People v. Cornejo.
No. 21PDJ085 (consolidated with Nos. 22PDJ026 and 22PDJ057). 6/13/2023. Opinion Imposing Sanctions.
September 15, 2023
Following a disciplinary hearing, a hearing board disbarred Derrick Duane Cornejo (attorney registration number 29438), effective August 1, 2023.
Cornejo forged his client’s name to endorse two checks, deposited the checks in his trust account without his client’s permission, and knowingly converted over $5,000. He also disobeyed a court directive and failed to appear in court on five occasions in three different client matters. Finally, he pleaded guilty to neglect of an at-risk person after he left his disabled mother outside his downtown Denver apartment in her wheelchair in the middle of the night.
Through this conduct, Cornejo violated Colo. RPC 1.3 (a lawyer must act with reasonable diligence and promptness when representing a client); Colo. RPC 1.15A(a) (a lawyer must hold client property separate from the lawyer’s own property): Colo. RPC 3.4(c) (a lawyer must not knowingly disobey an obligation under the rules of a tribunal); Colo. RPC 8.4(b) (it is professional misconduct for a lawyer to commit a criminal act that reflects adversely on the lawyer’s honesty, trustworthiness, or fitness as a lawyer in other respects); and Colo. RPC 8.4(c) (it is professional misconduct for a lawyer to engage in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation).