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No. BD 99-052

IN THE MATTER OF TURMAN CURTIS BOBBITT

ORDER OF TERM SUSPENSION1

SUMMARY

On May 10, 1999, the respondent was suspended for a year and a day by the Colorado Supreme Court. See Matter of Bobbitt, 980 P.2d 538 (Colo. 1999). The suspension arose from the respondent's neglect of a client convicted of domestic violence in March 1996. The client had approximately one month either to perfect his appeal or commence serving a sentence of six months in jail, with five months and twenty days suspended, and a $500 fine with $250 suspended.

The client hired the respondent to appeal his conviction. The respondent obtained three extensions to file an "opening brief." Id. at 539. When he failed to file the opening brief, the appeal was dismissed. The client did not appear for sentencing, and the respondent obtained a continuance. He did not, however, inform the client of the date set for sentencing. When the client failed to appear on the new date, the respondent misrepresented to the court that the client was sick. Eventually, the court issued a bench warrant for the client's arrest. The client was sentenced to serve the full six months of the sentence and ordered to pay the full fine of $500.

The respondent admitted that his conduct violated Colo. RPC 1.3 (neglect of a legal matter), 1.4(a) (failure to communicate with client), 3.3(a) knowingly making a false statement of material fact to a tribunal), and 8.4(d) (engaging in conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice). Id. In aggravation, it was noted that the respondent had previously been suspended for thirty days for neglect. People v. Bobbitt, 859 P.2d 902 (Colo. 1993). In mitigation, the respondent cooperated in the bar discipline proceedings and "has expressed remorse." Id. at 540.

On November 26, 1999, bar counsel filed a petition for reciprocal discipline with the Supreme Judicial Court for Suffolk County. The respondent waived hearing, and, on December 6, 1999, the court entered an order suspending the respondent for one year and one day, effective thirty days from the date of the order.

1S.J.C. Order of Term Suspension entered by Justice Lynch on December 6, 1999.



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