Kraus, Application of, No. SC

CourtSupreme Court of Oregon
Writing for the CourtPER CURIAM
Citation295 Or. 743,670 P.2d 1012
Docket NumberNo. SC
Decision Date18 October 1983
PartiesIn Matter of the Application of Harry R. KRAUS, for Reinstatement as an Active Member of the Oregon State Bar. 26690.

Page 1012

670 P.2d 1012
295 Or. 743
In Matter of the Application of Harry R. KRAUS, for
Reinstatement as an Active Member of the Oregon State Bar.
No. SC 26690.
Supreme Court of Oregon.
Argued and Submitted July 6, 1983.
Decided Oct. 18, 1983.

John D. Ryan, Portland, argued the cause and submitted the briefs for accused.

Lee S. Aronson, Portland, argued the cause for Oregon State Bar. With him on the brief was Holmes, DeFrancq & Schulte, P.C., Portland.

Before LINDE, P.J., and PETERSON, ROBERTS, CAMPBELL, CARSON and JONES, JJ.

[295 Or. 745] PER CURIAM.

This proceeding is the result of a lawyer discipline case in which the petitioner lawyer was suspended from the practice of law for a period of one year, In re Kraus, 289 Or. 661, 616 P.2d 1173 (1980). 1 When petitioner made application for reinstatement the Board of Bar Governors recommended a denial of the application. We referred the matter back for a hearing on January 26, 1982 pursuant to ORS 9.525 and the case is now before us with a complete record and with a recommendation from the Trial Board and the Disciplinary Review Board that petitioner not be reinstated.

The objections to the reinstatement of petitioner made by the Oregon State Bar at the proceedings before the Trial Board, in addition to the fact that petitioner had twice been suspended, 2 are:

Page 1013

"The Applicant does not possess good moral character or general fitness, 3 in that the Applicant, since the commencement of his most recent suspension, has engaged in the unlawful practice of law in one or more of the following particulars:

"1. By continuing to meet with, advise and represent persons in need of legal counsel without advising them that he has been suspended from the practice of law;

[295 Or. 746] "2. By negotiating with adverse parties or their agents on behalf of former clients who were involved in pending legal disputes at the time of the Applicant's suspension;

"3. By making himself available to, and arranging appointments with, clients during regular office hours at his former office location;

"4. By holding himself out to the public as a licensed attorney by way of placing, allowing to be placed, or failing to remove an office sign at his former office location indicating the Applicant is a licensed attorney at law." (Footnote added.)

The Trial Board made the following findings of fact which were accepted by the Disciplinary Review Board.

"FINDINGS OF FACT

"1. That the Applicant, during the period of his suspension from the practice of law:

"(a) met with Janice Burns-Wolfinger, Annetta Heaton and Bach-Hoa Schesso, all of whom were in need of legal counsel, and rendered legal advice to such persons without having advised such persons that he was under suspension from the practice of law:

"(b) Represented Annetta Heaton by negotiating with opposing counsel, failed to advise such opposing counsel that he was suspended from the practice of law during such negotiations and charged Annetta Heaton a fee for such representation;

"(c) Failed to advise his former clients of his inability to further practice law as a result of his suspension;

"(d) Failed to adequately safeguard the interest of his clients in cases pending as of the commencement of his suspension by assuring an orderly transfer of such cases to other counsel;

"(e) Attempted to create the impression to the public that he was licensed to practice law by:

"(1) Failing to remove an office sign at his former office location indicating that he was a licensed attorney within a reasonable period of time;

"(2) Failing to cause the deletion of his name from the telephone yellow pages in the two years following his suspension;

"(3) Retaining his desk and books at his former office location; and

[295 Or. 747] "(4) Allowing himself to come into contact with clients of Paul Boland, Esq., and his own former clients at his former office location;

"(2) That the Applicant has failed to sustain his burden of proving that he has demonstrated the good moral character and general fitness required for readmission to practice law in Oregon."

In our independent review of the evidence, In re Galton, 289 Or. 565, 615 P.2d 317 (1980), In re Robeson, 293 Or. 610, 652 P.2d 336 (1982), we find the following facts

Page 1014

pertinent. Petitioner was suspended from the practice of law for the second time in September, 1980. He was a sole practitioner whose office was located in a residential community at approximately SE 44th and Woodstock in Portland; his wife performed secretarial duties for petitioner. Shortly after his suspension petitioner rented his office to Paul Boland, an attorney, who continued the employment of Mrs. Kraus as secretary. Petitioner testified he had approximately 100 active files at this time. Some of the probate files were transferred immediately to Mary Vershum, an attorney, by the probate court. Ms. Vershum also took responsibility for a few other files. Petitioner testified that he did not initiate any action systematically to inform his clients that he was suspended from the practice of law or that they should pick up their files and seek other counsel. According to the testimony of Mrs. Kraus, when clients called the office they were not told that Mr. Kraus was suspended but rather that he was no longer in the office or would not return for an extended time, and often the callers were told that Mr. Boland was an available attorney. Mr. Kraus testified his home was located near the office and that he frequently stopped by the office. With this background we turn to the three cases around which the hearing primarily revolved.

Janice Burns-Wolfinger

In 1979 Ms. Burns retained Mr. Kraus to represent her in an invasion of privacy claim against an advertising agency which had filmed her son for a television commercial without first obtaining permission. No action was taken until 1981 when a case was filed by Mr. Boland. Thereafter, according to Ms. Burns, in a communication between herself and Mr. Kraus he told her he had viewed the commercial and [295 Or. 748] thought there would only be a minimal recovery. When Mr. Kraus relayed to Ms. Burns a small settlement offer from the agency she contacted the Oregon State Bar because of her disappointment at the size of the offer and learned for the first time that Mr. Kraus was suspended from the practice of law. She decided to accept the settlement offer and met with Mr. Kraus at his office, was presented a release agreement by Mr. Kraus and two checks, one made out to her and the other to Mr. Paul Boland. Mr. Boland had previously endorsed the checks. Mr. Kraus did not at this time inform Ms. Burns of his suspended status.

Mr. Kraus testified that he never told Ms. Burns he was suspended but that he did inform her her file would be handled by Mr. Boland. Mr. Kraus denied reviewing the commercial and stated that it was Mr. Boland who reviewed the commercial and communicated to Ms. Burns there could only be a small settlement. Mr. Kraus did admit he was in the office when Ms. Burns came in to pick up the check, but that he was there only because his wife who was the office secretary had asked him to remain there while she ran an errand. He was instructed by Mrs. Kraus to have Ms. Burns sign the release papers and to give her the checks as per Mr. Boland's instructions which were attached to the file. Mr. Kraus maintains he did only that.

Annetta Heaton

Mrs. Heaton contacted Mr. Kraus in the summer of 1980 to handle her divorce. The dissolution petition was filed in August, 1980, one month before Mr. Kraus's suspension. Mrs. Heaton testified she had periodic phone...

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10 practice notes
  • Practice and procedure: Patent and trademark cases rules of practice; representation of others before Patent and Trademark Office,
    • United States
    • Federal Register December 12, 2003
    • December 12, 2003
    ...215 N.W. 2d 920 (N.D. 1974); In re Hawkins, 503 P.2d 95 (Wash. 1972); Florida Bar v. Thomson, 354 So.2d 3000 (Fla. 1975); In re Kraus, 670 P.2d 1012 (Ore. 1983); In re Easler, 272 S.E.2d 32 (S.C. 1980); Crawford v. State Bar of California, 7 Cal. Rptr. 746 (Cal. 1960); and Ohio State Bar As......
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    • United States
    • Federal Register December 12, 2003
    • December 12, 2003
    ...215 N.W. 2d 920 (N.D. 1974); In re Hawkins, 503 P.2d 95 (Wash. 1972); Florida Bar v. Thomson, 354 So.2d 3000 (Fla. 1975); In re Kraus, 670 P.2d 1012 (Ore. 1983); In re Easler, 272 S.E.2d 32 (S.C. 1980); Crawford v. State Bar of California, 7 Cal. Rptr. 746 (Cal. 1960); and Ohio State Bar As......
  • In re Reinstatement of Parsons, No. 2001-BR-01533-SCT.
    • United States
    • Mississippi Supreme Court
    • August 21, 2003
    ...of disbarment.4 ¶ 19. These close ties with a former practice were addressed by the Supreme Court of Oregon in the case of In re Kraus, 295 Or. 743, 670 P.2d 1012 (1983). Kraus had been suspended from the practice of law for one year and had applied for reinstatement. Id. at 1012. The Orego......
  • Gortmaker, In re
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Oregon
    • November 16, 1989
    ...review of the record, we find that applicant misrepresented himself as an attorney and practiced law while suspended. In In re Kraus, 295 Or. 743, 750, 670 P.2d 1012 (1983) we "The continued practice of law after an order of this court suspending an attorney from the practice of law en......
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8 cases
  • In re Reinstatement of Parsons, No. 2001-BR-01533-SCT.
    • United States
    • Mississippi Supreme Court
    • August 21, 2003
    ...of disbarment.4 ¶ 19. These close ties with a former practice were addressed by the Supreme Court of Oregon in the case of In re Kraus, 295 Or. 743, 670 P.2d 1012 (1983). Kraus had been suspended from the practice of law for one year and had applied for reinstatement. Id. at 1012. The Orego......
  • Gortmaker, In re
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Oregon
    • November 16, 1989
    ...review of the record, we find that applicant misrepresented himself as an attorney and practiced law while suspended. In In re Kraus, 295 Or. 743, 750, 670 P.2d 1012 (1983) we "The continued practice of law after an order of this court suspending an attorney from the practice of law engende......
  • Evraz Inc. v. Williams, Civ. No. 3:08-cv-00447-AC
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Court (Oregon)
    • November 21, 2013
    ...2005-30. Continental overlooks well-established Oregon law that legal ethics opinions are advisory only. See, e.g., Application of Kraus, 295 Or. 743, 751 (1983) (Oregon legal ethics opinions "are only advisory in nature"); In re Conduct of Lathen, 294 Or. 157, 164 (1982) (Oregon legal ethi......
  • In re Clark, Bankruptcy Case No. 06-62407-aer13 (Bankr.Or. 8/21/2009), Bankruptcy Case No. 06-62407-aer13.
    • United States
    • United States Bankruptcy Courts. Ninth Circuit. U.S. Bankruptcy Court — District of Oregon
    • August 21, 2009
    ...to him); and 1.4(a) ("a lawyer shall keep a client reasonably informed about the status of a matter"). See also; Matter of Kraus, 295 Or. 743, 670 P.2d 1012 (1983) (in appropriate circumstances, suspended attorneys have a duty to advise clients of 4) charging his normal fees, in violation o......
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