IN THE MATTER OF RICHARD M. LAYNE, An Attorney at Law, Respondent.
File No. 16-074
R. Davis DAVIS, HATLEY, HAFFEMAN & TIGHE, P.C. Attorneys
for Richard M Layne, Esq.
CONDITIONAL ADMISSION AND AFFIDAVIT OF
M. Layne, 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.
2. I am
a retired lawyer against whom a formal complaint has been
filed 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 even though I
am no longer practicing law.
present this affidavit of consent and my tendered admission
to an Adjudicatory Panel of the Commission on Practice in
exchange for the form of discipline described below. If the
Commission on Practice approves my tendered admission, the
Commission can issue a final order of discipline. If my
conditional admission is rejected by the Commission on
Practice, 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withdrawn and cannot be used against me in this or any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.
Consistent with the foregoing, I admit certain allegations of
Count One of the complaint to be true. Specifically, I admit:
a. Billie Redding ("Redding") is an elderly
Montanan who sold her family ranch in 2004 and was advised by
her accountants, Anderson ZurMuehlen & Co., P.C.
("AZ"), to invest the proceeds in a company that
went bankrupt in 2008.
b. I entered into a contingency Tee agreement with Redding to
pursue her claims against AZ. Redding's claims arose from
AZ's alleged misconduct in advising her to obtain
tenancy-in-common ("TIC") shares of properties
owned by DBSI, Inc. ("DBSI"). Redding incurred
significant financial damages when DBSI became insolvent. AZ
similarly advised at least six other clients.
c. I entered into an agreement with Montana attorney Linda
Deola ("Deola") to have Deola act as local counsel
and assist me in pursuing Redding's claims in Montana and
to share attorney fees.
d. On July 27, 2009, Deola filed a lawsuit on Redding's
behalf against AZ and others in Montana First Judicial
District Court, Lewis and Clark County, Cause No. ADV 09-649.
e. In July 2009, 1 submitted a pro hac vice
application to the State Bar of Montana. I appeared pro
hac vice in Redding's case, although I was not
formally admitted by the Court. As a result, I was required
to abide by the Montana Rules of Professional Conduct and am