IN THE MATTER OF GEORGE B. BEST, A Resigned Attorney, Respondent.
B. BEST P.O. Respondent, Pro Se
CONDITIONAL ADMISSION AND AFFIDAVIT OF
George B. Best, being first duly sworn upon oath deposes and
affirms as follows.
1. I am
the Respondent. I tender my conditional admission and make
this affidavit of consent pursuant to Rule 26, Montana Rules
for Lawyer Disciplinary Enforcement (2018), in exchange for
the stated forms of discipline.
was an active lawyer at the time the formal complaint and
amended formal complaint were filed against me, alleging
ethical misconduct. I am informed and aware of the
allegations against me and understand that, if those
allegations are proved by clear and convincing evidence,
there exist grounds for discipline against me.
present this affidavit of consent and my tendered admission
to an Adjudicatory Panel of the Commission on Practice in
exchange for the forms of discipline described below. If the
Commission on Practice approves my tendered admission, I
acknowledge my tendered admission is subject to acceptance or
rejection by the Montana Supreme Court. If my conditional
admission is rejected by either the Commission on Practice or
the Supreme Court, then I understand my admission shall be
deemed withdrawn and cannot be used against me in this or any
consent to discipline is freely and voluntarily tendered. I
am not subject to coercion or duress of any kind. I am fully
aware of the implications of submitting my conditional
admission and affidavit of consent.
admit to the following facts relevant to ODC's Complaint
and Amended Complaint:
a. I was admitted to practice law in Montana in 1974, 1
voluntarily moved from "Active" to
"Resigned" status effective June 1, 2018.
b. In 2001, Donald Abbey ("Abbey"), a real estate
developer from Southern California, purchased Shelter Island
on Flathead Lake to build a personal residence. Mr. Abbey
bought the island through Abbey/Land, LLC
("Abbey/Land"), a corporation wholly owned by him.
After disputes arose with the original general contractor,
Abbey formed GCP to act as general contractor; he was the
sole owner of GCP. Both Abbey/Land and GCP are Montana LLCs.
c. GCP entered a $1.4 million contract with Interstate
Mechanical, Inc. ("IMF') for the design and
installation of the plumbing and heating-cooling system
(HVAC) for the house. Subsequent change orders increased the
value of that contract by approximately $1 million. The
General Contract included a mandatory arbitration clause
(¶3.4), which limited the prevailing party's
recovery by excluding consequential, punitive or other
damages beyond the prevailing party's actual damages. In
2009, disputes arose between IMI and GCP and other
sub-contractors and insurers.
d. Prior to my involvement, and as a result of these
disputes, multiple lawsuits were initiated in state and
federal courts between 2009 and 2011, and arbitration ...