FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 13, 2012
Contact: Rick DeBruhl, Chief Communications Officer
Phone: 602.340.7335, Mobile: 602.513.6385
Attorney Faces Six Month and One Day Suspension for Client Exploitation
PHOENIX- March 13, 2012 -A Payson attorney has been suspended from the practice of law for six months and one day after violating the Rules of Professional Conduct. Harlan S. Green was given the sanction by a three-member panel lead by the Acting Presiding Disciplinary Judge of the Arizona Supreme Court.
In a four-count complaint, Harlan S. Green was alleged to have violated several Rules of Professional Conduct including, but not limited to, communication with clients, fee agreements, conflict of interest, accounting, violation of court orders, and responding to or cooperating with the State Bar's investigation.
Count one found that Green represented a partially disabled man with the purchase of a defective mobile home and failed to handle, or account properly, for money that was held in the client's trust account. Count two found that he took nine months to form a simple LLC. Count three found that he failed to abide by court orders while acting as personal representative of a probate estate and failed to satisfy his fiduciary duty to devisees. Count four found that he took advantage of a seriously mentally ill woman. He charged her his full rate of $260 per hour to conduct an internet search for a person who was long believed to be dead, but whom the client "saw" in a dream. During the time implicated in the complaint, Mr. Green publicly identified his law firm as "Payson Law Center" which, as a trade name, is prohibited.
It was ordered that Green be suspended from the practice of law effective March 15, 2012. He must pay $4,532.77 for the costs and expenses incurred by the State Bar of Arizona for the proceedings. In addition, Green must participate in fee arbitration with three previous clients.
Following the conclusion of his six month and one day suspension, Harlan S. Green will be required to undergo formal proceedings should he seek reinstatement to the practice of law. Appropriate probation terms for him will be assessed at the conclusion of any formal proceeding should he be reinstated at that time.
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 16,900 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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