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In re Crow

March 28, 2008

IN THE MATTER OF CHERIE N. CROW, RESPONDENT.


Per curiam.

ORIGINAL PROCEEDING IN DISCIPLINE

Indefinite suspension.

This is an original uncontested proceeding in discipline filed by the office of the Disciplinary Administrator against respondent, Cherie N. Crow, of Prairie Village, Kansas, an attorney admitted to the practice of law in Kansas in 1998. Respondent's license to practice law in Kansas was temporarily suspended on October 6, 2004, for failure to pay the annual attorney registration fee, fulfill the required hours of continuing legal education, pay the noncompliance fee for the 2003-04 compliance period, and pay the annual CLE fee for 2004. The suspension remains in effect.

A hearing was held before a panel of the Kansas Board for Discipline of Attorneys on July 24, 2007. The respondent did not appear.

The hearing panel concluded that the respondent violated KRPC 8.1(b) (2007 Kan. Ct. R. Annot. 553) (failure to respond and to cooperate with investigation) and Supreme Court Rule 207(b) (2007 Kan. Ct. R. Annot. 288) (duty to cooperate). The panel unanimously recommends that the respondent be indefinitely suspended from the practice of law in the state of Kansas. Respondent did not file exceptions to the final hearing report.

The panel's findings of fact, conclusions of law, and recommendations for discipline are reproduced in part as follows:

"FINDINGS OF FACT

"2. In approximately June, 2004, James Chivers filed a complaint against the Respondent. Thereafter, on June 10, 2004, Frank D. Diehl, Deputy Disciplinary Administrator, wrote to the Respondent, informed her that a complaint had been filed, enclosed a copy of the complaint, and directed her to respond to the complaint in writing within 15 days. The Respondent failed to provide a written response to the complaint as directed.

"3. On August 6, 2004, Mr. Diehl again wrote to the Respondent. Mr. Diehl reminded the Respondent that he had previously directed her to provide a written response to Mr. Chivers' complaint. Mr. Diehl directed the Respondent to provide a written response to the complaint within ten days. The Respondent again failed to provide a written response to Mr. Chivers' complaint.

"4. Mr. Diehl referred Mr. Chivers' complaint to the Johnson County Ethics and Grievance Committee for investigation. Frank L. Austenfeld, a member of the Johnson County Ethics and Grievance Committee, was appointed to investigate Mr. Chivers' complaint. On August 30, 2004, Mr. Austenfeld wrote to the Respondent and directed her to provide a written response to Mr. Chivers' complaint within seven days. The Respondent failed to provide a written response to Mr. Chivers' complaint as directed.

"5. On November 3, 2004, Mr. Austenfeld again wrote to the Respondent and directed her to provide a written response to Mr. Chivers' complaint within ten days. The Respondent again failed to provide a written response to Mr. Chivers' complaint.

"6. On December 23, 2004, Mr. Austenfeld informed the Disciplinary Administrator's office that the Respondent failed to cooperate in the investigation of Mr. Chivers' complaint. Mr. Austenfeld recommended that the disciplinary proceedings commence, given the Respondent's failure to cooperate.

"7. On October 6, 2006, Terry L. Morgan, Special Investigator for the Office of the Disciplinary Administrator, wrote to the Respondent and directed her to contact him to schedule an interview. The Respondent failed to contact Mr. Morgan as directed.

"8. On March 9, 2007, Mr. Diehl filed a Formal Complaint. On that same date, Mr. Diehl had a copy of the Formal Complaint and Notice of Hearing sent, via certified mail, to the Respondent at her last registration address. The package containing the copy of the Formal Complaint and the Notice of Hearing was returned by the United States Post Office to the Disciplinary ...


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