3 Arizona attorneys reprimanded for misconduct

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CBS 5 News CBS 5 News

Three Arizona attorneys, two from Phoenix and one from Tucson, have been reprimanded by the Arizona Supreme Court.

John Curtin, of Phoenix, was placed on probation for one year. He was ordered to pay $1,286.71 to the State Bar of Arizona for costs and expenses incurred during its investigation. Curtin must also take part in the Bar's Law Office Management Assistance Program and its Trust Account Ethics Program.

Curtin failed to properly supervise his assistant, whom he relied on to create and maintain his trust account records, State Bar officials said. In 2012, Curtin's trust account became overdrawn and he learned that his assistant misappropriated funds from both his trust and operating accounts, including settlement proceeds due to a client and a lien holder.  

In a separate case, another attorney, Mark Pyper, of Phoenix, was placed on probation for two years. He was ordered to pay $1,200 to the State Bar of Arizona and was ordered to participate in the Bar's Law Office Management Program and its Member Assistance Program.

Pyper failed to provide in writing the scope of the representation and the basis of his fee. Among other things, State Bar officials said he failed to advise his client about a counterclaim that could have lead to costly attorney's fees, failed to communicate that the matter had been moved to Superior Court, failed to appear for several court hearings, and withdrew representation while an application for attorney's fees was pending.

Roberto Salazar, of Tucson, was found to have violated Rules of Professional Conduct in three separate cases. He was placed on probation for two years and ordered to pay $1,200 to the State Bar of Arizona. He, too, was ordered to enroll in the Bar's Law Office Management Program. He must also complete specified Continued Legal Education courses and participate in fee arbitration with one client. 

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