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People v. Finn

No. 20PDJ052.

August 2020

The Presiding Disciplinary Judge approved the parties’ conditional admission of misconduct and suspended William Ryan Finn (attorney registration number 51171) for six months, with 60 days to be served and the remainder to be stayed upon the successful completion of a two-year period of probation, with conditions. The suspension was effective September 23, 2020.

In two different client matters, Finn told his clients that the opposing parties had made settlement offers, even though no such offers to settle had been made. Finn provided false information to his clients about the fictitious settlement offers in multiple emails. He also included in his case notes a reminder to reissue one of the nonexistent settlement checks. The law firm that employed Finn ultimately provided partial payments to the clients to address Finn’s misrepresentations, and it terminated Finn’s employment.

Through this conduct, Finn violated Colo. RPC 1.4(a)(3) (a lawyer shall keep a client reasonably informed about the status of the matter); Colo. RPC 1.4(b) (a lawyer shall explain a matter so as to permit the client to make informed decisions regarding the representation); Colo. RPC 8.4(c) (it is professional misconduct for a lawyer to engage in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation); and Colo. RPC 8.4(d) (it is professional misconduct for a lawyer to engage in conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice).

The case file is public per CRCP 251.31.

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

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