FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 21, 2011
Contact: Rick DeBruhl, Chief Communications Officer
Phone: (602) 340-7335, Mobile: (602) 513-6385
Attorney Faces Disciplinary Action for Engaging in Criminal Activity and Failing to Protect Client Interest
PHOENIX - The Arizona Supreme Court has ordered that William M. Labuda, Jr., who formerly practiced in Bullhead City, Ariz., be suspended from the practice of law for 21 months.
The State Bar of Arizona initiated another investigation of William M. Labuda while he was serving a prior six-month and one-day suspension for five counts of misconduct.
A two-count complaint was filed against William M. Labuda as a result of the Bar's investigation.
In the first count, the hearing officer found that Labuda was criminally charged with: child neglect, possession of dangerous drugs and possession of drug paraphernalia. Labuda entered a plea agreement where he pled guilty to possession of drug paraphernalia and the other criminal charges were dismissed as a result.
In the second count, the Bar alleged he failed to comply with its investigation and violated several provisions of the Rules of Professional Conduct. The violations included: failing to return client's documents, failing to abide by client's decisions concerning objectives of representation, failing to obey an order by the court, failing to expedite litigation, and failing to respond to a lawful demand for information by the State Bar.
The suspension is retroactive as of Jan. 6, 2011, as outlined in the Arizona Supreme Court's order. Labuda is not allowed to practice law during his suspension.
Upon reinstatement, William M. Labuda, Jr., will be placed on probation, with terms to be outlined at that time. Probation terms shall address his history of substance abuse and depression. In addition, Labuda must pay all costs and expenses of the disciplinary proceedings as provided in Rule 60(b), Ariz. R. Sup. Ct.
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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