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Vermont Supreme Court

Professional Responsibility Board Decisions

The Professional Responsibility Board has several standing hearing panels that adjudicate disciplinary cases.    If no appeal is a filed and the Supreme Court does not order review on its own motion, a hearing panel decision has the full force and effect of an order of the Court. Hearing panel decisions can be found here: 

Click here for Record of Decisions PRIOR to 7/1/15

Record of Decisions 7/1/15 to Present are listed below.  To view a hearing panel decision, click on the file name in the 'Link to Hearing Panel Decision' column or to view a Supreme Court order, click on the file name in the ‘Link to Supreme Court Entry Order.'


 

Supreme Court Building

PRB
Decision
No.
Case NameLink to Hearing
Panel Decision
Hearing
Panel
Decision
Date
StatusVermont
Reports
Cite
Link to Supreme
Court
Entry Order
Digest Summary
203Anonymous Attorney203.prb2013-145SCTEO.pdf1/5/2017Final2017 VT 8Supreme Court Entry OrderADMONITION. Disciplinary Counsel and the respondent presented stipulated facts to a hearing panel of the Professional Responsibility Board. The parties did not agree as to violations or sanction. Following a hearing, the panel concluded that respondent failed to perform timely trust account reconciliations and failed to maintain accurate trust account records. The panel rejected disciplinary counsel’s argument that respondent had commingled funds. The panel admonished respondent, declining to accept disciplinary counsel’s argument that a public reprimand was appropriate. On January 25, 2017, the Vermont Supreme Court issued an order adopting the hearing panel’s decision as its own, noting that it “presents a well-reasoned discussion of a problem common in legal practice, particularly for small firms and solo practitioners.” 2017 VT 8.
202Susan L. MoraleSCT EO Interim Suspension - Susan Morale.pdfInterim SuspensionINTERIM SUSPENSION. On December 29, 2016, the Vermont Supreme Court issued an entry order immediately suspending Susan Morale’s license to practice law on an interim basis.
200James LaMonda200.prb2015-087LaMonda.pdf12/19/2016Finaln/aPUBLIC REPRIMAND WITH RESTITUTION. Respondent was publicly reprimanded and ordered to pay restitution for failing to notify his former firm that he had collected fees subject to an interest asserted by the firm, and by failing to segregate and hold those disputed fees in a trust account until the firm’s claim was resolved. Respondent violated Rules 1.15(a), 1.15(d) and 1.15(e) of the Vermont Rules of Professional Conduct.
199Clare Creek Kelsey199.prb2016-049 SCT EO 2016-290 - Transfer to Disability Inactive Status.pdfFinalTRANSFERRED TO DISABILITY/INACTIVE STATUS. Respondent transferred to Disability/Inactive Status effective immediately per E.O. 2016-290 of the Supreme Court dated August 25, 2016.
198Anonymous Attorney198.prb2016-042.pdf7/28/2016Final2016 VT 94ADMONITION BY DISCIPLINARY COUNSEL. Respondent failed to maintain proper control and oversight of his client trust accounts, enabling an employee to misappropriate client funds. A hearing panel approved an admonition by disciplinary counsel after concluding that Respondent had violated Rules 1.15(a), 5.3(a) and 5.3(b) of the Vermont Rules of Professional Conduct. The Court ordered review of the decision on its own motion, adopted the hearing panel decision in its entirety as a final order of the Court, waived briefing and oral argument and ordered that the decision be published in Vermont Reports. 2016 VT 94.
197Elizabeth K. Norsworthy2016-182 - SUPREME COURT EO.pdfInterim Suspensionn/aINTERIM SUSPENSION. On July 1, 2016, the Supreme Court issued an Order for the immediate interim suspension of the Respondent's law license.
196Phyliss McCoy-Jacien196.prb2016-023McCoy-Jacien.pdf7/18/2016FinalPUBLIC REPRIMAND WITH SIX MONTHS PROBATION: Respondent failed to file her Vermont income tax returns for calendar years 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014.
195Anonymous Attorney195.prb2016.096.pdf3/29/2016FinalADMONITION BY DISCIPLINARY COUNSEL. Respondent failed to act with reasonable diligence and promptness in a probate matter.
194Blais, Norman R.PRB 2015-084 - Decision No. 194.pdf3/22/2016Finaln/aPUBLIC REPRIMAND AND TWO YEARS PROBATION. Respondent failed to respond to formal discovery requests in an uninsured motorist case by failing to respond to Opposing Counsel’s motion to compel discovery, and by failing to comply with the Court’s discovery order. No review by Supreme Court.
193Appel, Kenneth M. Supreme Court EO 16-007 Transferring To Disability Inactive.pdfFinalTRANSFERRED TO DISABILITY/INACTIVE STATUS. Respondent transferred to Disability/Inactive Status per E.O. 2016-007 of the Supreme Court dated October 19, 2016.
192William M. O'BrienEO 2015-463 - SCT.pdfFinal2016 VT 133SCT EO DisbarmentDISBARMENT. On January 12, 2016, the Vermont Supreme Court ordered the immediate interim suspension of Mr. O’Brien’s law license. The Court concluded that disciplinary counsel had transmitted to the Court evidence sufficient to establish that Mr. O’Brien had committed a violation of the Rules of Professional Conduct and posed a substantial threat of serious harm to the public. On December 19, 2016, the Supreme Court accepted Mr. Sullivan’s Affidavit of Resignation and disbarred him.
192William M. O'Brien (Affidavit of Resignation)Affidavit of Resignation 16-052.pdfFinalWilliam O'Brien's Affidavit of Resignation
192William M. O'Brien's Statement of Additional FactsStatement of Additional Facts Including Exhibit 1 Plea Agreement 16-052.pdfFinalWilliam O'Brien's Statement of Additional Facts
192O'Brien, William M.2016-052 Entry Order William M. OBrien Interim Suspension.pdfInterim Suspensionn/aWilliam O'Brien's Interim Suspension Order
191In re Anonymous Attorney191.prb2016.045 SCT ENTRY ORDER 15-362.pdfFinalSupreme Court Entry Order 2015-362RECIPROCAL DISCIPLINE. A Vermont attorney who is also admitted in Arizona was disciplined in Arizona. The Vermont Supreme Court imposed reciprocal discipline here in Vermont.
190Anonymous190.prb2015-022.pdf8/11/2015Finaln/aADMONITION BY DISCIPLINARY COUNSEL. Respondent communicated with a person known to be represented by counsel without the other lawyer's consent in violation of Rule 4.2 of the Vermont Rules of Professional Conduct.
189Anonymous Attorney189.prb2015-002.pdf7/14/2015Final2015 VT 101EO 15-258ADMONITION BY DISCIPLINARY COUNSEL. Respondent self-reported a failure to reduce a contingent fee agreement to writing. A hearing panel approved an Admonition by Disciplinary Counsel. The Court ordered review of the decision on its own motion, adopted the hearing panel decision in its entirety as a final order of the Court, waived briefing and oral argument and ordered that the decision be published in Vermont Reports
188Obregon, ChristenaIn re Christena Obregon, Esq.PRB.pdfFinal2016 VT 32Supreme Court Entry Order dated March 11, 2016PUBLIC REPRIMAND. Respondent failed to file state income tax returns in 2006, 2008, 2009, and 2010. A hearing panel of the PRB accepted a joint recommendation from the parties that it publicly reprimand the Respondent for failing to file tax returns. The Supreme Court ordered review and requested the parties to address whether it should find additional violations from Respondent’s filing of attorney licensing statements in which she certified that she was in good standing with respect to taxes owed to the State. With respect to the failure to file tax returns, the Court affirmed the public reprimand. With respect to the licensing statements, the Court concluded that Respondent’s certifications of being in good standing did not violate the Rules of Professional Conduct. In re Obregon, 2016 VT 32.
188Obregon, Christena188.prb2012-133Obregon.pdf7/7/2015FinalPUBLIC REPRIMAND. Respondent knowingly and intentionally failed to file state income tax returns in 2006, 2008, 2009, and 2010. Respondent and Disciplinary Counsel joined to recommend a public reprimand for a violation of Rule 8.4(c). A hearing panel accepted the recommendation and publicly reprimanded the Respondent. COURT ORDERED REVIEW ON THEIR OWN MOTION. See Supreme Court Entry Order 2016 VT 32
187Sullivan, ChristopherSullivan Disbarment EO, Affidavit of Resignation, Statement of Additional Facts, and Interim Suspension EO.pdfFinal2015 VT 141On June 12, 2015, the Vermont Supreme Court ordered the immediate interim suspension of Mr. Sullivan’s law license. Respondent and Disciplinary Counsel had stipulated to Respondent’s interim suspension based upon his conviction of two felonies which constitute “serious crimes” under A.O. 17. On November 24, 2015, the Supreme Court accepted Mr. Sullivan’s Affidavit of Resignation and disbarred him.
187Sullivan, Christopher187.prb2013-221 Sullivan Disbarment ENTRY ORDER 15-217.pdfFinal2015 VT 141Supreme Court Disbarment E.O.DISBARMENT. On June 12, 2015, the Vermont Supreme Court ordered the immediate interim suspension of Mr. Sullivan’s law license. Respondent and Disciplinary Counsel had stipulated to Respondent’s interim suspension based upon his conviction of two felonies which constitute “serious crimes” under A.O. 17. On November 24, 2015, the Supreme Court accepted Mr. Sullivan’s Affidavit of Resignation and disbarred him.
187Sullivan, ChristopherRule19.Affidavit.resignation.final.pdfFinaln/aChristopher Sullivan's Affidavit of Resignation
187Sullivan, ChristopherRule19.Statement.Additional.Facts.final.pdfFinaln/aChristopher Sullivan's Statement of Additional Facts
187Christopher Sullivan187.prb2013-221InterimSuspension.pdfInterim SuspensionSullivan Interim SuspensionInterim Suspension Order
146Susan S. Rockwell146. Rockwell - Transfer to Disability-Inactive Status.pdfFinalTRANSFERRED TO DISABILITY/INACTIVE STATUS. Respondent transferred to Disability/Inactive Status effective immediately per E.O. 2011-234 of the Supreme Court dated August 23, 2016.