In the Matter of Joshua T. Mathews, Respondent.
PROCEEDING IN DISCIPLINE
Matthew J. Vogelsberg, Deputy Disciplinary Administrator,
argued the cause, and Stanton A. Hazlett, Disciplinary
Administrator, was with him on the formal complaint for the
T. Mathews, respondent, argued the cause pro se.
an attorney discipline proceeding against Joshua T. Mathews,
of Leawood, Kansas. Respondent was admitted to practice law
in the state of Kansas on April 25, 2008.
December 27, 2018, the Disciplinary Administrator's
office filed a formal complaint against respondent alleging
violations of the Kansas Rules of Professional Conduct
(KRPC). Respondent filed an untimely answer to the formal
complaint on January 31, 2019. The parties entered into a
written stipulation on February 19, 2019, two days prior to
the scheduled hearing on the formal complaint.
of the Kansas Board for Discipline of Attorneys held a
hearing on February 21, 2019. Respondent appeared pro se. The
hearing panel determined respondent violated KRPC 8.4(c)
(2019 Kan. S.Ct. R. 387) (conduct involving dishonesty,
fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation), 8.4(g) (2019 Kan. S.Ct.
R. 387) (conduct adversely reflecting on lawyer's fitness
to practice law), and Supreme Court Rule 211(b) (2019 Kan.
S.Ct. R. 257) (failure to file answer in disciplinary
conclusion of the hearing, the panel made findings of fact,
conclusions of law, and a disciplinary recommendation.
Respondent took no exceptions to the hearing panel's
report but reserved the right to argue about the appropriate
this court, the Disciplinary Administrator's office
endorses the panel's findings and recommends respondent
receive a censure and that the censure be published in the
Kansas Reports. Respondent recommends he be informally
admonished for his rules violations. We quote the
report's pertinent parts below.
"Findings of Fact
. . . .
"8. Attorneys registered as active are required to earn
a minimum of 12 continuing legal education (CLE) credit hours
during each compliance period, ending June 30 each year,
including two hours of ethics credit. Kan. S.Ct. R. 803(a).
One hour of CLE credit is awarded for every '50 minutes
actually spent in attendance at instructional activities,
exclusive of introductory remarks, meals, breaks, or other
noneducational activities.' Kan. S.Ct. R. 804(g)(1).
Active attorneys are limited to earning eight hours of CLE
credit in one day. Kan. S.Ct. R. 806(b).
"9. The respondent failed to satisfy the CLE
requirements for the compliance period ending June 30, 2017.
"10. On September 8, 2017, the respondent attended an
in-person video replay CLE program in Blue Springs, Missouri,
sponsored by the Missouri Bar Association. The respondent
attended 400 minutes of instruction, spanning 8:40 a.m. to
4:30 p.m. The respondent did not attend the ethics program
offered that day.
"11. On September 8, 2017, while attending the in-person
video replay CLE program, the respondent also viewed online
on-demand CLE programs offered by Lawline. The respondent
completed five online on-demand CLE programs offered by
Lawline at 12:35 p.m., 2:10 p.m., 4:06 p.m., 5:23 p.m., and
10:53 p.m. For the Missouri bar, the respondent certified
that he 'listened/viewed the program in a setting
suitable to the course and a suitable writing surface was
available.' Just below the respondent's signatures,
the five certificates included statements that a
'materially false statement shall be subject to
appropriate disciplinary action.'
"12. The respondent forwarded information to the Kansas
CLE Commission claiming that he attended 400 minutes of CLE
for eight hours of CLE credit, including zero hours of ethics
credit, for attending the in-person video replay CLE program.
The respondent also forwarded information to the Kansas CLE
Commission claiming 360 minutes of CLE credit, including 120
minutes of ethics credit for viewing the online on-demand CLE
programs offered by Lawline. The Kansas CLE Commission
received the information from the respondent on September 11,
"13. On September 15, 2017, the respondent completed the
certificate of attendance regarding the September 8, 2017,
in-person video replay CLE program, claiming eight hours of
Kansas CLE credit, including one hour of ethics credit. Just
above the respondent's signature, the certificate of
attendance states that '[c]laiming hours for segments not
actually attended could be a violation of Rule 8.4(c) of the
Kansas Rules of Professional Conduct.' On September 18,
2017, the Kansas CLE Commission received the certificate. At
the hearing on this matter, the respondent testified that his
claim of the one hour of ethics credit was inadvertent and
inaccurate. He acknowledged that he did not attend the ethics
hour offered at the in-person video replay CLE program.
"14. After learning that the respondent was claiming
more than eight hours of CLE credit for one day, Shelley
Sutton, Executive Director of the Kansas CLE Commission
called the respondent. Ms. Sutton asked the respondent
whether he viewed the online courses while in attendance at
the in-person video replay CLE program. The respondent
falsely denied doing so. The respondent claimed that during
the in-person video replay CLE program, the respondent merely
logged into the Lawline website to print out the certificates
of attendance. Ms. Sutton asked the respondent to contact
Lawline and request the 'backlog' which would show
the respondent's login and logoff times and polling
"15. About an hour later, the respondent called Ms.
Sutton and admitted to her that he had watched the online
programs while in attendance at the in-person video replay
program. Ms. Sutton recommended that the respondent
self-report his conduct to the disciplinary
administrator's office. Ms. Sutton informed the
respondent that he would not receive credit for any of the
programming he attended on September 8, 2017.
"16. On September 22, 2017, the respondent self-reported
his conduct. In his letter, the respondent stated:
'I received a call today from Shelley Sutton of the
Kansas CLE Commission, asking me about the CLE hours I had
turned in for the 2016-2017 compliance period. I was late
with my hours, and due to last minute cancellation of a CLE
that I had signed up for, I was attempting to get everything
wound up at the last minute before suspension letters went
'On Friday, September 8, 2017 I attended a Missouri Video
Replay CLE session, attending eight hours of programming.
During the session, I also viewed online CLE programs
available from Lawline. I really didn't consider that it
might be an ethics violation at the time, or violate the
rules regarding Continuing Legal Education. That said, it
should have occurred to me, or I should have researched it
more before doing so. It also makes sense that the Rules
would prohibit this behavior, as I'm ...