State ex rel. Oklahoma Bar Association v. Janzen, 120820 OKSC, SCBD-6903

Docket NºSCBD-6903
Opinion JudgeEDMONDSON, J.
Party NameSTATE OF OKLAHOMA ex rel., OKLAHOMA BAR ASSOCIATION, Complainant, v. CAROLYN JANZEN, Respondent.
AttorneyGina L. Hendryx, General Counsel, Oklahoma Bar Association, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, for Complainant Carolyn Janzen, Hinton, Oklahoma, Respondent.
Case DateDecember 08, 2020
CourtSupreme Court of Oklahoma

2020 OK 98

STATE OF OKLAHOMA ex rel., OKLAHOMA BAR ASSOCIATION, Complainant,

v.

CAROLYN JANZEN, Respondent.

No. SCBD-6903

Supreme Court of Oklahoma

December 8, 2020

UNPUBLISHED OPINION

ORIGINAL PROCEEDING FOR ATTORNEY DISCIPLINE PURSUANT TO RULES 7.1 AND 7.2 RULES GOVERNING DISCIPLINARY PROCEEDINGS

Gina L. Hendryx, General Counsel, Oklahoma Bar Association, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, for Complainant

Carolyn Janzen, Hinton, Oklahoma, Respondent.

OPINION

EDMONDSON, J.

¶0 The Oklahoma Bar Association initiated summary disciplinary proceedings against Respondent pursuant to Rules 7.1 and 7.2 of the Rules Governing Disciplinary Proceedings following Respondent's plea of "no contest" in the felony crime of Obtaining Property by Trick or Deception, False Pretenses, Confidence Game. Respondent has not provided any response or evidence to mitigate the severity of discipline. The Bar recommended the appropriate discipline was disbarment. After de novo review, this Court finds that Respondent is guilty of misconduct and the appropriate discipline is disbarment.

¶1 Janzen was admitted to the Oklahoma Bar Association on October 18, 1994. She was stricken from the Membership Rolls for failure to pay dues effective September, 2004. In July, 2010, Janzen misrepresented herself to be an attorney practicing law in the State of Oklahoma, to individuals seeking legal services. She was paid approximately $7, 100 to provide legal representation relating to a court proceeding in Greer County. Janzen never appeared in court in this matter. Instead, she made excuses why she could not appear and requested continuances of court dates. It was later brought to the attention of the court in December, 2011 that Janzen was stricken from the OBA membership rolls effective September 20, 2004 and she did not have a current license to practice law in the State of Oklahoma.

¶2 On April 23, 2012 a Probable Cause Affidavit for Arrest Warrant was issued in Greer County, State of Oklahoma v. Carolyn Janzen, CF-2012-30 in this matter. On February 20, 2020 Janzen entered her Plea of No Contest to the felony of False Pretenses/Con Game, 21 O.S. O.S. 1541.2 wherein she admitted to representing herself as an attorney knowing her license to practice law was suspended. Janzen admitted that she took money on the pretense of providing legal representation in a litigation matter with the intent to cheat and deprive the victims of $7, 100 for practicing as their lawyer. Janzen agreed to an 8 year sentence in the custody of the Oklahoma Department of Corrections with all years suspended. She was ordered to pay a $1, 000 fine, restitution of $ 7, 100, with a notation that she had already paid $1, 000 of restitution, and court costs. Janzen was ordered to make monthly payments to begin March 10, 2020.

¶3 The Bar Association filed a Notice of Suspended Sentence on March 13, 2020 initiating this summary disciplinary proceeding pursuant to Rules 7.1 and 7.2 of the Rules Governing Disciplinary Proceedings (RGDP), 5 O.S. 2011 ch. 1, app. 1-A. Proof of Service of Notice of Suspended Service was filed April 7, 2020 with a copy of the certified mail receipt with the signature Carolyn Janzen dated March 30, 2020. We entered an Order of Immediate Interim Suspension on March 27, 2020 wherein Janzen was directed to show cause no later than May 18, 2020 why this Order of Interim Suspension should be set aside. We also ordered that Janzen had until June 17, 2020 to show cause in writing why a final order of discipline should not be imposed, to request a hearing or to file a brief and any evidence tending to mitigate the severity of discipline. No response was filed responsive to...

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