C. Tom Zaratti, Bar No. 22247500, was disbarred following his Sept. 16, 2004, conviction for possession of child pornography in State of Texas v. C. Tom Zaratti, Cause No. 952417, in the 180th District Court of Harris County. On the same date, the trial court sentenced Zaratti to 10 years of imprisonment, a fine of $10,000 and costs of $563. The judgment of disbarment is dated April 9 and indicates Zaratti objected to the Motion for Entry of Final Judgment contesting the finality of his conviction.
Zaratti could not be reached for comment before presstime, because neither the State Bar nor the telephone company had a working telephone number for him.
(Board of Disciplinary Appeals, No. 34105)
Christopher J. Tome, of Travis County, Bar No. 20117000, was placed on probation for two years for violations including failing, as a lawyer having direct supervisory authority over a nonlawyer employed or retained by or associated with the lawyer, to make reasonable efforts to ensure that the nonlawyer’s conduct is compatible with the professional obligations of the lawyer; and knowingly failing, with respect to a non-lawyer employed or retained by or associate with the lawyer, to take reasonable remedial action to avoid or mitigate the consequences of that non-lawyer’s misconduct; and violating the Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct, knowingly assisting or inducing another to do so, or doing so through the acts of another, whether or not such violation occurred in the course of a client-lawyer relationship.
The agreed judgment, dated April 22, orders Tome to pay $3,400 in attorneys’ fees and direct expenses to the State Bar of Texas. The judgment also orders Tome to meet with an attorney monitor on a monthly basis and provide quarterly trust account reports to the Office of the Chief Disciplinary Counsel.
(Evidentiary Panel 09A1, No. A0070409288)
David Valetutto of Harris County, Bar No. 00786453, was placed on probation for 24 months for violations including failing to hold funds and other property belonging in whole or in part to clients or third persons that are in a lawyer’s possession in connection with a representation separate from the lawyer’s own property; failing, upon receipt of funds or other property in which a client or third person has an interest, to promptly notify the client or third person, to promptly deliver to the client or third person any funds or other property that the client or third person is entitled to receive and, upon request by the client or third person, to promptly render a full accounting regarding such property; and engaging in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation.
The agreed judgment, dated April 16, orders Valetutto to pay $1,596.20 in attorneys’ fees and direct expenses to the State Bar of Texas. The judgment also orders Valetutto to take an ethics course in addition to the three hours of ethics currently required.
(Evidentiary Panel 4AI, No. H0110623510)
Arthur C. Washington of Harris County, Bar No. 20897157, was placed on probation for nine months for violations including neglecting a legal matter entrusted to the lawyer; and failing to keep a client reasonably informed about the status of a matter and to promptly comply with reasonable requests for information.
The agreed judgment, dated April 7, orders Washington to pay $1,800 in attorneys’ fees and direct expenses to the State Bar of Texas, and also pay $1,250 in restitution to the complainant.
(Evidentiary Panel 4B04, No. H0020723900)