Stephen T. Leas of Hidalgo County, State Bar No. 12095255, has been placed on probation for two years for the following violations of the Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct:

• Rule 1.03(a): A lawyer shall keep a client reasonably informed about the status of a matter and promptly comply with reasonable requests for information; and

• Rule 8.04(a)(8): A lawyer shall not fail to timely furnish to the Chief Disciplinary Counsel’s office or a district grievance committee a response or other information as required by the Texas Rules of Disciplinary Procedure, unless he or she in good faith timely asserts a privilege or other legal ground for failure to do so.

The March 26 agreed judgment orders Leas to pay $1,000 in attorney fees and direct expenses to the State Bar of Texas and $1,800 in restitution.

(275th District Court, Hidalgo County, C-1656-11-E)

Chukwu Uwakwe Oko of Harris County, State Bar No. 24007771, has been publicly reprimanded for the following violation of the Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct:

• Rule 8.04(a)(7): A lawyer shall not violate any disciplinary or disability order or judgment.

The May 3 agreed judgment orders Oko to pay $347.88 in attorney fees and direct expenses to the State Bar of Texas and $3,212.50, $7,817.80 and $5,591.29 in restitution.

(269th District Court, Harris County, 2011-36481)

Kimberly Pinkerton of Dallas County, State Bar No. 24046634, has been publicly reprimanded for the following violations of the Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct:

• Rule 1.01(b)(1): In representing a client, a lawyer shall not neglect a legal matter entrusted to the lawyer;

• Rule 1.03(a): A lawyer shall keep a client reasonably informed about the status of a matter and promptly comply with reasonable requests for information;

• Rule 1.03(b): A lawyer shall explain a matter to the extent reasonably necessary to permit the client to make informed decisions regarding the representation; and

• Rule 1.14(a): A lawyer shall 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. Such funds shall be kept in a separate account, designated as a trust or escrow account, maintained in the state where the lawyer’s office is situated, or elsewhere with the consent of the client or third person. Other client property shall be identified as such and appropriately safeguarded. Complete records of such account funds and other property shall be kept by the lawyer and shall be preserved for a period of five years after termination of the representation.

The May 10 agreed judgment orders Pinkerton to pay $1,743.75 in attorney fees and direct expenses to the State Bar of Texas and $700 in restitution.

(Evidentiary Panel 6-B1, D0031142548)

William Gary Nellis of Collin County, State Bar No. 90001643, has been suspended for one year and placed on probation for one year for the following alleged violations of the Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct:

• Rule 1.01(b)(1): In representing a client, a lawyer shall not neglect a legal matter entrusted to the lawyer;

• Rule 1.03(a): A lawyer shall keep a client reasonably informed about the status of a matter and promptly comply with reasonable requests for information;

• Rule 1.15(d): Upon termination of representation, a lawyer shall take steps to the extent reasonably practicable to protect a client’s interests, such as giving reasonable notice to the client, allowing time for employment of other counsel, surrendering papers and property to which the client is entitled and refunding any advance payments of fee that has not been earned. The lawyer may retain papers relating to the client to the extent permitted by other law only if such retention will not prejudice the client in the subject matter of the representation; and

• Rule 8.04(a)(8): A lawyer shall not fail to timely furnish to the Chief Disciplinary Counsel’s office or a district grievance committee a response or other information as required by the Texas Rules of Disciplinary Procedure, unless he or she in good faith timely asserts a privilege or other legal ground for failure to do so.

The April 24 judgment orders Nellis to pay $2,500 in attorney fees and direct expenses to the State Bar of Texas and $6,500 in restitution. The judgment also orders Nellis to complete four hours of continuing legal education in the area of Law Practice Management and to make contact with the Chief Disciplinary Counsel’s Office’s compliance monitor and special programs coordinator. A working phone number for Nellis could not be located.

(Evidentiary Panel 1-2, D0101041560)

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