IN THE MATTER OF BRANDON C. HARTFORD, An Attorney at Law, Respondent.
Moog Deputy Disciplinary Counsel
R. Thompson (Attorney) Representing: Office of Disciplinary
Counsel Service Method: eService
Brandon C. Hartford (Respondent)
Smith (Court Reporter) Office Administrator Commission on
AMENDED COMPLAINT RULES 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.4, 1, 16(D),
3.2, AND 3 ,4,MRPC
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 Disciplinaiy
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.
June 15, 2012, Julie Ostermiller-Replogle ("Julie")
hired Hartford on contingency to take over representation of
her in a personal injury case resulting from a motor vehicle
accident that occurred on December 31,2010.
August 16,2013, the at-fault driver's insurer. State
Farm, offered to settle the case for $17,500. Hartford did
not convey the offer to JuUe.
December 23, 2013, Hartford filed a lawsuit against Thomas
Cardwell ("Cardwell"), the father of the at-fault
driver, Austin Cardwell, in Yellowstone County District
Court, Ostermiller-Replogle v. Cardwell, Cause No.
Discovery requests were served on Hartford on April
16, 2014. Hartford failed to forward the discoverv
requests to Julie or notify her at all that the discover/
requests were served and required her response. Julie had
provided documentation to Hartford pursuant to his request
which could have been used to prepare the discoverv
responses. Hartford failed to prepare and serve anv discoverv
responses to Defendant's First Discoverv Requests.
March 26, 2015, after defense counsel sent multiple emails
and letters seeking the overdue responses, Cardwell filed a
Combined Motion to Compel Discovery and to Vacate Trial Date
and supporting brief for failure to respond to discovery
requests. Hartford did not file a response brief, and the
Court granted Defendant's Motion to Compel and Attorney
Fees, ordering Julie to respond to defendant's discovery
requests within 20 days of the date of the Order.
December 4, 2015, on Cardwell's motion, Judge Moses
dismissed Julie's case with prejudice for failing to
respond to ...