People v. Cassidy, No. 94SA293

Docket NºNo. 94SA293
Citation884 P.2d 309
Case DateNovember 07, 1994
CourtSupreme Court of Colorado

Page 309

884 P.2d 309
The PEOPLE of the State of Colorado, Complainant,
v.
Fred M. CASSIDY, Attorney-Respondent.
No. 94SA293.
Supreme Court of Colorado,
En Banc.
Nov. 7, 1994.

Linda Donnelly, Disciplinary Counsel, Denver, for complainant.

Fred M. Cassidy, pro se.

PER CURIAM.

The respondent 1 in this attorney discipline case was charged with aiding nonlawyers in

Page 310

the practice of law by assisting the nonlawyers in selling "living trust" document packages to customers in Colorado. A hearing board granted the disciplinary counsel's motion for summary judgment and recommended that the respondent be suspended for six months from the practice of law. A hearing panel of the Supreme Court Grievance Committee approved the board's findings and recommendation. The disciplinary counsel did not except to the panel's action, and the respondent's exceptions were subsequently stricken because he did not file a designation of record as required under C.R.C.P. 241.20(b)(4). People v. Butler, 875 P.2d 219, 219 (Colo.1994). We accept the panel's recommendation.
I

The disciplinary counsel filed a motion for summary judgment with respect to the respondent's violations of the Code of Professional Responsibility. The respondent did not respond to the motion and did not attend the hearing before the board. Based on the disciplinary counsel's evidence, including the deposition of the respondent, the board found the following facts.

A

The respondent went on inactive status February 9, 1987, see C.R.C.P. 227(A)(6), and remained inactive until April 29, 1991, when he paid the necessary fees for active status, C.R.C.P. 227(A)(7). While on inactive status in October or November 1990, the respondent began selling life insurance for the McCarter Agency. The McCarter Agency was involved in a joint venture with Somerset Group, Inc., and the Agency sold a living trust package created by the Somerset Group. The Agency provided customer leads to the respondent developed through telemarketing. When the respondent went to meet the customer, he did not know whether the customer was interested in life insurance or a living trust. The respondent would decide during the interview which of these to explain depending on the stated interest of the customer. The living trusts sold were prepared on the living trust forms provided to the McCarter Agency by the Somerset Group. This was a standard package of forms developed by the Somerset Group, which were personalized simply by filling in the customer's name and beneficiaries in the appropriate blanks.

In April 1991, the respondent contacted Clealon Mann, the principal in the Somerset Group, and told him that he was an inactive member of the Colorado bar. The respondent offered to review draft revocable living trust documents that the Somerset Group prepared for Colorado residents and to prepare opinion letters for those persons. The respondent and Mann agreed to the respondent's providing this service under the following arrangement:

1. Purchasers of the estate planning document preparation service offered by McCarter and Somerset were not required to pay for an opinion letter from the respondent. The insurance agent's commission was based entirely on the price paid to McCarter or Somerset.

2. The check to the respondent from the purchaser or client was separate from the payment for the living trust documents, and the respondent did not rebate any portion of his fee to McCarter or Somerset.

3. Neither McCarter nor Somerset paid the respondent any additional amount, and the respondent did not have any share or other financial interest in either McCarter or Somerset.

4. The respondent's name did not appear in any literature distributed by McCarter or Somerset.

5. The respondent did not prepare, review, or revise Somerset's estate planning documents.

6. He did not...

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5 practice notes
  • Mid-America Living Trust Associates, Inc., In re, MID-AMERICA
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • 20 Agosto 1996
    ...true or false. People ex rel. Dunbar v. Schmitt, 126 Colo. 546, 251 P.2d 915, 916-17 (1952) (citing referee's report); People v. Cassidy, 884 P.2d 309, 311 (Colo.1994) (The company "was involved in the unauthorized practice of law by selecting one package as appropriate for its customers.")......
  • State ex rel. State Bar Ass'n v. Northouse, No. 94S00-0505-MS-205.
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court of Indiana
    • 6 Junio 2006
    ...relating to the creation of living trusts and powers of attorney and prepare such documents for others. See, e.g., People v. Cassidy, 884 P.2d 309, 311 (Colo.1994); Comm. on Prof'l Ethics & Conduct of the Iowa State Bar Ass'n v. Baker, 492 N.W.2d 695, 703 (Iowa 1992); In re Mid-America Livi......
  • People v. Laden, No. 95SA96
    • United States
    • Colorado Supreme Court of Colorado
    • 17 Abril 1995
    ...trusts by nonlawyers constitutes the unauthorized practice of law." People v. Volk, 805 P.2d 1116, 1118 (Colo.1991). People v. Cassidy, 884 P.2d 309, 311 (Colo.1994). See also Florida Bar Re Advisory Opinion--Nonlawyer Preparation of Living Trusts, 613 So.2d 426, 427-28 (Fla.1992) (assembly......
  • People v. Daniels, No. 95CA2073
    • United States
    • Colorado Court of Appeals of Colorado
    • 16 Abril 1998
    ...in Colorado even though he was on inactive status" and (2) engaging in the practice of law while on inactive status); People v. Cassidy, 884 P.2d 309 (Colo.1994) (selling living trust packages while on inactive status constitutes the unauthorized practice of Binkley v. People, supra, equate......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
5 cases
  • Mid-America Living Trust Associates, Inc., In re, MID-AMERICA
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • 20 Agosto 1996
    ...true or false. People ex rel. Dunbar v. Schmitt, 126 Colo. 546, 251 P.2d 915, 916-17 (1952) (citing referee's report); People v. Cassidy, 884 P.2d 309, 311 (Colo.1994) (The company "was involved in the unauthorized practice of law by selecting one package as appropriate for its customers.")......
  • State ex rel. State Bar Ass'n v. Northouse, No. 94S00-0505-MS-205.
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court of Indiana
    • 6 Junio 2006
    ...relating to the creation of living trusts and powers of attorney and prepare such documents for others. See, e.g., People v. Cassidy, 884 P.2d 309, 311 (Colo.1994); Comm. on Prof'l Ethics & Conduct of the Iowa State Bar Ass'n v. Baker, 492 N.W.2d 695, 703 (Iowa 1992); In re Mid-America Livi......
  • People v. Laden, No. 95SA96
    • United States
    • Colorado Supreme Court of Colorado
    • 17 Abril 1995
    ...trusts by nonlawyers constitutes the unauthorized practice of law." People v. Volk, 805 P.2d 1116, 1118 (Colo.1991). People v. Cassidy, 884 P.2d 309, 311 (Colo.1994). See also Florida Bar Re Advisory Opinion--Nonlawyer Preparation of Living Trusts, 613 So.2d 426, 427-28 (Fla.1992) (assembly......
  • People v. Daniels, No. 95CA2073
    • United States
    • Colorado Court of Appeals of Colorado
    • 16 Abril 1998
    ...in Colorado even though he was on inactive status" and (2) engaging in the practice of law while on inactive status); People v. Cassidy, 884 P.2d 309 (Colo.1994) (selling living trust packages while on inactive status constitutes the unauthorized practice of Binkley v. People, supra, equate......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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