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Disciplinary Case Summaries

May 27, 2021


No. 21PDJ015. People v. Delorme-Gaines. 3/26/2021. Conditional Admission of Misconduct—Attorney Suspended.

The Presiding Disciplinary Judge approved the parties’ conditional admission of misconduct and suspended Angela Delorme-Gaines (New Mexico attorney number 24883) for 90 days with payment of $4,000 in restitution, with conditions. The suspension took effect on March 26, 2021.

Delorme-Gaines is not licensed to practice law in Colorado. Though she is licensed to practice law in New Mexico, she was suspended in 2019 for noncompliance with continuing legal education requirements. In 2019, Delorme-Gaines agreed to help a client whose former employer refused to release his security clearance. The client also understood that she would represent him in a tort action against his former employer. She had not previously represented the client, but she did not provide him with a written fee agreement or a written scope of representation. The client paid her $4,000.

Delorme-Gaines discussed with her client the benefits and costs of filing the tort suit in Colorado and in Florida. She conducted legal research about her client’s matter and raised the issue of his security clearance with the office of Congressman Doug Lamborn, telling the congressman’s staff that her client’s security clearance was being illegally held by his former employer. When the congressman’s office intervened, the former employer agreed to release the security clearance. The relationship between Delorme-Gaines and her client later broke down, and she notified her client that she would not represent him in litigation.

Through this conduct, Delorme-Gaines violated Colo. RPC 1.5(b) (a lawyer shall inform a client in writing about the lawyer’s fees and expenses within a reasonable time after being retained if the lawyer has not regularly represented the client) and Colo. RPC 5.5(a)(1) (a lawyer shall not practice law without a law license or other specific authorization).

The case file is public per CRCP 251.31.

 

No. 21PDJ021. People v. Finn. 4/19/2021. Conditional Admission of Misconduct—Attorney Suspended.

The Presiding Disciplinary Judge approved the parties’ conditional admission of misconduct and suspended William Ryan Finn (attorney registration number 51171) for six months, with three months to be served and three months to be stayed upon the successful completion of a 22-month period of probation, with conditions, to run concurrent to Finn’s discipline in case number 20PDJ052. The suspension took effect on April 19, 2021.

In 2019, Finn’s previous employer filed a disciplinary complaint against him for dishonest conduct, which was ultimately sanctioned in case number 20PDJ052. The employer terminated Finn’s position with the firm. During an interview with another firm in December 2019, a senior partner asked Finn why he left his previous position. Finn did not disclose that he had been fired. In January 2020, Finn received from disciplinary authorities the request for investigation submitted by his former employer. When Finn began working with the new firm later that month, he completed and signed an application form for the firm’s professional liability insurance policy. The form directed Finn to state whether a disciplinary investigation or complaint was pending against him. Finn answered “no,” despite having received the request for investigation from disciplinary authorities. In September 2020, Finn disclosed to his employer for the first time that he had been the subject of a disciplinary investigation when he started working for the firm. He also disclosed at that time that he had entered a stipulation with disciplinary authorities suspending him from the practice of law.

Through this conduct, Finn violated Colo. RPC 8.4(c) (a lawyer shall not engage in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation).

The case file is public per CRCP 251.31.

 

No. 21PDJ016. People v. Tauger. 4/5/2021. Conditional Admission of Misconduct—Attorney Disbarred.

The Presiding Disciplinary Judge approved the parties’ conditional admission of misconduct and disbarred Michael J. Tauger (attorney registration number 01902). The disbarment took effect on April 5, 2021.

Tauger has thrice been suspended from the practice of law. Twice he was suspended for conduct that included practicing law while he was suspended. He was most recently disciplined in April 2020, when he was suspended for three years.

In July 2020, Tauger provided a form asset purchase agreement to parties who were negotiating for the purchase of assets of a marijuana-related business in Colorado Springs. Tauger made modifications to that agreement, and to a noncompete agreement and a related consulting agreement. He emailed these documents to the parties in July and August 2020. One of the emails used the domain name “taugerlaw.com” and included a disclaimer indicating that the message was confidential and potentially privileged.

Through this conduct, Tauger violated Colo. RPC 3.4(c) (a lawyer shall not knowingly disobey an obligation under the tribunal’s rules) and Colo. RPC 5.5(a)(2) (a lawyer shall not practice law where doing so violates the legal profession’s regulations).

The case file is public per CRCP 251.31.