FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 14, 2012
Contact: Rick DeBruhl, Chief Communications Officer
Phone: 602.340.7335, Mobile: 602.513.6385
Attorneys Rosval A. Patterson and Nancy D. Peterson Suspended from the Practice of Law
PHOENIX - Sept. 14, 2012 - Phoenix attorneys Rosval A. Patterson and Nancy D. Petersen have been suspended from the practice of law for violating the Rules of Professional Conduct.
In the matter of Rosval A. Patterson, the three-member panel led by the Presiding Disciplinary Judge of the Arizona Supreme Court ordered that he be suspended from the practice of law for one year.
The State Bar of Arizona's investigation found that Patterson settled a client matter without consent, which had an adverse effect on his client and his client's right on appeal. Patterson failed to abide by his client's decisions concerning the objectives of representation; revealed information relating to the representation of his client without the client giving his informed consent; submitted false statements or documents to the court; and engaged in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation. In addition, he changed his rate of fee without memorializing it in writing; failed to keep his client reasonably informed; and failed to protect client interest and surrender documents and property after terminating representation.
During the two-day hearing, the Disciplinary Panel considered Patterson's prior disciplinary action as aggravating factors in his case. Previous discipline included two years of probation with participation in the Bar's Law Office Management Assistance Program (LOMAP) in 2009; a censure with one year of probation resulting from a consent agreement in 2008; an informal reprimand and probation in 2007; and an Order of Diversion (Ethics Enhancement Program) in 2004.
Patterson's one-year suspension was effective on Aug. 27, 2012. He was ordered to pay $230.40 for travel fees and $85,463.42 in restitution to his former client, and $4,031.65 to the State Bar of Arizona for costs and expenses incurred during its investigation. In addition, Patterson must serve two years of probation with participation in the Bar's LOMAP program.
Rosval A. Patterson will be required to undergo formal reinstatement proceedings if he should seek reinstatement to the practice of law.
In the matter of Nancy D. Petersen, a one-year suspension was ordered, resulting from a consent agreement between her and the State Bar of Arizona.
The State Bar's investigation found that Petersen failed to notify clients and others of her prior suspension; engaged in the unauthorized practice of law; knowingly violated court orders prohibiting her from practicing law while suspended; falsely told a court that she was on active status and no longer suspended when, in fact, she was suspended; falsely represented her State Bar status to others; and engaged in conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice by forcing courts and parties to address her violations.
Petersen's suspension was effective on Aug. 24, 2012. She was also ordered to pay $1,206.65 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 17,000 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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