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In re Barker

Supreme Court of Kansas

April 11, 2014

In the Matter of BRENDON P. BARKER, Respondent

Page 768

Alexander M. Walczak, Deputy Disciplinary Administrator, argued the cause and was on the brief for petitioner.

J. Steven Pigg, of Fisher, Patterson, Sayler & Smith, L.L.P., of Topeka, argued the cause and was on the brief for respondent.

Brendon P. Barker, respondent, argued the cause Pro se.

LUCKERT, J., not participating. MARTIN J. ASHER, District Judge, assigned.[1]

Page 769

ORIGINAL PROCEEDING IN DISCIPLINE

Per Curiam

This is a contested original proceeding in discipline filed by the office of the Disciplinary Administrator against the respondent, Brendon P. Barker, of Pratt, an attorney admitted to the practice of law in Kansas in 2001.

On March 20, 2013, the office of the Disciplinary Administrator filed a formal complaint against the respondent alleging violations of the Kansas Rules of Professional Conduct (KRPC). The respondent filed an answer on April 29, 2013, admitting that he violated KRPC 1.1 (2013 Kan. Ct. R. Annot. 446) (competence); KRPC 1.3 (2013 Kan. Ct. R. Annot. 464) (diligence); KRPC 1.4 (2013 Kan. Ct. R. Annot. 484) (communication); KRPC 1.16(a)(2) (2013 Kan. Ct. R. Annot. 569) (declining or terminating representation); and KRPC 8.4(g) (2013 Kan. Ct. R. Annot. 655) (engaging in any other conduct that adversely reflects on the lawyer's fitness to practice law).

On June 5, 2013, a hearing was held on the complaint before a panel of the Kansas Board for Discipline of Attorneys, where the respondent was present and was represented by counsel. Upon conclusion of the hearing, the panel made the following findings of fact and conclusions of law, together with its recommendation to the court:

[299 Kan. 159] " Findings of Fact . . . .
" 8. The Kansas Supreme Court admitted the respondent to the practice of law in the State of Kansas on April 27, 2001. The Missouri Supreme Court admitted the respondent to the practice [of] law in September, 2001.
" 9. The respondent is from Pratt, Kansas. The respondent maintained a law office in Overland Park, Kansas. Later, the respondent established a law office, with his brother, in Pratt, Kansas.
" 10. In October, 2006, D.H. retained the respondent to prepare and file a conservatorship and guardianship case for her

Page 770

mother, J.H., who was unwell following a stroke. Over time, D.H. paid the respondent $1,825.00 for the representation. On October 6, 2006, the respondent filed a petition for conservatorship with the Jackson County, Missouri, probate court.
" 11. The inventory for the estate was due on November 6, 2006. On November 28, 2006, the court issued a notice that the inventory was delinquent. The court ordered D.H. to file the inventory by December 12, 2006. The court sent the notice to the respondent. The respondent failed to forward the notice to D.H. D.H. did not know that the inventory was delinquent.
" 12. On December 3, 2006, J.H. died.
" 13. On January 2, 2007, the court issued a citation to D.H. to appear with counsel for a hearing on February 26, 2007, to file the inventory, to show good cause why the inventory had not been filed, and to show why the letters of conservatorship should not be revoked. It appears that the court forwarded a copy of the notice to D.H. by certified mail and to the respondent by ordinary mail.
" 14. On October 9, 2007, the respondent filed an annual report, a certified copy of J.H.'s death certificate, a final settlement, and an account transaction report. Unfortunately, the ...

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