FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 29, 2012
Contact: Rick DeBruhl, Chief Communications Officer
Phone: 602.340.7335, Mobile: 602.513.6385
Attorneys Hughes and Miranda Disbarred After Failing to Protect Client Interest
PHOENIX- May 29, 2012 - The Presiding Disciplinary Judge of the Arizona Supreme Court has ordered disbarment for Mark J. A. Hughes of Glendale and Victoria R. Miranda of Phoenix.
In the matter of Mark J. A. Hughes, the Presiding Disciplinary Judge accepted a consent agreement between Hughes and the State Bar and ordered him disbarred.
In three cases, the State Bar charged that Hughes revealed information relating to the representation of a client without informed consent, engaged in conflicts of interest and failed to take steps to protect his client's interests upon termination of representation. The State Bar also alleged that Hughes failed to maintain confidences and preserve the secrets of his client, engaged in unprofessional conduct, and made disparaging, offensive, and provocative comments and accusations about his client and client's family members in their presence. Finally, the State Bar charged that Hughes engaged in the unauthorized practice of law while suspended. Hughes agreed not to contest any of the charges.
As a result of the consent agreement, the Presiding Disciplinary Judge issued an order on May 1, 2012, declaring Mark J. A. Hughes' disbarment. Hughes must pay $1,202 for all costs and expenses associated with the State Bar of Arizona's investigation.
In the matter of Victoria R. Miranda, the Presiding Disciplinary Judge accepted Miranda's Voluntary Consent to Disbarment and ordered her disbarred.
Miranda chose not to defend the Formal Complaint filed by the State Bar. The two-count Complaint alleged that in the first matter, Miranda collected $2,500 from a client, did not file any paperwork in the case and, upon her client's request, did not refund her fee or return a copy of the client's file.
The second count alleged that Miranda insisted that her name be placed on the $18,000 bail bond of her criminal defendant client and that, when the client was released from custody, Miranda did not return the money. The complaint further alleged that when the money was not returned, Miranda's client filed a civil suit seeking a judgment of $18,000.00, plus interest. Miranda failed to respond to the law suit and a judgment was entered against her.
As a result of the consent agreement, the Presiding Disciplinary Judge issued an order on May 8, 2012, declaring Victoria R. Miranda's disbarment. Miranda must pay $1,284.33 for all costs and expenses associated with the State Bar of Arizona's investigation.
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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