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In re of McDaneld

Supreme Court of Kansas

March 3, 2017

In the Matter of Jason Richard McDaneld, Respondent.

         ORIGINAL PROCEEDING IN DISCIPLINE

          Penny R. Moylan, Deputy Disciplinary Administrator, argued the cause, and Stanton A. Hazlett, Disciplinary Administrator, was with her on the formal complaint for the petitioner.

          Respondent did not appear.

          PER CURIAM.

         This is an uncontested original proceeding in discipline filed by the office of the Disciplinary Administrator against respondent, Jason Richard McDaneld, of Topeka, an attorney admitted to the practice of law in Kansas in 2008.

         On July 7, 2016, the office of the Disciplinary Administrator filed a formal complaint against respondent alleging violations of the Kansas Rules of Professional Conduct (KRPC), and on July 12, 2016, the same office filed an amended formal complaint. Respondent did not file an answer. A hearing was held on the complaint before a panel of the Kansas Board for Discipline of Attorneys on September 7, 2016, where the respondent did not appear. The hearing panel determined that respondent violated KRPC 5.5(a) (2017 Kan. S.Ct. R. 361) (unauthorized practice of law); 8.4(d) (2017 Kan. S.Ct. R. 379) (engaging in conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice); 8.1(b) (2017 Kan. S.Ct. R. 377) (failure to disclose a fact necessary to correct a misapprehension known by respondent); Supreme Court Rule 207(b) (2017 Kan. S.Ct. R. 246) (failure to cooperate in disciplinary investigation); Rule 211(b) (2017 Kan. S.Ct. R. 251) (failure to file answer in disciplinary proceeding); and Rule 218(a) (2017 Kan. S.Ct. R. 262) (notification of clients upon suspension).

         Upon conclusion of the hearing, the panel made the following findings of fact and conclusions of law, together with its recommendation to this court:

         "Findings of Fact

. . . .
"6. On September 24, 2014, the Kansas Supreme Court issued an order suspending the respondent's license to practice law for failing to pay the continuing legal education fee and for failing to comply with the continuing legal education requirements. A copy of the order was sent to the respondent and the respondent knew or should have known of his suspension.
"7. After his license to practice law had been suspended, the respondent continued to practice law. The respondent appeared in court as attorney of record in at least the following cases in Shawnee County District Court:
'a. State v. Kennedy, 2014-CR-934;
'b. State v. Kuykendall, 2014-CR-2339;
'c. State v. Dalrymple, 2014-TR-7584;
'd. State v. Kelly, 2014-CR-2192;
'e. State v. Slusser, 2014-TR-6649;
'f. State v. Lopez, 2014-CR-2349;
'g. State v. Murphy, 2014-TR-830;
'h. State v. Merryfield, 2014-CR-1794.'
"8. On April 27, 2015, Gray Horse Farms, LLC filed a petition against the respondent and DL&K Enterprises, Inc. d/b/a Ichabod Laundra Bar in Shawnee County District Court, case number 2015LM4891, seeking damages. On May 11, 2015, 8 months after being suspended, the respondent filed an answer to the petition on behalf of himself and DL&K Enterprises, Inc. d/b/a Ichabod Laundra Bar. Additionally, the respondent filed a motion to continue a hearing on behalf of DL&K Enterprises, Inc. d/b/a Ichabod Laundra Bar. DL&K Enterprises, Inc. d/b/a Ichabod Laundra Bar is wholly owned by the respondent. The motion to continue included the following: 'The reason for this request is the Defendant is an attorney and has to be in Municipal Court at the same time as the current setting.' Again, at the time the respondent filed the motion, the respondent's license to practice law remained suspended.
"9. On May 26, 2015, Kate Baird, deputy disciplinary administrator sent a letter to the respondent, explaining that the disciplinary administrator's office had received a report that the respondent was practicing law even though his license to do so was suspended. Ms. Baird directed the respondent to provide an explanation within 15 days. The respondent failed to respond to the letter.
"10. On November 2, 2015, Wesley F. Smith filed a complaint against the respondent, alleging that the respondent practiced law without a license.
"11. On November 3, 2015, Ms. Baird sent a second letter to the respondent, explaining that the disciplinary administrator's office had docketed the complaint for investigation. Pat Scalia was appointed to investigate the complaint.
"12. On November 16, 2015, Ms. Scalia directed the respondent to provide a written response by November 30, 2015. The respondent failed to provide a written response to the complaint as directed by Ms. Scalia.
"13. On February 9, 2016, Terry L. Morgan, special investigator for the disciplinary administrator sent an electronic mail message to the respondent, requesting that the respondent contact Stanton A. Hazlett. That same day, the respondent responded as follows:
'I have chosen a different career path. I don't have the time to accommadate [sic] Mr. Hazlett in any way. If they want to simply suspend my license that is fine. For the time being, I am done practicing. I would prefer not to receive any further communications.'
"14. On July 7, 2016, Ms. Moylan filed the formal complaint in this case. The disciplinary administrator's office forwarded a copy of the formal complaint to the respondent by certified mail and by regular mail. The copy of the formal complaint sent by certified mail was returned to the disciplinary administrator's office. The copy of the formal complaint sent by regular mail was not returned.
"15. On July 12, 2016, Ms. Moylan filed an amended formal complaint. The disciplinary administrator's office forwarded a copy of the amended formal complaint to the respondent by regular mail. The copy of the amended formal complaint was not returned.
"Conclusions of Law
"16. It is appropriate to consider violations not specifically included in the formal complaint under certain circumstances. The law in this regard was thoroughly examined in State v. Caenen, 235 Kan. 451, 681 P.2d 639 (1984), as follows:
'Supreme Court Rule 211(b) (232 Kan. clxvi), requires the formal complaint in a disciplinary proceeding to be sufficiently clear and specific to inform the ...

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