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In re Complaint as to the Conduct of Jagger

Supreme Court of Oregon, En Banc

May 14, 2015

In Re Complaint as to the Conduct of JAMES C. JAGGER, OSB Bar #700700, Accused

Argued and Submitted January 13, 2015.

OSB 11103, 1353, 1354. On review of the decision of the trial panel of the Disciplinary Board.

John C. Fisher, Eugene, argued the cause and filed the briefs for the accused.

Susan Roedl Cournoyer, Assistant Disciplinary Counsel, Tigard, argued the cause and filed the brief for the Oregon State Bar.

OPINION

The accused is suspended from the practice of law for a period of 90 days, commencing 60 days from the filing of this decision.

[357 Or. 296] PER CURIAM

In this lawyer disciplinary proceeding, the Oregon State Bar (Bar) alleged and the

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trial panel found that, in the course of representing a criminal defendant (Fan matter) on charges which included several counts of contempt for violating a Family Abuse Prevention Act (FAPA) restraining order, the accused violated Rule of Professional Conduct (RPC) 1.1 (failure to provide client with competent representation) and RPC 1.2(c) (counseling or assisting client to engage in conduct the accused knows to be illegal or fraudulent). The trial panel concluded that the appropriate sanction was a 90-day suspension from the practice of law. The accused sought review by this court under Bar Rule of Procedure (BR) 10.3.

On review, the Bar asks this court to affirm the above findings and, in addition, to find that the accused violated RPC 8.1(a)(2) (knowing failure to respond to lawful demand for information from a disciplinary authority) in the Fan matter and that the accused violated RPC 1.15-1(d) (failure to promptly return client property) in the course of his representation of another client (Cheney matter).

We review de novo. ORS 9.536(2); B.R. 10.6. Based on our review of the record, we conclude that the accused violated RPC 1.1 and RPC 1.2(c) in the Fan matter; we conclude that the accused did not violate RPC 8.1(a)(2) in the Fan matter and did not violate RPC 1.15-1(d) in the Cheney matter.

We briefly discuss the accused's arguments in the Fan matter only. The trial panel's statement of facts, which are essentially undisputed, is as follows:

" Mr. Fan was the respondent in a Family Abuse Prevention Act proceeding filed by Ms. Yang. The proceeding resulted in a restraining order against Fan which ordered him to refrain from contacting Yang. Fan also became a defendant in a criminal proceeding arising from the same conduct. The Accused represented Fan in these matters.
" On a day when Fan remained in jail on the criminal charge, the Accused contacted Yang via phone and arranged for her to visit his office at a later date. However, later that [357 Or. 297] same day Yang visited the office of the Accused, without advance notice. At that time, the ...

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