FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 1, 2010
Contact: Rick DeBruhl, Chief Communications Officer
Phone: (602) 340-7335, Mobile: (602) 513-6385
Attorney Suspended For Violating Attorney-Client Relationship
PHOENIX - The Supreme Court of Arizona has ordered that Chester R. Lockwood be suspended from the practice of law for six months - retroactive to Mar. 8, 2010 - for conduct in violation of his duties and obligations as an attorney.
The State Bar of Arizona conducted its investigation after Lockwood self-reported his misconduct. The Hearing Officer found that he violated multiple provisions of the Rules of Professional Conduct that included: Confidentiality of Information, Conflict of Interest, and Duties to Former Clients.
Mr. Lockwood engaged in an inappropriate intimate relationship with a client he was representing. During this time, he learned of certain negative facts about her substance abuse, which he later used against her when he attempted to secure custody of her child.
The case did not go to trial, but rather was settled by an agreement to discipline by consent.
The six-month suspension is retroactive to Mar. 8, 2010, when Mr. Lockwood voluntarily placed himself on inactive status.
Mr. Lockwood is required to serve one year of probation from the date of the order issued by the Supreme Court of Arizona, Oct. 27, 2010. He will submit to a one-time assessment with the State Bar's Member Assistance Program (MAP) that will determine his need for any services or assistance. If deemed necessary, the director of MAP will develop "Terms and Conditions of Probation" that shall be incorporated by reference.
In addition, Mr. Lockwood is required to pay all costs and expenses incurred in this matter by the State Bar of Arizona, the Disciplinary Commission, the Supreme Court, and the Disciplinary Clerk's Office.
About the State Bar
The State Bar of Arizona is a non-profit organization that operates under the supervision of the Arizona Supreme Court. The Bar includes approximately 16,000 active attorneys and provides education and development programs for the legal profession and the public. Since 1933 the Bar and its members have been committed to serving the public by making sure the voices of all people in Arizona are heard in our justice system.
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