatever you decide to do, it isn't
going to effect the price per sq ft much one way or another
(plus or minus a toilet and sink) as long as we keep from
moving the roof.
o $165 sq ft for 1944 sq ft = $320,760, which with the
estimates or bids we have received is not going to happen.
o Cost for structure to be built as the plans read (original)
w/ an unfinished basement.
○ Allowances: for main level
▪ $11,000 allowance for appliances, to include:
dishwasher, gas cook top and oven, hood, refrigerator, washer
& dryer, freezer;
▪ $22,000 (L & M) allowance flooring and wall tile.
▪ $3,500 for lights
▪ total allowance amount $36,500
▪ cost (not including allowance) $339,200 ($375,700
total before basement is completed) The allowance is for you
to spend as you like, but anything over and it is on you. I
gave you big allowances.
o Costs to finish basement. $10,000 allowance for flooring
and lighting fixtures
○ $30 sq ft to include 3 egress windows and no other
windows or natural light source during the new construction
phase. ○ Frame, rough-in plumbing and electric,
insulate, drywall, mud, tape, texture, paint, trim cut,
finish bathroom, lighting for basement, and flooring
completed for $58,500.
Thanks for reading this and when you have a couple minutes...
p.s. Do you by chance have the contract?
Respondent's next written communication to the McClures
was an email dated July 8, 2007, two full months after Robin
McClure's submission of a draft contract:
John and Robin: Hello and I hope this finds you well. I
called to discuss this matter but could not reach you. I am
attaching the latest version of the contract. I have reviewed
Robin's email to me, which is undated but was from quite
some time ago, and I have to say I am confused. I had not
previously read the email. So, let me lay out my
understanding (and hopefully we are on the same page.)
1. Before I purchased the lot, we discussed the cost of
building a house of approximately 3600 square feet, which
included a finished basement, I wanted the house to be built
for approximately 350k, including lot costs. Using numbers
from the web program to which you have access, cobsupply.com,
you shortly advised me that 350 was not going to work.
2. At that time, it was discussed that the house could be
built for some figure under 400k, and that included the cost
of the lot and the finished basement. I advised at that time,
that I was still hoping to bring the home in under 400k.
These conversations occurred before I purchased the land and
happened on several occasions, mostly in your kitchen. You
advised, based on the cost to build budget from cobs homes
that the home could be built for 400k or less and this
included the lot cost of 65k and the finished basement. In
reliance on these costs, I purchased the lot.
3. I have a copy of the cobs supply cost to build (CTB)
estimate and it shows a total price, including the lot price
of 65k, at $370,944.00. That number includes the basement.
4. If you deduct the lot costs of 65k from the " worst
case build cost scenario" of 400k, that leaves 335k to
build the home. That is the number that I have inserted
in the contract.
5. As I have mentioned on several occasions, this number is
actually in excess of what I wanted to spend, but is the
number I am willing to spend.
6. Now, having Read [Sic] Robin's cost email, I am
confused and concerned. Frankly, I don't understand the
email, but one clear interpretation I can make from it is
that the main level is going to cost $375,700 without the
basement. That is unacceptable to me and totally at odds with
our earlier discussions.
7. I am expecting the total cost to build, including the
basement, to be 335k (meaning the total cost including the
lot is 400k). That is more than we originally discussed and
was discussed as a worst case scenario.
8. If the house as contemplated -- fully built with basement
finished -- is going to cost more, I simply cannot proceed.
I certainly hope I am misreading Robin's email. Having
said that, I have to say that I have proceeded with the
understanding gained from our many conversations that
discussed a total cost of 400k or less. My notes also reflect
that we did discuss a Sq. foot build cost of approximately
$97 to $110, at the same time; which could be inconsistent
with a total cost of 400k, including the land. Because, if
you assume 3800 square feet of build, then the cost of the
home alone and without the land is 418k. Having said that, my
notes reflect that the square foot build costs numbers
include the land. I guess there exists some confusion there.
My note further reflect that John indicated square foot build
costs for the basement would be less.
Bottom line, I need to make sure we are on the same page. If
we are, I would like to get the contract signed and have MCB
start the project right way. If we are not, then I/we need to
reassess. If I read Robin's email correctly, I cannot
afford to build the home as I want it built. I suppose there
are options, such as not finishing the basement right away,
but that is not how I was proceeding. Another option is for
me to look at buying a home already built. I don't want
this email to convey any ill-will or ill-feeling, because
that is certainly not the case with me. I would appreciate
your calling me ASAP or responding to this email ASAP,
because I do want to know where the construction project
stands, if at all. In the meantime, I indicated you should go
ahead and excavate the hole. When I said that, I said so with
the 400k total price understanding. If that is correct, go
right ahead and excavate. IF not, please hold tight until we
get this sorted out this week. Remember that I am in trial
the next three days, but will be working at night. Thank you
both and I look forward to hearing from you.
BC-5 (italics supplied).
McClures responded with the following email dated July 9,
It seems we now have your attention. We need 1 - 2 hours of
face to face, uninterrupted time with you before Friday. We
know that you are busy, but it is imperative that we clear up
any confusion to date. At the end of this meeting everyone
will know which direction we are going. We can meet pretty
much any time that is convenient for you.
Respondent by email later that day:
Hi guys. Before we meet, please let me know your position in
writing. My week is jammed, as usual, and if you give me your
position in writing it will expedite the process. Thanks
much. Will call later.
McClures responded by email later the same day:
Our position is to show you every hard cost and estimates
that we have receive [sic] by our subs and suppliers. We will
then show all of the related labor costs for this project and
how we arrived at them. We feel that we have treated you
fairly in the past and have no intention of taking advantage
of you now. That is why it would be a huge benefit to meet
face to face. We have every intention on building your house
on the lot that we sold you. That was always our intention
when we sold it to you. Time is of the essence at this point.
Please let us know when you can talk about this and we will
clear our schedule for you. We're cool.
Respondent responded three days later with an email dated
July 12, 2007:
Hello. I left a message with John's cell. I can meet
today around 4:00 or tomorrow morning, first thing. Let me
know if either of those work for you.
Robin McClure responded with an email later the same day:
It won't be today because John is setting trusses. As for
tomorrow morning, that may work. I have a doctor's apt
early afternoon tomorrow, so we would need to be gone in
fairly good order. I know we said that we could work around
your schedule, but when we didn't hear before now I
didn't cx my dr apt. and John had to keep moving forward.
Of course we know that you have been busy, but we haven't
let the grass grow under our feet either. Are you here this
weekend, like Saturday morning? Just throwing it out to
Thanks for getting back to us. John did say that he had a
message from you, but he said that you said you were going to
call me. Email is just fine.
Respondent responded by email the same day:
Robin, how about 7 am. I have to leave for court at 11:00
tomorrow and will be gone rest of the day. 7 will work fine
for me, however.
next communication between the parties was an email sent July
15, 2007, to Respondent from Robin McClure:
Are you good for tomorrow? We need approx. 1.5 to 2 hrs to
lay this thing out. We could try to do lunch plus some more
time. We have everything right there for you to see. Let us
know one way or the other.
Respondent responded with an email the following morning,
July 16, 2007:
Hello Robin. Just back in town. Spoke with John and will be
at your house at 3pm. No plans past that so we can take as
much time as needed. Thanks.
Robin McClure responded by email later that morning:
Great.. . we will see you then.
Have a wonderful day.
From there, the parties' recollections diverge. The
McClures do not recall that a meeting ever took place; nor do
they recall any further discussion about building a house for
Respondent on Lot 10. The McClures testified that they were
busy with several projects and could not wait any longer on
Respondent. Respondent testified that the meeting occurred
and that there were further discussions and perhaps emails
(which are not in the record).
parties do, however, agree on several subsequent facts. The
McClures provided Respondent with a written " Estimate
Proposal" dated July 15, 2007, which compiled the bids
the McClures had received from suppliers and subcontractors
to construct the house for Respondent. The Estimate Proposal
(BC-7) indicated a total cost to build of $403,758.76. The
McClures testified that this price included a finished
basement, though Respondent's handwritten notes on the
Estimate Proposal included a note, " DOES NOT HAVE
FINISHED BSMNT." The parties also agree that no contract
to build a house on Lot 10 was ever reduced to writing. In
terms of documentation, the last communication in the record
on the subject is Robin McClure's July 16, 2007, email
set forth in ¶ 24 above. Nothing in the record indicates
any rancor or hard feelings on either side. It appears that
both sides merely went along with their lives and businesses.
Respondent even performed subsequent legal services for the
Though Respondent cannot recall when he began looking for
another house to purchase, the record indicates that he
closed on the purchase of a home at 1413 Hillcrest Drive in
Cody on February 8, 2008, where Respondent resides today.
10 contains a drainage ditch running along the back of the
property. During the summer of 2007, after Respondent
purchased the lot, the ditch overflowed and spilled water
onto Lot 10. As indicated above, the McClures resided next to
Lot 10 at the time. The McClures were concerned the water
would reach and jeopardize an electrical transformer that
sits in the middle of Lot 10. John McClure testified that
when he observed the flooding on Lot 10, he talked with
Respondent and proposed to have a dirt subcontractor haul
some fill dirt onto Lot 10 and use the fill to restore the
berm to keep the ditch from flooding. John McClure claims
Respondent said, " Do it." Respondent does not
recall the conversation.
is undisputed that John McClure engaged A2Z Excavation to
haul fill dirt to the lot and restore the berm. A2Z
Excavation sent the McClures an invoice for the work dated
August 13, 2007, in the amount of $486.50. The McClures sent
a copy of the invoice to Respondent, who paid it without
complaint. The A2Z Excavation invoice indicates " Fill
Hauled to Ina Ave" and includes charges for a truck
(apparently, to haul the dirt) and a Bobcat (apparently to
restore the berm). BC-8.
evidence shows that Respondent neglected to maintain Lot 10
after he purchased the property in the spring of 2007, as
required by Cody City Ordinance and by the Covenants,
Conditions and Restrictions applicable to the Meadows
Subdivision. For three summers (2007, 2008 and 2009), John
McClure maintained Lot 10 for Respondent because the McClures
considered Respondent a friend and wanted to be good
neighbors. John McClure testified that maintenance of the lot
required cutting the weeds two or three times each summer and
picking up trash that blew onto the lot. John McClure
testified that during this period he spoke several times with
Respondent about Respondent's responsibility to maintain
Lot 10, but Respondent denied such conversations took place.
During 2007, 2008 and 2009, Respondent continued at various
times to provide legal services to the McClures and their
business. From September 2008 to July 2009, Respondent
represented the McClures in a lawsuit brought by JL
Engineering, LLC, against McClure Custom Builders, Inc., in
Circuit Court in Cody. The lawsuit involved a dispute over a
portion of the bill for engineering services provided by a
subcontractor on one of the McClures' construction
projects. The case went to a bench trial before Circuit Court
Judge Bruce B. Waters in May 2009, with Respondent
representing the McClures at the trial. A judgment in the
amount of $4,045.00 was rendered against the McClures, which
the McClures subsequently paid. The legal fees paid to
Respondent for representing the McClures in the matter
exceeded $2,000.00. BC-11.
Robin McClure testified that after the JL Engineering trial,
she went to Respondent's office to retrieve the files
relating to the case. According to Ms. McClure, she entered
Respondent's office building, which is a two-story house
on Rumsey Avenue in Cody, and proceeded up the stairs to
Respondent's office, where she and her husband had met
with Respondent on prior occasions. The files Ms. McClure was
retrieving were contained in a plastic bag on a chair in
Respondent's office. According to Ms. McClure, she picked
up the bag and left Respondent's office, with Respondent
walking her out. Ms. McClure claims as she left his office
Respondent casually mentioned that he had put something in
the bag for Ms. McClure.
Respondent denies that Ms. McClure ever came to his office to
pick up the files from the JL Engineering trial. Suzie Foote,
Respondent's former assistant, testified that Respondent
only met with clients in the office conference room. Foote
stated it is the office's custom and practice to mail
files to a client with a cover letter effectively closing out
Respondent's legal representation of the client or for
the staff, at the client's request, to prepare the file
and provide it to the client when the client picks it up from
the office. Foote testified that she likely mailed the files
to the McClures in accordance with the office procedure. (Tr.
McClure testified that she did not look in the bag she
obtained from Respondent immediately when she picked it up
from his office, but she returned to her home, placing the
bag on its side on the kitchen counter. When she did look in
the bag, Ms. McClure claims a paperback book slid out of the
bag. The title of the book was A Straight Girl's
Guide to Sleeping with Chicks. Ms. McClure testified
that the book was very upsetting to her. That evening, after
she told her husband what had happened, the McClures decided
to discontinue using Respondent's legal services. The
McClures testified that they did not communicate that
decision to Respondent, as they no longer wanted to have any
contact with him.
Respondent denied that he gave Ms. McClure the book and said
he believes Ms. McClure fabricated the testimony about the
book to embarrass him and prejudice the Board against him.
Board was puzzled by the testimony concerning the book.
Respondent's motivation for placing the book in Ms.
McClure's bag was unclear. Further, Ms. McClure's
claim she had free access to Respondent's office and her
description of Respondent's office was inconsistent with
the testimony of Respondent's assistant and
Respondent's description of his office. (Tr. 481; 486-7;
Respondent sent the McClures the following letter dated
August 19, 2009, regarding JL Engineering, LLC et al. v.
MCB, Inc., et al. :
With the recent entry of Satisfaction of Judgment, we have no
further business in this matter, therefore I am closing my
file, the contents of which have been sent to you under
separate cover. It was a pleasure representing you in this
matter, although I know we all desired a different outcome.
Thanks again, Robin and John. I hope that you will contact
Bonner Stinson, P.C. for your future legal needs as well as
pass along our name to anyone whom you feel might benefit
from our services.
conjunction with their decision to discontinue
Respondent's legal services, in the latter half of 2009
the McClures decided to stop maintaining Lot 10 for
Respondent. At that time, the McClures began complaining to
the City of Cody regarding Respondent's failure to
maintain the lot, as required by the Cody City Code. Those
complaints continued during 2010 and 2011.
first documentation in the record regarding the McClures'
complaints to the City of Cody is a letter from Respondent to
Officer Duane Wiener, the City's Community Service
Officer, dated November 19, 2009:
Dear Officer Wiener:
This letter follows our several telephone conversations
regarding Lot 10 of the Meadows Subdivision. You have advised
me that conditions on the lot constitute a nuisance;
specifically, weeds on the lot. Following your contact with
me, I viewed the lot. I disagree that conditions on the lot
constitute a nuisance. The lot condition appears consistent
with the condition of surrounding unimproved lots. The east
side of the lot does have foliage that is grown beyond other
areas of the lot. The cause of this appears to be watering by
neighbors to the east, John and Robin McClure.
I have reviewed the Cody City Code regarding nuisance and
note that the conditions of the lot do not meet the
definitions of public nuisance. I have agreed to remove the
growth on the east side of the lot, but that growth will
return so long at the neighbors to the east continue watering
Lot 10. Sadly, Lot 10 has been the source of much acrimony
between the McClure's [sic] and myself and the reporting
to you of an alleged nuisance appears to be a continuation of
that problem. I have no control over the watering of Lot 10
by the McClures and I ask that you take up that issue
directly with them. I did call and speak with John McClure to
attempt to address the problem, but he was uninterested in
having a civil conversation about the matter.
Please contact me with any questions or to discuss. Thank
following year, on July 14, 2010, the McClures complained
again to Officer Wiener about the condition of Lot 10.
Officer Wiener inspected the lot and sent an abatement letter
to Respondent which required Respondent to remove the weeds
growing on Lot 10 within 15 days. Officer Wiener re-inspected
Lot 10 on July 27, 2010, and noted that the weeds had been
following year, on April 13, 2011, John McClure complained to
Scott Kolpitcke, attorney for the City of Cody, about the
condition of Lot 10. Kolpitcke contacted Officer Wiener, who
inspected the lot and prepared a report regarding his
findings, noting, " This property has been the subject
of other complaints for nuisance. . . . On 4-14-11 took five
pictures of it's [sic] current status and attached them
to this report. There are weeds from previous growth which
had been cut last year, and some tumble weeds along the north
fence. At this time I do not see this property as a nuisance.
The City Attorney has been notified of my finding."
April 19, 2011, Respondent retained Cody attorney Cole
Bormuth to prepare the documents necessary to create a
Wyoming limited liability company, New Delhi Trading Co.,
early May 2011, with the assistance of Mr. Bormuth,
Respondent organized New Delhi Trading Co., LLC, a Wyoming
limited liability company (hereinafter, " New
Delhi" ), with Respondent as the sole member and
operating manager. BC-18.
May 6, 2011, Respondent assigned his interest in Lot 10 to
New Delhi via a written " Assignment and
Assumption" which identified Respondent as assignor and
New Delhi as assignee. BC-18, p. LWS 0142. The Assignment and
Assumption provided, in pertinent part:
Assignor hereby assigns all of his right, title, and interest
in and to the purchase agreement, the warranty deed, the
transaction, and any and all claims, lawsuits, demands, and
any and all other matters in and to Lot 10 of the Meadows
Subdivision, as located in Book " G" of plats, page
112, according to the records of the County Clerk and
Recorder of Park County, State of Wyoming, to Assignee.
Respondent also conveyed Lot 10 to New Delhi via a warranty
June 14, 2011, Scott Kolpitcke, attorney for the City of
Cody, spoke with Respondent about the condition of Lot 10,
which had again become overgrown with weeds and trash and
that another nuisance letter may have to be sent to
Respondent demanding clean up of the property. Respondent
told Mr. Kolpitcke that he would clean up the property by the
weekend and that another nuisance letter was not necessary.
BC-20. Kolpitcke testified that Respondent was visibly angry
when Kolpitcke told him that the McClures were again
complaining to the City about the condition of Lot 10. (Tr.
June 15, 2011, Respondent filed a complaint in the Fifth
Judicial District Court, Park County, Wyoming, styled New
Delhi Trading Co., LLC, Plaintiff, vs. John McClure, Robin
McClure, and McClure Custom Building, Inc., Defendants,
Civil Action No. 26640 (hereinafter, the " New Delhi
Lawsuit" ). The complaint (BC-23) against the McClures
alleged, among other things:
a. New Delhi obtained Lot 10 " and any and all rights,
benefits, or burdens as against Defendants by full assignment
of the original purchaser." Nowhere in the complaint did
Respondent identify himself as the original purchaser.
b. " In February and March 2007 Plaintiff and Defendants
started negotiating for Defendants to build a home.
Defendants offered to sell the real property to Plaintiff for
the purposes of home construction on the property. The real
property was then owned by Defendants."
c. " Defendants repeatedly represented that the total
cost to build the property and purchase the land would be
$400,000.00 or less."
d. The agreement to purchase Lot 10 for $65,000.00 " was
contained within, and part of, the larger agreement for
Defendants to build a residence on the property. This
agreement was express as well as implied." Notably, the
complaint failed to mention the written Purchase Agreement
for Lot 10 that disclaimed verbal agreements beyond the terms
of the written Purchase Agreement.
e. " In reliance on Defendants' representation that
the real property and the home to be built upon the real
property would inclusively cost $400,000.00 or less, the land
was purchased for the $65,000.00 demand price set by
Defendants. The real property was purchased on April 26,
2007. Per agreement, this left $335,000.00 remaining for
complete build of the home."
f. " After the real property was purchased, Defendants
then advised Plaintiff that the cost to build solely the main
level of the home was going to exceed $335,000.00. Defendants
also advised that, despite earlier representations,
Defendants were unable to then provide a firm cost.
Defendants attempted to switch the previous agreement from a
firm land and build price of $400,000.00 or less to a time
and materials price for the home."
g. " Defendants clearly and purposefully represented
that the home, including real property, could be constructed
for $400,000.00 or less. Defendants, as professional
homebuilders, knew or should have known that either 1) they
lacked sufficient knowledge and skill to make such a