Contact: Rick DeBruhl, Chief Communications Officer
Phone: (602) 340-7335, Mobile: (602) 513-6385

Attorney Consents to Disbarment

PHOENIX - The Arizona Supreme Court issued an order accepting William J. Howard's consent to disbarment.

William J. Howard, a resigned member of the State Bar of Arizona was investigated for violating various provisions of the Rules of Professional Conduct.  During its investigation, the State Bar found that Howard was engaging in outside business activities that violated his duties as a legal professional.

In 2004, Howard persuaded his clients to participate in a tax shelter that he designed and was disallowed by the IRS in 2006.  Howard did not comply with his ethical duties to his clients and failed to disclose the conflict of interest. His clients then filed a legal malpractice case against him.

Probable cause was also found to exist as to the following violations:  failing to follow ethical rules in entering into a business transaction with a client, failing to provide competent representation, and failing to cooperate and/or furnish information to the State Bar.

After conducting its investigation, the State Bar issued a Probable Cause Order against Howard. Avoiding a hearing-and without admitting to the alleged misconduct, Howard filed a Consent to Disbarment that was accepted by the Arizona Supreme Court on Jan. 5, 2011.

Howard must pay $1,222.50 for the costs and expenses incurred by the State Bar of Arizona for the proceedings.

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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