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In re Tennant

Supreme Court of Montana

July 26, 2017

IN THE MATTER OF DAVID G. TENNANT, An Attorney at Law, Respondent.

         Supreme Court No. ODC File No. 17-068

          Michael W. Cotter Chief Disciplinary Counsel Office of Disciplinary Counsel

         Upon leave of the Commission on Practice ("COP") granted on July 19, 2017, the Office of Disciplinary Counsel ("ODC") hereby charges David G. Tennant, an attorney at law admitted to practice before the courts of Montana, with professional misconduct as follows:

         1. David G. Tennant, hereinafter referred to as Respondent, was admitted to the practice of law in the State of Montana in 2004, at which time he took the oath required for admission, agreeing 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 law in the State of Montana, which Rules were in effect at all times mentioned in this Complaint.

         3. In a prior proceeding before the COP (Montana Supreme Court Cause No. PR 16-0233), it was determined that:

a. Respondent provided legal services to John Ray ("Ray") in a dissolution of marriage proceeding beginning in 2011 (In the Marriage of Kathleen Ray and John Ray. Flathead County District Court Cause No. DR-10-531 A).
b. On February 20, 2013, Respondent filed a collection complaint against Ray for fees, costs, and interest (KVH v. John Ray et al., Flathead County District Court Cause No. DV-13-168D) for legal services previously rendered to Ray.
c. A default judgement against Ray in the amount of $34, 045.18 was filed on May 28, 2013.
d. Respondent obtained a writ of execution on two lots owned by Ray in Antler Bluff Estates outside of Columbia Falls, Montana (Lots 8 and 9) on June 20, 2013.
e. Vintage Vines, a business in which Respondent was a 50% owner, was the successful bidder on the property at a sheriffs sale, and a Sheriffs Certificate of Sale to Vintage Vines for the two lots was issued on December 19, 2013.
f. Ray did not redeem the property within the required one-year time period, and a Sheriffs Deed was issued to Vintage Vines on December 3, 2014.

         4. In its Opinion and Order issued on March 21, 2017 at 2017 MT 66, the Montana Supreme Court accepted and adopted the recommendations of the COP, except as otherwise noted. The Court ordered that the Respondent:

". . . shall recoup the value of the judgment entered in his favor against John Ray from sale of a single lot purchased at the sheriffs sale, but he must refund any excess to Ray and quitclaim the second lot back to Ray, providing copies of the ...

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