Menu icon Access the Business Officer Magazine menu by clicking or touching here.
Colorado Lawyer Magazine logo, click or touch this logo to return to the homepage Click or touch the Colorado Lawyer Magazine logo to return to the homepage. Search

People v. Vail.

No. 23PDJ069. 5/10/2024. Opinion Opposing Sanctions.

June 17, 2024

Following a sanctions hearing, the Presiding Disciplinary Judge disbarred Jeffrey Steven Vail (attorney registration number 36639). The disbarment was effective on June 14, 2024.

In 2018, a client hired a law firm to file a lawsuit related to the client’s purchase of a jet aircraft, which the client claimed was not airworthy. At the time, Vail worked for the firm. The firm filed a complaint in 2019. Vail left the law firm in August 2020, and the client followed Vail to Vail’s own law practice. Thereafter, Vail failed to act with diligence and failed to communicate with his client. In January 2021, Vail emailed the client a link to the case file and informed the client that due to medical reasons, he was no longer able to practice law and would no longer be licensed to practice law. The email also noted that Vail’s firm was permanently closed and that different counsel would need to handle the client’s case. Thereafter, Vail failed to take required steps when terminating the representation, failed to respond to and comply with court orders to withdraw from the case, and failed to respond to reasonable requests for information from the disciplinary authorities. Because the client could not find another lawyer to take his case, he was forced to drop his lawsuit and stipulate to a motion to dismiss the matter with prejudice.

Vail’s conduct violated Colo. RPC 1.3 (a lawyer must act with reasonable diligence and promptness when representing a client); Colo. RPC 1.4(a)(4) (a lawyer must promptly comply with reasonable requests for information); Colo. RPC 1.16(c) (a lawyer must comply with applicable law requiring notice to or permission of a tribunal when terminating a representation); Colo. RPC 3.4(c) (a lawyer may not knowingly disobey an obligation under the rules of a tribunal except for an open refusal based on an assertion that no valid obligation exists); Colo. RPC 8.1(b) (a lawyer must not knowingly fail to respond to a disciplinary authority’s lawful demand for information in connection with a disciplinary matter); and Colo. RPC 8.4(d) (it is professional misconduct to engage in conduct that is prejudicial to the administration of justice).

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

Back to the From the Courts Page