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In re Johnson

Supreme Court of Montana

November 27, 2013

IN THE MATTER OF ROY W. JOHNSON, JR., An Attorney at Law, Respondent.

ODC File No. 13-224

COMPLAINT

By request of a Review Panel of the Commission on Practice, the Office of Disciplinary Counsel for the State of Montana (ODC), hereby charges Roy W. Johnson, Jr., with professional misconduct as follows:

General Allegations

1. Roy W. Johnson, Jr., hereinafter referred to as Respondent, was admitted to the practice of law in the State of Montana in 1979, at which time he took the oath required for admission, wherein he agreed to abide by the Rules of Professional Conduct, the Disciplinary Rules adopted by the Supreme Court, and the highest standards of honesty, justice, and morality, including but not limited to, those outlined in parts 3 and 4 of Chapter 61, Title 37, Montana Code Annotated.

2. The Montana Supreme Court has approved and adopted the Montana Rules of Professional Conduct (MRPC), governing the ethical conduct of attorneys licensed to practice in the State of Montana, which Rules were in effect at all times mentioned in this Complaint.

3. This Complaint concerns two ethics grievances received by ODC and docketed as File Nos. 12-034 and 12-119, and Respondent's repeated failure to fully respond to ODC's lawful demands for information in response to those grievances or provide justification for his nonresponse.

4. Upon hearing on July 17, 2013, in response to an Order to Show Cause issued pursuant to Rule 24, Montana Rules for Lawyer Disciplinary Enforcement (MRLDE), a Review Panel of the Commission on Practice authorized the filing of a formal Complaint concerning Respondent's failure to fully respond as demanded or provide justification for his nonresponse. The Commission's Order was filed November 21, 2013.

5. To preserve the underlying allegations within the individual grievances, ODC has docketed the alleged Counts within this Complaint as ODC File No. 13-224.

COUNT ONE

6. ODC realleges and incorporates paragraphs 1 through 5 of the General Allegations as if fully restated in this Count One.

7. Raymond and Cherlyn Lafinier (the Larmiers) lodged an ethics grievance against Respondent, which ODC docketed as File No. 12-034.

8. The Lafiniers had retained Respondent to defend their foster care license from revocation and to pursue adoption of their foster children.

9. In investigating the grievance, ODC requested the Respondent provide a copy of his signed fee agreement and his complete billing records for the case by letter dated October 3, 2012. Respondent failed to respond.

10. Receiving no response to the October 3, 2012, request, ODC sent another demand for production of the documentation within seven days on October 22, 2012, by first class and certified mail. Respondent ...


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