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People v. Veto.

No. 21PDJ074. 10/13/2021. Stipulation to Discipline.

October 2021

The Presiding Disciplinary Judge approved the parties’ stipulation to discipline and suspended Anthony Henry Veto (attorney registration number 00459) for 90 days, all to be stayed upon the successful completion of a two-year period of probation, with conditions. The probation took effect on October 13, 2021.

In September 2020, Veto’s nonlawyer assistant consulted with a new client about filing a petition for parental responsibility of the client’s child. The client believed that Veto’s assistant was a lawyer who would take the lead on her case. She paid a $3,500 retainer, against which Veto charged an hourly rate of $175. In early October 2020, Veto submitted a petition for custody and related filings in Arapahoe County Court. Around that time, the client sent Veto financial disclosures to be filed in her case. Veto’s assistant confirmed with the client that he had received the documents, but neither he nor Veto submitted them to the court. Veto then moved to dismiss the action at the end of October 2020, and the court closed the case. Even though the matter was closed, Veto’s assistant told the client in December 2020 that Veto had requested a new judge.

In February 2021, Veto filed a new petition in Denver District Court after his client asked for an update. The parties’ parenting arrangement was contentious, and the client repeatedly texted and emailed Veto’s assistant about temporary orders and mediation. Neither Veto nor his assistant was responsive, however, and the client did not know what was happening in her case. She ultimately hired a new lawyer who took over as her counsel in May 2021. The lawyer informed her that Veto had failed to file her financial disclosures, seek temporary orders, propound discovery on the other party, and file a witness list for the permanent orders hearing set for June 2021. The client requested that Veto refund her entire retainer. Veto sent the client his bill and issued a refund of $753.

Through this conduct, Veto violated Colo. RPC 1.3 (a lawyer shall act with reasonable diligence and promptness when representing a client); Colo. RPC 1.4(a)(3) (a lawyer shall keep a client reasonably informed about the status of the matter); and Colo. RPC 5.3(a) (a partner or lawyer with comparable managerial authority shall make reasonable efforts to ensure that a firm implements measures to reasonably assure that nonlawyer employees’ conduct is compatible with the lawyer’s professional obligations).

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

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