FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 20, 2014
Contact: Alberto Rodriguez
Attorney Carmen Fischer Placed on Interim Suspension by Presiding Disciplinary Judge of the Arizona Supreme Court
PHOENIX – June 20, 2014 – Attorney Carmen L. Fischer of Phoenix was suspended from the practice of law on an interim basis for violating the Rules of Professional Conduct.
On April 8, 2014 the Presiding Disciplinary Judge of the Arizona Supreme Court ordered that Fischer be placed on interim suspension until further order.
On March 17, 2014, Carmen L. Fischer was sentenced to prison for three years and probation, following her release, for four years. Pinal County Superior Court Judge Boyd Johnson accepted her guilty plea to the crimes of Attempted Money Laundering, a class 4 felony, and Assisting a Criminal Street Gang, a class 3 felony.
Prior to the interim suspension, Fischer was reprimanded and placed on probation on Dec. 20, 2013, after the Presiding Disciplinary Judge accepted an agreement for discipline by consent between her and the State Bar.
The State Bar of Arizona’s investigation found that Fischer violated the Rules of Professional Conduct in two unrelated client matters.
In the first matter, clients were indicted in a drug conspiracy case and client one retained her to represent him. Client one
disclosed to Fischer that the police tried to recruit him to inform on client two. He refused to do so, claiming he had no relevant information to impart to the police in any event.
Although the court denied the state’s motion to determine counsel, Fischer withdrew from representing client one a short time later. She admitted that it was negligent for her not to realize that there was a significant risk that her representation of client one would be materially limited by her responsibilities to client two, in violation of ER 1.7. Client one later provided testimony against client two, resulting in the latter’s conviction.
In a separate forfeiture matter, Carmen Fischer agreed to accept client one’s vehicle in payment of her fees, in lieu of cash, but did not disclose in writing to him the information required by ER 1.8(a). When client one discharged her as his attorney, she did not withdraw as counsel of record within a reasonable time of her dismissal in violation of ER 1.16.
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 17,500 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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