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Washington State FORMAL REPRIMAND NO. 01#00060


Order (reciprocal public reprimand) entered by the Washington State Bar Association on May 10, 2002.


WSBA No.11279

You have been directed to appear before the Board of Governors of the Washington State Bar Association, pursuant to the Rules for Lawyer Discipline promulgated by the Supreme Court of the State of Washington, to receive this FORMAL REPRIMAND.

Sergey Spitsyn hired you to file a petition for review in the Washington State Supreme Court after the Court of Appeals affirmed his second degree murder conviction. The Supreme Court denied review, but you did not promptly inform your client of the court's order. After your client learned of the order, you were hired to file a petition for a writ of habeas corpus in Federal District Court.

You failed to respond to letters from your client and his mother inquiring about your progress and expressing dissatisfaction with your service.

You prepared a draft petition for a writ but decided you did not have sufficient legal basis for the petition. You did not finalize or file the petition. You did not notify your client of your decision prior to expiration of the filing deadline. You took no further action on the matter. As a result, your client was time-barred from seeking relief in federal court.

Your conduct in failing to act with reasonable diligence by failing to file a timely petition for a writ of habeas corpus on behalf of your client violated Rule of Professional Conduct (RPC) 1.3.

Your conduct in failing to keep your client reasonably informed about the status of the matter and failing to explain the matter to the extent reasonably necessary to permit the client to make informed decisions regarding representation violated RPC 1.4(a) and (b).

These actions merit a Formal Reprimand. Your actions discredit you and the legal profession and show a disregard for the high traditions of honor expected from a member of the Association.

NOW, THEREFORE, YOU ARE HEREBY REPRIMANDED by the Board of Governors of the Washington State Bar Association for this misconduct. This Reprimand will be made a part of your permanent record with the Association, and will be considered along with other evidence regarding any future grievances against you.

Your privilege to practice law in the State of Washington is based on the finding that you are a person of good moral character, and on your commitment to abide by the rules governing the conduct of members of the Association. The Board of Governors expects all your future conduct as a lawyer to be consistent with that finding as to your character, and with a continuing commitment on your part to the letter and spirit of those rules.

DATED this 11th day of May, 2002.


Dale L. Carlisle, President

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