People v. English.
No. 21PDJ030. 4/4/2022. Opinion Imposing Sanctions.
A hearing board suspended Daniel Lee English (attorney registration number 01731) for 18 months, effective May 9, 2022. On October 28, 2022, the Colorado Supreme Court affirmed the order without opinion. To be reinstated to the practice of law in Colorado, English must prove by clear and convincing evidence that he has been rehabilitated, has complied with all disciplinary orders and rules, and is fit to practice law.
From 2018 through 2020, English commingled his personal property with clients’ property by keeping his earned fees, unearned client funds, and settlement funds in his trust account. He also transferred his personal funds into his trust account and used that account as an operating account. English did not maintain required financial records during that time.
In 2018, English represented a client in a personal injury case. English settled the matter and accepted a $40,000 settlement check on his client’s behalf. English should have held in trust $9,885 from the settlement funds to pay his client’s related medical lien but instead nearly depleted his trust account without paying the lien. During the representation, English loaned his client $7,000 in multiple tranches but did not provide his client with written terms for the loans or obtain his client’s written consent to the terms of the transactions. English recouped the money he loaned to his client from the settlement proceeds. In 2019, English destroyed his client’s file. During the disciplinary proceeding, English did not provide disciplinary authorities with financial records that he was required to keep, including a written statement setting forth the basis or rate for the fee he charged his client.
Through his conduct, English violated Colo. RPC 1.8(a) (a lawyer must not enter into a business transaction with a client unless the client is advised to seek independent legal counsel and the client gives written informed consent to the transaction); Colo. RPC 1.8(e) (a lawyer must not provide financial assistance to a client in connection with a pending or contemplated litigation); Colo. RPC 1.15A(a) (a lawyer must hold client property separate from the lawyer’s own property); Colo. RPC 1.15A(c) (a lawyer must keep separate any property in which two or more persons claim an interest until there is a resolution of the claims); and Colo. RPC 1.15D (a lawyer must maintain trust account records).