IN THE MATTER OF JOSHUA MORIGEAU, An Attorney at Law, Respondent.
Moog Deputy Disciplinary Counsel
leave of the Commission on Practice granted on January 11,
2018, the Office of Disciplinary Counsel for the State of
Montana hereby charges Joshua Morigeau with professional
misconduct as follows:
Joshua Morigeau, hereinafter referred to as Respondent, was
admitted to the practice of law in the State of Montana in
2010, 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.
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.
realleges and incorporates paragraphs 1 through 2 of the
General Allegations as if fully restated in this Count One.
Respondent entered into a Contingency Fee Agreement with
George Swanson ("Swanson") on October 5, 2011 for
representation regarding property damage and bodily injuries
resulting from a September 5, 2011 automobile accident.
Swanson's insurance carrier was USAA Auto Insurance.
Traveler's Insurance was the carrier for the other
driver, Christine Floyd, and her company, Solairus Aviation.
Swanson had pre-existing injuries from a 2003 plane crash.
Respondent discussed with and Swanson understood the
complexities involved regarding his recent injuries as they
related to his pre-existing injuries.
July 2016, Swanson advised Respondent that the insurance
carrier was not paying his medical expenses and, because of
the financial burden of having to pay them himself, requested
Respondent "move the case along." Respondent
advised Swanson that he would request the insurance company
to pre-authorize his doctor visits.
Respondent failed to follow through with the insurance
company and Swanson continued to pay for his medical
expenses. Following his July 2016 conversation with
Respondent, Swanson was unable to either locate or contact
Respondent. Swanson's phone calls and voice messages went
Respondent advised ODC that, at the time of his July 2016
conversation with Swanson, he was confronting health issues
and had to reduce his practice. Respondent did not share that
information with Swanson, nor did he notify Swanson when he
changed offices and cancelled his phone number. Swanson was
unaware that Respondent's phone number had been
disconnected until he attempted to reach him on September 1,
9. In a
phone conversation on February 14, 2017 following
Swanson's submission of an ethics grievance concerning
the representation, ODC explained to Respondent that he had
the option to attempt to resolve the grievance through direct
communications with Swanson. Swanson advised ODC in an April
27, 2017 phone call that Respondent had still not been in
contact with him. In a subsequent phone call to Respondent
the same day, Respondent advised ODC that he believed he had
been barred from contacting Swanson because of the grievance
- despite ODC's conversation with him to the contrary on
February 14, 2017.
failing to maintain communications with his client concerning
the status of his matter as outlined above, ...