January 16, 2014
In Re: Complaint as to the Conduct of STEVEN M. MCCARTHY,
Argued and submitted November 8, 2013
On review from a decision of a trial panel of the Disciplinary Board OSB 11-17; S.C. S060882
Conrad E. Yunker, Salem, argued the cause for the accused. Steven M. McCarthy, McCarthy Law Offices, Independence, filed the brief on his own behalf.
Susan Roedl Cournoyer, Assistant Disciplinary Counsel, Tigard, argued the cause and filed the brief for the Oregon State Bar.
In this lawyer disciplinary proceeding, the Oregon State Bar (Bar) alleged and the trial panel found that, in the course of representing the plaintiff in a civil action involving claims under the federal Truth in Lending Act and Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act, the accused violated the following Rules of Professional Conduct (RPC):
• RPC 1.1 (failure to provide a client with competent representation).
• RPC 1.4(a) (failure to comply with a client's reasonable requests for information and to keep the client reasonably informed concerning the status of the client's legal matter).
• RPC 1.4(b) (failure to explain matters to a client to the extent reasonably necessary to allow the client to make informed decisions).
• RPC 1.15-1(c) (2008) (failure to deposit fees paid in advance by a client into a lawyer trust account and withdraw them only as earned, or as expenses are incurred).
The trial panel concluded that the appropriate sanction was a 90-day suspension from the practice of law. The accused sought review under Bar Rule of Procedure (BR) 10.3.
We review de novo. ORS 9.536(2); BR 10.6. Based on our review of the record, we conclude that the accused knowingly violated RPC 1.1, RPC 1.4(a), RPC 1.4(b), and RPC 1.15-1(c) (2008). An explanation of the facts giving rise to this proceeding, or our application of the law to those facts, would not benefit the bench, the bar, or the public. We further conclude that a 90-day suspension is the appropriate sanction.
The accused is suspended from the practice of law for a period of 90 days, commencing 60 days from the filing of this decision.