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In re Guns

Supreme Court of Montana

April 25, 2018

IN THE MATTER OF ROBERTA CROSS GUNS, An Attorney at Law, Respondent.

          Michael W. Cotter, Chief Disciplinary Counsel

          COMPLAINT MRPC 1.3, 3.2, 8.4(D)

         The Office of Disciplinary Counsel for the State of Montana ("ODC"). hereby charges Roberta Cross Guns with professional misconduct as follows:

         General Allegations and Background

         1. Roberta Cross Guns, 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 Montana 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. At all times relevant, Respondent was a contract public defender for the Montana Public Defenders Office ("OPD") and then was subsequently hired by OPD as a full-time public defender.

         Count One

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

         4. On April 13, 2017, Montana Eighth Judicial District Court Judge Gregory Pinski, in compliance with Rule 2.16 of the Montana Code of Judicial Conduct and Rule 8.3 of the Montana Rules of Professional Conduct, filed a report regarding Respondent's conduct, which consisted of his April 13, 2017 Contempt Order with the attached exhibits[1]. (Exhibit 1.) Judge Pinski supplemented his report to ODC on June 16, 2017, September 19, 2017, and November 24, 2017, with subsequent orders issued by him and the Montana Supreme Court. (Exhibits 2, 3, and 4.) The following is a chronology of the Respondent's failed or tardy appearances before the Eighth Judicial District Court that form the basis for Judge Pinski's contempt citations[2].

a. 10/23/2013 - Failed to Appear at Omnibus Hearing (BDC-13-108)
b. 11/7/2013 - Failed to Appear at Hearing (BDC-13-108) - Warning
c. 3/10/2014 - Failed to Appear at Plea Hearing (ADC-13-309) -Warning
d. 6/3/2015 - Failed to Appear at Hearing (ADN-15-116) - ...

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