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In re Webb

October 26, 2007

IN THE MATTER OF DENNIS D. WEBB, RESPONDENT.


Per curiam.

ORIGINAL PROCEEDING IN DISCIPLINE

Indefinite suspension.

This is an original uncontested proceeding in discipline filed by the Disciplinary Administrator's office against Dennis D. Webb, of Wichita, an attorney admitted to the practice of law in Kansas in 1978. The formal complaint against respondent alleges violations of KRPC 1.3 (2006 Kan. Ct. R. Annot. 371) (diligence); 1.4 (2006 Kan. Ct. R. Annot. 386) (communication); 1.8(a) (2006 Kan. Ct. R. Annot. 417) (business transaction with client); 1.16(d) (2006 Kan. Ct. R. Annot. 448) (terminating representation); 8.1(b) (2006 Kan. Ct. R. Annot. 505) (failing to respond to a lawful demand); and 8.4(d) (2006 Kan. Ct. R. Annot. 510) (conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice).

The Kansas Board for Discipline of Attorneys held a hearing on November 14, 2006, in Topeka, Kansas. Respondent appeared in person. The hearing panel made the following findings of fact:

Complaint by Kim Bannon

"2. In October 2003, Kim M. Bannon retained the Respondent to represent her in a cause of action against two medical testing manufacturers.

"3. Ms. Bannon was dissatisfied with the Respondent's representation and on June 27, 2005, she filed a complaint against the Respondent.

"4. On July 8, 2005, the Disciplinary Administrator wrote to the Respondent, enclosed a copy of Ms. Bannon's complaint, and directed the Respondent to provide a written response within 20 days.

"5. On July 20, 2005, David M. Rapp, the Chairman of the Wichita Ethics and Grievance Committee wrote to the Respondent. Mr. Rapp informed the Respondent that Timothy J. Finnerty had been assigned to investigate the complaint and reminded the Respondent to provide a written response to the complaint in accordance with the direction of the Disciplinary Administrator.

"6. The Respondent failed to provide a written response to the complaint as required.

"7. On October 17, 2005, Mr. Finnerty reminded the Respondent of his obligation to provide a written response to Ms. Bannon's complaint. The Respondent assured Mr. Finnerty that he would provide a written response to the complaint by October 24, 2005.

"8. The Respondent never provided a written response to the complaint."

Complaint by Bryant Colbert

"9. On October 29, 2002, [Bryant] Colbert retained the Respondent to prepare and file a habeas corpus petition in the Reno County District Court. At the time, Mr. Colbert was imprisoned in the Hutchinson Correctional Facility. Also on October 29, 2002, Mr. Colbert sent the Respondent $300.00 from his inmate account for attorney fees.

"10. In November 2002, the Respondent met with Mr. Colbert at the prison. During that meeting, the Respondent told Mr. Colbert that 'he could get [him] back in court and get [him] another trial and possibly get [him] released.' Mr. Colbert agreed to pay the Respondent an additional $2,500.00 for preparing and filing the petition for habeas corpus and another $2,500.00 if the Respondent represented Mr. Colbert at a new trial. Additionally, the Respondent directed Mr. Colbert to pay $1,000 for expenses. On December 20, 2002, Mr. Colbert sent the Respondent a check for $3,500.00.

"11. Thereafter, the Respondent provided Mr. Colbert with a draft copy of a petition. Other than providing Mr. Colbert with a draft copy of a petition, the Respondent took no other action for Mr. Colbert nor did he have any additional contact with Mr. Colbert. The Respondent never filed the petition in behalf of Mr. Colbert.

"12. The Respondent provided no other legal services to Mr. Colbert. The Respondent failed to refund any of the advanced fees or advanced expenses to Mr. Colbert.

"13. On August 12, 2005, Mr. Colbert filed a complaint with the Disciplinary Administrator regarding the Respondent's representation. On August 15, 2005, the Disciplinary Administrator wrote to the Respondent directing him to file a written response to the complaint within 20 days.

"14. On August 19, 2005, Mr. Rapp reminded the Respondent to provide a written response to the complaint in compliance with the direction from the Disciplinary Administrator. The Respondent failed to provide a written response to the complaint as required by the Disciplinary Administrator.

"15. Mr. Rapp appointed Mr. Finnerty to investigate the complaint. On October 5, 2005, Mr. Finnerty wrote to the Respondent directing the Respondent to provide a written response to the complaint. The Respondent failed to provide a written response to the complaint following Mr. Finnerty's letter.

"16. On October 17, 2005, Mr. Finnerty spoke with the Respondent by telephone regarding the pending complaints. At that time, the Respondent promised to provide a written ...


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