RESIGNATIONS On December 13, 2016, the Supreme Court of Texas accepted the resignation in lieu of discipline of Mark Henry Benavides [#24025737], 47, of San Antonio. At the time of his resignation, Benavides had three grievances pending alleging Benavides neglected client matters, failed to communicate with a client, failed to communicate to his client the basis of his fee, failed to withdraw from representation when his own interests became adverse to his client’s interests, failed to withdraw when the representation would result in a violation of a rule, failed to return unearned fees, wrongfully manifested a bias based on sex toward a person involved in a legal proceeding, and engaged in conduct involving a serious crime. Benavides violated Rules 1.01(b)(1), 1.03(b), 1.04(a), 1.04(c), 1.06(b)(2), 1.15(a)(1), 1.15(d), 5.08(a), and 8.04(a)(2). SUSPENSIONS On November 17, 2016, David Allan Krueger [#24025940], 48, of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, agreed to a 24-month fully probated suspension effective April 15, 2018. An evidentiary panel of the District 1 Grievance Committee found that Krueger engaged in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation in the preparation, signing, and filing of real estate documents. Krueger violated Rule 8.04(a)(3). He was ordered to pay $2,000 in attorneys’ fees and direct expenses. On November 28, 2016, Douglas Matthew McMaster [#13786020], 54, of Brownsville, accepted a three-year fully probated suspension effective January 1, 2017. An evidentiary panel of the District 12 Grievance Committee found that McMaster failed to communicate with clients, failed to refund unearned fees, and failed to respond to a grievance. McMaster violated Rules 1.03(a), 1.15(d), and 8.04(a)(8). He was ordered to pay $500 in restitution and $2,300 in attorneys’ fees and expenses. On December 13, 2016, Phylis West Offerman [#21205100], 59, of New Braunfels, accepted a six-month fully probated suspension effective December 1, 2016. An evidentiary panel of the District 10 Grievance Committee found that Offerman failed to keep a client reasonably informed, failed to hold the client’s funds in a trust account, failed to render an accounting, and failed to refund unearned fees in a timely fashion. Offerman violated Rules 1.03(b), 1.14(a), 1.14(b), and 1.15(d). She was ordered to pay $800 in attorneys’ fees and direct expenses. On December 8, 2016, Paul Kobbe Williams [#21566400], 60, of Midland, accepted a one-year fully probated suspension effective May 22, 2017. An evidentiary panel of the District 16 Grievance Committee found that Williams failed to communicate with a client. Williams violated Rule 1.03(a). He was ordered to pay $800 in attorneys’ fees and direct expenses. On November 9, 2016, William V. Wade [#20642300], 64, of Houston, received a four-year partially probated suspension effective January 2, 2017, with the first two years actively suspended and the remainder probated. An evidentiary panel of the District 4 Grievance Committee found that in both cases, Wade neglected the legal matters entrusted to him and failed to inform his clients and the court of his active suspension, which violated a prior disciplinary judgment. Wade further failed to respond to the grievances. Wade violated Rules 1.01(b)(1), 8.04(a)(7), and 8.04(a)(8). He was ordered to pay $500 in restitution and $3,400 in attorneys’ fees and direct expenses. On December 9, 2016, Todd A. Prins [#16330400], 50, of San Antonio, accepted an interim suspension of his law license effective December 9, 2016. The 73rd Judicial District Court of Bexar County ordered Prins suspended from the practice of law pending the final disposition of a disciplinary proceeding. PUBLIC REPRIMANDS On November 15, 2016, Rayshun Jackson [#00797754], 47, of Dallas, agreed to a public reprimand. An evidentiary panel of the District 6 Grievance Committee found that on or about July 15, 2015, the complainant hired Jackson to represent her in a civil rights matter. Upon termination of Jackson’s representation of the complainant, Jackson failed to refund advance payments of fees that had not been earned. Jackson violated Rule 1.15(d). He was ordered to pay $1,000 in restitution and $1,200 in attorneys’ fees and direct expenses. On November 21, 2016, David R. Lee [#12142900], 64, of Houston, received an agreed judgment of public reprimand. The 270th Judicial District Court of Harris County found that Lee committed professional misconduct by violating Rule 1.15(d) [upon termination of representation, requiring a lawyer to refund any advance payments of fees that have not been earned]. Lee was ordered to pay $994 in attorneys’ fees and direct expenses. On September 20, 2016, William R. Power [#16215050], 72, of Emory, received an agreed judgment of public reprimand. An evidentiary panel of the District 1 Grievance Committee found that on July 30, 2013, the complainant hired Power to represent him in connection with a debt collection matter. Power neglected the legal matter entrusted to him by failing to provide legal services. During the course of the representation, Power failed to keep the complainant reasonably informed about the status of his legal matter and failed to promptly comply with reasonable requests for information from the complainant. Power violated Rules 1.01(b)(1), 1.03(a), and 8.04(a)(8). He was ordered to pay $1,200 in restitution and $675.50 in attorneys’ fees and direct expenses. PRIVATE REPRIMANDS Listed here is a breakdown of Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct violations for seven attorneys, with the number in parentheses indicating the frequency of violation. Please note that an attorney may be reprimanded for more than one rule violation. 1.01(b)(1)—for neglecting a legal matter entrusted to the lawyer (1). 1.03(a)—for failing to keep a client reasonably informed about the status of a matter and promptly comply with reasonable requests for information (5). 1.03(b)—for failing to explain a matter to the extent reasonably necessary to permit the client to make informed decisions regarding representation (1). 1.15(b)(1)(ii)—knowingly revealing confidential information of a client or a former client to a person that the client has instructed is not to receive the information; or anyone else, other than the client, the client’s representatives, or the members, associates, or employees of the lawyer’s law firm (1). 1.15(d)—for failing, upon termination of representation, to reasonably protect a client’s interests, give notice to the client to seek other counsel, surrender papers and property which belong to the client, or refund any advance payments of fees that have not been earned (1). 5.05(b)—a lawyer shall not assist a person who is not a member of the bar in the performance of activity that constitutes the unauthorized practice of law (1). 8.04(a)(1)—a lawyer shall not violate these rules, knowingly assist or induce another to do so, or do so through the acts of another, whether or not such violation occurred in the course of a client-lawyer relationship (1). • Contact the Office of Chief Disciplinary Counsel at (512) 453-5535, the Board of Disciplinary Appeals at (512) 475-1578 or txboda.org, or the State Commission on Judicial Conduct at (512) 463-5533.
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