FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 16, 2012
Contact: Rick DeBruhl, Chief Communications Officer
Phone: 602.340.7335, Mobile: 602.513.6385
Arizona Attorneys Gary Lassen and Dennis O’Berry Suspended from the Practice of Law
PHOENIX - May 16, 2012 - Attorneys Gary L. Lassen of Tempe and Dennis C. O'Berry of Coolidge have been suspended from the practice of law for violating the Rules of Professional Conduct.
In the matter of Gary L. Lassen, a 30-day suspension was ordered, resulting from a consent agreement between him and the State Bar of Arizona.
Lassen was found to have knowingly failed to perform services for his client and failed, over a period of years, to clearly communicate his belief that his client did not have a valid cause of action. This caused actual/potential injury, as the client did not seek other representation to protect his legal rights.
The suspension was effective April 28, 2012. Lassen was also ordered to pay $1,200 to the State Bar of Arizona for the costs and expenses incurred during the investigation.
In the matter of Dennis C. O'Berry, a consent agreement was signed between him and the Bar that resulted in a 90-day suspension.
The State Bar's investigation found that O'Berry used money from his client trust account on several occasions and for personal reasons. Funds were transferred out of the trust account for personal use before his lawyer fees had been earned. Although O'Berry subsequently replaced all borrowed funds, his actions were direct violations of the Rules of Professional Conduct.
O'Berry's suspension was effective April 19, 2012. Upon reinstatement, he will serve a two-year probation period and must submit to a Law Office Member Assistance Program (LOMAP) examination. He was also ordered to pay $1,410 to the State Bar of Arizona for costs and expenses incurred during its 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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