The Statewide Grievance Committee this week announced disciplinary action against eight attorneys, including presentments, reprimands and suspensions.
Here’s a look at the attorneys, listed in alphabetical order, whose ethic charges led to disciplinary action in January.
Middletown solo practitioner Gerald Beaudoin was suspended from the practice of law for 18 months, retroactive to Aug. 29, 2017, and was reinstated on March 1 for his part in withdrawing money from a client’s account in excess of what he was owed for fees.
The Statewide Grievance Committee noticed the discrepancy after Beaudoin’s IOLTA account was selected for a random six-month audit. IOLTA accounts are interest-bearing accounts for the benefit of the client.
The grievance committee wrote that the audit “disclosed numerous problematic transactions that occurred on the IOLTA account.” The committee also wrote that it found Beaudoin’s “apology sincere. The court further finds that the respondent is truly remorseful and ashamed of his behavior.”
The Statewide Grievance Committee has imposed conditions for Bridgeport attorney Dennis Bradley to follow, after finding he did not properly manage his IOLTA account.
Bradley and the Office of Chief Disciplinary Counsel agreed that the attorney, who is a partner with Bradley, Denkovich & Karayiannis, will attend in person and at his own expense one Connecticut legal education course on IOLTA management.
The Statewide Grievance Committee made a presentment in the case of Hamden-based solo practitioner Joseph Chiarelli.
The reviewing committee of the grievance committee found that Chiarelli “by clear and convincing evidence … engaged in unethical conduct” as it related to his representation of a client in a personal injury claim stemming from a April 2011 motor vehicle accident.
The grievance complaint stated that Chiarelli had not disclosed any funds to his client from two settlement checks, in the amounts of $20,000 and $25,000, received in the personal injury matter.
The presentment is pending a final decision from the committee.
The reviewing committee of the Statewide Grievance Committee has reprimanded New Britain-based solo practitioner Robert Fiedler for allegedly making inappropriate comments to a courthouse staff member in the court services center.
Fiedler was admitted to the state bar in 1987 and has no previous history of discipline.
The Office of Chief Disciplinary Counsel has suspended New Haven-based solo practitioner Keisha Gatison from practicing law for one year, effective Jan. 22.
The suspension stems from Gatison not obeying a judge’s May 2018 order not to accept any new clients or matters until resolution of a grievance related to a postjudgment dissolution matter against her.
In October 2016, Gatison was hired to provide legal representation in that postjudgment dissolution case. Gatison, who asked for a retainer of $1,750 and received $1,000 toward the fee, did some legal research but never filed anything in court, and was unresponsive to inquires from the client, according to the grievance committee.
Paul Manafort Jr.
Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort Jr. was barred from ever practicing law in Connecticut.
The Office of Chief Disciplinary Counsel brought its presentment case against the 69-year-old New Britain native late last year in light of his guilty pleas on two conspiracy counts. Manafort, who now lives in Virginia, could face more than 10 years in prison when he is sentenced in two separate court hearings this week and next week.
The Statewide Grievance Committee has ordered East Haven solo practitioner Enrico Vaccaro to take continuing legal education courses for his involvement in a case in which a client retained him with regard to a motor vehicle tort.
The client alleged that, despite numerous attempts. Vaccaro failed to communicate with her for “a period of years.”
The Statewide Grievance Committee has suspended Glastonbury attorney Robert Wynne for 60 days for failing on numerous occasions to communicate with a former client and her new counsel regarding a medical lien settlement.
The grievance committee said Wynne “collected his full contingent fee but did not timely comply with his responsibility to pay off the medical lien, rendering his fee unreasonable.”
In addition, the grievance committee also said Wynne permitted overdrafts to occur in his IOLTA account, which “constituted an unauthorized use of client account funds.”