People v. Laden, No. 95SA96

Docket NºNo. 95SA96
Citation893 P.2d 771
Case DateApril 17, 1995
CourtSupreme Court of Colorado

Page 771

893 P.2d 771
The PEOPLE of the State of Colorado, Complainant,
v.
Michael M. LADEN, Attorney-Respondent.
No. 95SA96.
Supreme Court of Colorado,
En Banc.
April 17, 1995.

Linda Donnelly, Disciplinary Counsel, James S. Sudler, Asst. Disciplinary Counsel, Denver, for complainant.

Cooper & Clough, P.C., Paul D. Cooper, Denver, for attorney-respondent.

PER CURIAM.

The respondent 1 in this lawyer discipline case was charged with aiding nonlawyers in the practice of law by assisting the nonlawyers in selling "living trust" document packages to customers in Colorado. The respondent and the assistant disciplinary counsel entered into a stipulation, agreement, and conditional admission of misconduct, C.R.C.P. 241.18, which recommended the imposition of a public censure. An inquiry panel of the Supreme Court Grievance Committee approved the conditional admission, including the recommendation of a public censure. We accept the conditional admission and the inquiry panel's recommendation.

I

The conditional admission states that in August 1992, a couple complained to the Attorney General's Office that a nonlawyer had sold them a living trust. The form of the trust was prepared by an out-of-state lawyer on behalf of National Family Trust, which was headquartered in California. According to the conditional admission, National Family Trust was basically operated by nonlawyers who prepared the couple's trust for $1,595. The nonlawyer who sold the trust told the couple that it would cost their sons $65,000 to settle their estate through probate and the courts.

Page 772

The nonlawyer told the couple that the respondent, for a fee of $125, would review the living trust and be available for a thirty-minute consultation to discuss the concept of the living trust, including whether their arrangement with National Family Trust was to their advantage. The nonlawyer also advised the couple they were not obligated to use the respondent's services. The couple mailed a check for $125 to the respondent, who sent them a three-and-a-half page letter based on a form supplied by National Family Trust. The respondent reviewed the form for accuracy and truth when he agreed to accept referrals from National Family Trust.

The letter the respondent sent to the couple was essentially identical to letters that he sent to other persons referred to him by National Family Trust. In 1992 and 1993, the respondent reviewed trust documents for twenty to twenty-five National Family Trust customers, and each customer paid him $125 for the review. Four or five purchasers called...

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5 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
    ...practice of law. See Comm. on Professional Ethics & Conduct v. Baker, 492 N.W.2d 695,597 (Iowa 1992). See also People v. Laden, 893 P.2d 771 (Colo. 1995), People v. Macy, 789 P.2d 188 (Colo. 1990), People v. Boyles, 591 P.2d 1315 (Colo. 1979); In re Discipio, 645 N.E.2d 906 (Ill. 1994);......
  • Part II
    • United States
    • Federal Register December 12, 2003
    • December 12, 2003
    ...practice of law. See Comm. on Professional Ethics & Conduct v. Baker, 492 N.W.2d 695,597 (Iowa 1992). See also People v. Laden, 893 P.2d 771 (Colo. 1995), People v. Macy, 789 P.2d 188 (Colo. 1990), People v. Boyles, 591 P.2d 1315 (Colo. 1979); In re Discipio, 645 N.E.2d 906 (Ill. 1994);......
  • Mid-America Living Trust Associates, Inc., In re, MID-AMERICA
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • August 20, 1996
    ...and wealth transfer, a claim with no more validity than the curative claim for snake oil." Gibbs, at 193; see also People v. Laden, 893 P.2d 771, 771 (Colo.1995) ("The nonlawyer who sold the trust told the couple it would cost their sons $65,000 to settle their estate through probate and th......
  • Office of Disciplinary Counsel v. Weinste (In re In), No. 2038 Disciplinary Docket No. 3
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Pennsylvania
    • March 3, 2014
    ...courts have found attorneys have aided in the authorized practice of law); People of the State of Colorado v. Michael M. Laden, 893 P.2d 771 (Colo. 1995) (nonlawyers reviewed and prepared a living trust for a flat fee; attorney reviewed the living trusts and consulted with clients for 30 mi......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
3 cases
  • Mid-America Living Trust Associates, Inc., In re, MID-AMERICA
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • August 20, 1996
    ...and wealth transfer, a claim with no more validity than the curative claim for snake oil." Gibbs, at 193; see also People v. Laden, 893 P.2d 771, 771 (Colo.1995) ("The nonlawyer who sold the trust told the couple it would cost their sons $65,000 to settle their estate through probate and th......
  • Office of Disciplinary Counsel v. Weinste (In re In), No. 2038 Disciplinary Docket No. 3
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Pennsylvania
    • March 3, 2014
    ...courts have found attorneys have aided in the authorized practice of law); People of the State of Colorado v. Michael M. Laden, 893 P.2d 771 (Colo. 1995) (nonlawyers reviewed and prepared a living trust for a flat fee; attorney reviewed the living trusts and consulted with clients for 30 mi......
  • Office of Disciplinary Counsel v. Bohmueller, J-96-2014
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Pennsylvania
    • January 23, 2015
    ...Re Mid-America Living Trust Associates, Inc. v. et. al. 927 S.W. 2d 855 (Mo. 1996); People of the State of Colorado v. Michael M. Laden, 893 P.2d 771 (Colo. 1995); In re Disciplinary Proceeding Against Shepard, 169 Wash. 697 (Wash. 2010). In Pennsylvania, the Supreme Court imposed a suspens......

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