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In re Harris

Supreme Court of Montana

November 1, 2019

IN THE MATTER OF LINDA HARRIS, An Attorney at Law, Respondent.

          Shaun R. Thompson Interim Chief Disciplinary Counsel Office of Disciplinary Counsel

          COMPLAINT

         Upon leave of the Commission on Practice granted on October 17, 2019, the Office of Disciplinary Counsel for the State of Montana ("ODC") hereby files its complaint charging Linda L. Harris with professional misconduct as follows:

         General Allegations and Background

         1. Linda Harris, hereinafter referred to as Respondent, was admitted to the practice of law in the State of Montana in 1978, 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 practiced law as a sole practitioner at her firm Harris Law Firm, P.C. at Billings, Montana.

         COUNT ONE

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

         5. Rita Cook ("Cook") is a resident of Billing, Montana. In 2017, Cook hired Respondent to handle her divorce from Cook's then-husband, Robert Pumphrey ("Pumphrey").

         6. On November 1, 2017, Respondent filed a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage in Yellowstone County District Court, Cause No. DR-17-1237.

         7. At all times pertinent hereto, attorney Bard Middleton represented Pumphrey.

         8. Middleton served Respondent with discovery requests on November 13, 2017. On December 17, 2017, Middleton sent Respondent a letter reminding her that the responses were due. On March 15, 2018, Middleton filed a motion to compel. Respondent did not provide discovery responses until after Middleton's motion was filed.

         9. Mediation was held on May 3, 2018, and the case settled.

         10. Judge Michael G. Moses issued a Final Decree of Dissolution, ...


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