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In re Morin

Supreme Court of Montana

April 28, 2017

IN THE MATTER OF TINA L, MORIN, An Attorney at Law, Respondent.

          Jon G. Moog Deputy Disciplinary Counsel Office of Disciplinary Counsel

         The Office of Disciplinary Counsel for the State of Montana ("ODC"), hereby charges Tina L. Morin with professional misconduct as follows:

         General Allegations

         1. Tina L. Morin, hereinafter referred to as Respondent, was admitted to the practice of law in the State of Montana in 1992, at which time she took the oath required for admission, wherein she 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.

         Count One

         3. ODC realleges and incorporates paragraphs 1 through 2 of the General Allegations as if fully restated in this Count One.

         4. On July 2, 2015, Respondent filed a lawsuit on behalf of herself and her law firm, Morin Law Firm, P.L.L.C, in U.S. District Court for the District of Montana. The case was captioned Morin Law Firm v. Leonard Carder, et ai, CV-15-30-B-SEH. U.S. District Court Judge Sam E. Haddon presided over the case.

         5. At a hearing on December 7, 2015, Judge Haddon told Respondent: "All right. That means, in plain terms, if this case is to continue, you are going to have to get other counsel in to represent Morin Law Firm, P.L.L.C." (Tr. 7:10-12.)

         6. On February 24, 2016, Judge Haddon issued an Order directing Respondent to obtain counsel by March 4, 2016, or all documents filed by her would be stricken.

          7. On March 2, 2016, attorney Colin J. Delli Bovi ("Delli Bovi") filed a Notice of Appearance on behalf of Respondent and her firm.

         8. On June 14, 2016, the Defendants filed a Motion for Protective Order.

         9. On June 15, 2016, Delli Bovi filed a Motion to Withdraw.

         10. On June 21, 2016, a hearing was held regarding the Motion for Protective Order and the Motion to Withdraw. At the hearing, Judge Haddon informed Respondent she was disqualified from appearing as counsel. (Tr. 11:6- 13.) Judge Haddon advised Delli Bovi he would not be allowed to withdraw until the Plaintiffs had another lawyer. (Tr. 19:20 to 20:3.) Judge Haddon gave Delli Bovi until June 24, 2016, to file additional information concerning his Motion to Withdraw. (Tr. 25:6-14.) Judge Haddon gave the Plaintiffs until June 24, 2016 to file a brief in response to the Motion for Protective ...


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