FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 11, 2013
Contact: Alberto Rodriguez
Attorney David J. Wolf of Phoenix Reprimanded for Missing Court Dates and Mismanaging Practice
PHOENIX – Sept. 11, 2013 – The Presiding Disciplinary Judge (PDJ) of the Arizona Supreme court has ordered that David J. Wolf of Phoenix be reprimanded for violating Rules of Professional Conduct.
On Aug. 29, 2013, the PDJ accepted an agreement for discipline by consent between Wolf and the State Bar of Arizona and ordered that he be reprimanded.
David J. Wolf represented a mentally ill criminal defendant in a drug case and allowed her to live with him for a brief period during the representation. He missed court dates due to what he claimed were mistaken calendaring and secretarial problems and failed to notify the client of her court dates. The client's failure to appear led to a court-issued bench warrant for her arrest—which was later quashed. In addition, Wolf failed timely to request and obtain the client's mental health treatment records and declined to seek a psychological evaluation (Rule 11 Evaluation) even though she requested it.
Adding to the list of violations, Wolf's underage secretary obtained a duplicate copy of the client's driver's license for her personal use as fake identification, demonstrating his failure to properly manage his practice. Having access to personal and private client information, his secretary ordered an address change on the duplicate copy, which was mailed to his office. By the time Wolf learned of this, he had already terminated the secretary over filing and calendaring lapses.
In a separate case, Wolf agitated a judge by failing to personally appear for a sentencing hearing, appearing instead by telephone.
Wolf was ordered to participate in the Bar's "Ten Deadly Sins of Conflict" and "Protecting Your Business From Employee Theft" self-study programs, as well as fee arbitration with the client. He was ordered to pay $1,214.42 to the State Bar of Arizona for costs and expenses incurred during its investigation.
Probation terms associated with the reprimand are in addition to probation terms associated with the one-year suspension Wolf received in November 2011. Wolf served his one-year suspension, but has yet to initiate reinstatement procedures or serve the two-year probation that includes his participation in the Bar's Law Office Management Assistance Program (LOMAP).
Consumers may report attorney misconduct by calling the State Bar of Arizona Attorney/Consumer Assistance Program (A/CAP) hotline at 602.340.7280.
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 17,300 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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