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Bd. of Prof'l Responsibility v. Stinson

Supreme Court of Wyoming

February 24, 2016

BOARD OF PROFESSIONAL RESPONSIBILITY, WYOMING STATE BAR, Petitioner,
v.
LAURENCE W. STINSON, WSB No. 6-2918, Respondent

          OPINION

          E. JAMES BURKE, Chief Justice.[*]

         Order 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 further

          [¶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 further

          [¶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.

         In the matter of LAURENCE W. STINSON, WSB # 6-2918, Respondent.

         BEFORE THE WYOMING SUPREME COURT STATE OF WYOMING

         D-15-007

         December 9, 2015.

         WSB No. 2014-102

         REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION FOR SUSPENSION

         Jenifer E. Scoggin, Chair

         THIS 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 RECOMMENDS:

         Findings of Fact

         1. Upon 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.

         2. 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.

         3. At 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.

         4. The McClures owned an unimproved lot (" Lot 10" ) adjacent to their home on Ina Avenue in the Meadows Subdivision in Cody.

         5. In early 2007, Respondent talked with the McClures about purchasing Lot 10 and having the McClures build a house for him on the lot.

         6. 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.

         7. 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.

         8. In 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.

         9. On 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 Agreement."

         10. 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.

         11. 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.

         12. On May 8, 2007, Robin McClure emailed a draft contract entitled " SHORT-FORM FIXED PRICE AGREEMENT" to Respondent. BC-4.

         13. In 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.

         14. 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. ft.
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...
Robin
p.s. Do you by chance have the contract?

LWS-113.

         15. 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).

         16. The McClures responded with the following email dated July 9, 2007:

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.

BC-6.

         17. 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.

BC-6.

         18. The 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.

BC-6.

         19. 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.

BC-6.

         20. 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 check.
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.

BC-6.

         21. 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.

BC-6.

         22. The next communication between the parties was an email sent July 15, 2007, to Respondent from Robin McClure:

Laurence:
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.

BC-6.

         23. 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.

BC-6.

         24. Robin McClure responded by email later that morning:

Great.. . we will see you then.
Have a wonderful day.

BC-6.

         25. 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).

         26. The 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 McClures.

         27. 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. BC-10.

         28. Lot 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.

         29. It 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.

         30. The 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.

         31. 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.

         32. 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.

         33. 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. 478-489; 494.)

         34. Ms. 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.

         35. 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.

         36. The 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; 778-80; 850-52.)

         37. 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.

BC-13.

         38. In 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.

         39. The 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 you.

BC-14.

         40. The 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 cut. BC-15.

         41. The 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." BC-16.

         42. On 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., LLC. BC-17.

         43. In 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.

         44. On 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 deed. BC-19.

         45. On 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. 87.)

         46. On 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 ...

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