FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 16, 2010
Contact: Rick DeBruhl, Chief Communications Officer
Phone: (602) 340-7335, Mobile: (602) 513-6385
Supreme Court Orders Six-month Suspension for Jeffrey Phillips of Phillips & Associates
PHOENIX - The Supreme Court of Arizona today ordered that Jeffrey Phillips, Managing Attorney at Phillips & Associates, be suspended from the practice of law for six months.
The decision came after the Supreme Court of Arizona heard oral arguments from Phillips' legal team, appealing the original recommendation by the court's Hearing Officer.
The original suspension of six months and one day that was recommended by the Hearing Officer was a result of the State Bar of Arizona's investigation. The investigation found that he had violated several provisions of the Arizona Rules of Professional Conduct that included a pattern of high pressure tactics and poor firm management. Specific violations included high caseloads for bankruptcy attorneys - 500 in some cases, failure to keep clients reasonably informed, missed hearings by attorneys, and inappropriate intake and retention procedures.
Unless otherwise directed, the suspension is effective thirty days from the date of the Supreme Court of Arizona's order. Jeffrey Phillips is not allowed to practice law during his suspension. In addition, Jeffrey Phillips' name may not be used in firm advertisements, letterhead, or other communications.
Phillips must serve two years of probation that will take effect after his suspension is fully served. Probation terms require that Phillips contact the State Bar of Arizona's Law Office Management Assistance Program (LOMAP) director within 30 days and must submit to a LOMAP audit. The LOMAP director will then make recommendations that Phillips must comply with. Phillips must also 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.
In the same case, Robert Arentz, formerly of Phillips & Associates, was suspended for 60-days on July 24, 2010 and has since fully served his suspension and paid the appropriate restitution, fees, and expenses incurred in this matter. Arentz's suspension was upheld by the Supreme Court of Arizona. Arentz has been reinstated.
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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