IN THE MATTER OF BRANDON C. HARTFORD An Attorney at Law, Respondent.
1.3, 1.4, 1.5, LIS, 1.18, 8.1, MRPC, and 8a(6), MRLDE
Moog Deputy Disciplinary Counsel Office of Disciplinary
leave of the Commission on Practice granted on April 18,
2019, the Office of Disciplinary Counsel for the State of
Montana ("ODC") hereby charges Brandon C. Hartford
with professional misconduct as follows:
Allegations and Background
Brandon C. Hartford ("Hartford") 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 those outlined in
parts 3 and 4 of Chapter 61, Title 37, Montana Code
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.
March 2018, Heather Byerly ("Heather") hired
Hartford to assume her representation in a criminal
proceeding (Yellowstone County District Court Cause DC
18-0092, Judge Michael Moses presiding). Heather paid
Hartford $5, 000 which he deposited into his firm's
operating account on February 26, 2018.
Hartford did not provide Heather with a written communication
setting forth the scope of his representation or the basis or
rate of his fee and expenses.
During the representation, Hartford failed to communicate
with Heather concerning the status of her case.
During the representation, Hartford failed to act diligently
and promptly in reviewing discovery, meeting with the
prosecutor, or preparing Heather for arraignment.
Heather terminated Hartford's representation by letter
dated June 14, 2018 and requested a refund of her $5, 000
payment. Hartford did not respond or refund any amount.
Heather submitted an ethics grievance to ODC on or about
September 5, 2018. Hartford provided ODC with a general
denial of her allegations but has refused to specifically
answer the grievance or provide requested documentation such
as bank records and file materials as directed.
realleges and incorporates paragraphs 1 through 8 of the
General Allegations as ...