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People v. Burton.

No. 21PDJ009. 6/10/2021. Reciprocal Discipline—Attorney Suspended.

July 2021

The Presiding Disciplinary Judge entered default and imposed reciprocal discipline, suspending John S. Burton (attorney registration number 12188) from the practice of law in Colorado for six months and one day, with the requirement that he must petition for reinstatement to be reinstated to the practice of law in Colorado. Burton’s suspension took effect on June 10, 2021.

This reciprocal discipline case arose out of discipline imposed upon Burton in Arizona. On March 11, 2020, the Presiding Disciplinary Judge for the State Bar of Arizona (Arizona PDJ) issued an order suspending Burton from the practice of law for six months and one day. The sanction was premised on Burton’s misconduct in two client matters. In the first matter, a client hired Burton to prepare, file, and prosecute two trademark applications before the US Patent and Trademark Office. Burton accepted payment from the client for legal work and for the application fees. Burton failed to place the application fees in a trust account, and he never submitted the applications or applied the fees on behalf of his client. Burton also failed to respond to his client’s communications and to update his client about the applications. In another matter, a client retained Burton to review a technology licensing agreement and to provide an opinion letter. Despite accepting payment for the services, Burton never provided his client with the opinion letter and failed to respond to his client’s communications.

In addition to his misconduct in the two client matters, Burton failed to comply with a previous disciplinary order that the Arizona PDJ entered against him on March 15, 2019, resulting in the termination of his probation in that case.

Through this conduct, Burton engaged in conduct constituting grounds for reciprocal discipline under CRCP 251.21, which calls for imposition of the same discipline as that imposed in Arizona.

Official Office of the Presiding Disciplinary Judge proceedings can be found at the Office of the Presiding Disciplinary Judge website.

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