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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:Allen Landerman was licensed to practice law in Texas in May 1978. In October 1990, Landerman was privately reprimanded by the State Bar of Texas for failing to timely respond to a grievance filed against Landerman by one of his clients. In December 1990, the Bar publicly reprimanded Landerman for failing to timely respond to a grievance filed against Landerman by another client. In October 1991, Landerman entered into an agreed judgment of suspension with the bar in which Landerman’s license to practice law was suspended for 30 days and Landerman was placed on probation for three years following the active suspension. The suspension was based on findings Landerman neglected the legal matters of four different clients. In December 1993, a federal district court convicted Landerman of being a conspirator in a scheme to commit mail fraud, wire fraud and money laundering. Landerman essentially agreed to hold fraudulently obtained funds for a client in Landerman’s attorney trust account until Landerman prepared the necessary documents to transfer the funds to another entity. Although Landerman was not “completely aware” these were sham transactions, he admitted he learned in April 1991 that his client was engaged in conduct that might violate securities laws or federal criminal laws. Even though Landerman advised his client to change his behavior, Landerman learned five months later the client’s practices were continuing. Landerman continued to represent the client for another year before terminating the relationship. Landerman testified he made a bad choice, because he was trying to develop a substantial oil and gas practice. Landerman was sentenced to 134 months in prison and the Bar suspended his license to practice law. In 1994, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reversed Landerman’s conviction because of trial errors by the federal district court. Authorities released Landerman from prison, and the Bar reinstated his license. Due to the death of his trial attorney, Landerman obtained new counsel to represent him in a second trial on the criminal charges. Landerman’s new counsel reviewed the conspiracy laws with Landerman, and Landerman, for the first time, realized he might have violated those laws. Landerman entered into a plea bargain agreement and, on April 17, 1998, was sentenced to 60 months in prison and a $10,000 fine and, upon release from prison, was placed on supervised release for a period of three years. When authorities released Landerman from prison, his probation officer told him he needed to resign his license to practice law. On Aug. 22, 2000, the Texas Supreme Court accepted Landerman’s resignation. Because Landerman agreed to assist the federal government in its prosecution of Landerman’s former client, authorities discharged Landerman from supervised release early. In 2006, Landerman filed a petition seeking reinstatement of his license to practice law. At the hearing on his petition, Landerman testified that he had worked as a paralegal, a tutor and a tax preparer since being released from prison. He spends a significant amount of time participating in activities and services at his temple and in volunteering for charitable causes. His past experiences have deepened his faith, and he now understands what is required to lead a moral life. He is “older and wiser” and does not believe he will repeat his mistakes. He believes his reinstatement is in the public interest, because he can make an impact on the legal landscape. Moreover, Landerman believes his reinstatement is in the interest of the legal profession, because he can mentor other lawyers and help them avoid the problems he has encountered. He also believes it is in the interest of justice to afford him a second chance. Landerman called a number of character witnesses to testify as to his conduct and employment since being released from prison and about his skills as attorney. These witnesses testified that Landerman was a good, moral man who would not repeat his mistakes. Further, Landerman has been active in his temple and in charitable causes since his release from prison. Landerman has strong legal skills and would be competent to assist his clients. Finally, the witnesses were not aware of anything that would make it contrary to the interests of justice, the profession or the public for Landerman to be reinstated. The trial court denied Landerman’s petition. HOLDING:Affirmed. Landerman first contended that a successor judge erroneously entered the findings of fact and conclusions of law. Judge Nathan White was the sitting judge of the 366th Judicial District Court on Dec. 11, 2006, and heard Landerman’s petition. White signed the judgment denying Landerman’s petition on Dec. 20, 2006. White did not run for re-election, and his term expired on Dec. 31, 2006. Judge Gregory Brewer assumed the trial court bench on Jan. 1, 2007. On Jan. 5, 2007, Landerman filed his request for findings of fact and conclusions of law by mail. Brewer entered findings of fact and conclusions of law on Jan. 12, 2007. Landerman objected to the entry of findings of fact and conclusions of law by Brewer. Although the docket sheet reflects White reviewed and approved the findings of fact and conclusions of law on April 5, 2007, White never entered findings of fact and conclusions of law. Landerman contends Texas Civil Practice & Remedies Code �30.002(a) required White, rather than Brewer, to enter findings of fact and conclusions of law. Assuming, without deciding, that White erred in failing to enter findings of fact and conclusions of law, the court concluded that any error was harmless. Landerman challenged the trial court’s conclusions of law as being legally incorrect. Alternatively, he argued that legally and factually insufficient evidence supported any facts that would be presumed to support the trial court’s conclusion that Landerman’s petition should be denied. Although Landerman, the court stated, testified he was not “completely aware” the transactions he was participating in were fraudulent, he also testified he was aware his client’s conduct might violate the criminal laws for 17 months before terminating the relationship. He was also aware for approximately a year before terminating the relationship that the client had not changed his conduct even though Landerman had advised the client to do so. Landerman chose to continue the relationship, even with knowledge of his client’s conduct, because Landerman wanted to grow a substantial oil and gas practice. Thus, the court found that the trial court could have properly considered Landerman’s choice in continuing the relationship with the client after he learned his client was engaged in illegal conduct, Landerman’s engaging in illegal activity during the representation and Landerman’s motive for continuing the relationship in determining it would not serve the interest of the public or the profession for Landerman to be reinstated. The trial court also heard evidence regarding Landerman’s disciplinary history, including a private reprimand, a public reprimand, and an active suspension from the practice of law due to Landerman’s neglect of four different clients’ matters. The court found that the trial court could properly consider the three separate disciplinary actions in determining it was not in the interest of the public for Landerman to be reinstated. After reviewing the record, the court concluded that legally and factually sufficient evidence supported the judgment. The court also concluded that the trial court properly drew correct legal conclusions based on the facts before it. OPINION:Thomas, C.J.; Thomas, C.J., and Bridges and FitzGerald, JJ.

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