Steward, In re, No. 8047

CourtSupreme Court of Arizona
Writing for the CourtUDALL
Citation391 P.2d 911,96 Ariz. 49
Docket NumberNo. 8047
Decision Date24 April 1964
PartiesIn the Matter of a Member of the State Bar of Arizona, Robert R. STEWARD, Respondent.

Page 911

391 P.2d 911
96 Ariz. 49
In the Matter of a Member of the State Bar of Arizona, Robert R. STEWARD, Respondent.
No. 8047.
Supreme Court of Arizona, In Banc.
April 24, 1964.
Rehearing Denied June 2, 1964.

[96 Ariz. 50] Ralph J. Lester, Phoenix, for the State Bar of Arizona.

Harry A. Stewart, Jr., John P. Frank, and John J. Flynn, Phoenix, for respondent.

UDALL, Chief Justice.

This is a disbarment proceeding. A complaint against Robert R. Steward, of Phoenix, Arizona, accusing him of unprofessional conduct as a member of the Bar of this State was filed with the Local Administrative Committee, for District No. Four, of the State Bar.

This complaint was heard by the Administrative Committee. Respondent was present, represented by counsel, testified and offered evidence; the proceedings were reported by a reporter and a transcript of his notes is a part of the files. A majority of the Committee found respondent guilty of deceitful conduct towards clients, a lack of understanding of professional standards, and misappropriation of funds. The Committee recommended reprimand and disbarment. Respondent petitioned for resignation from the State Bar. A complete record of these proceedings, together with the Committee's recommendation, was lodged with the Board of Governors of the State Bar, as required by Rule 35 of the Rules of the Supreme Court, 17 A.R.S., and the Board of Governors took additional evidence with regard to respondent's mental condition and, following respondent's petition to resign from the State Bar, sent the complete record to this Court with a recommendation that the resignation be accepted. The findings and recommendations of the Committee are as follows:

'COUNT ONE

'Findings:

'In 1957 attorney Robert R. Steward, hereinafter referred to as 'Respondent', was engaged as an attorney by one Edward S. Young to prosecute a claim for damages for the wrongful death of his mother, Louise Young, who died from injuries received in an automobile collision on August 27, 1957, in Phoenix, Arizona. Pursuant thereto, Respondent prepared a complaint which was presented to and signed by

Page 912

Edward S. Young on February 20, 1958 and filed by the Respondent on February 20, 1959 in the Superior Court of the State of Arizona in and [96 Ariz. 51] for the County of Maricopa, Cause No. 105645, entitled 'Edward S. Young, as Administrator of the Estate of Louise Young v. Doug Clark, Jr., Doug Clark, Sr., and Jane Doe Clark, wife.'

'Summons was issued in said action but the same was never served upon any of the defendants, and no court proceedings of any kind were ever had with respect thereto. In response to numerous inquiries made by Mr. Young to the Respondent regarding the status and disposition of said suit, Respondent misrepresented to Mr. Young that certain court proceedings were had in the matter and that the case had been set on more than one occasion but had to be postponed.

'Some time in 1960 Respondent misrepresented to Mr. Young that he had been in contact with the defendants' liability insurer and that liability had been declined on the grounds of lack of coverage under the insured's policy, and Respondent advised that consequently any settlement that might be achieved would have to be done so with the defendant Doug Clark, personally. The Respondent obtained Young's consent to negotiate a settlement with Doug Clark personally, pursuant to which Respondent misrepresented to Mr. Young that he had in fact negotiated a settlement with Doug Clark whereby the latter would pay $10,000 as follows: $5,000 to Young, $2,500 to Respondent for his services, and $2,500 to Young in monthly installments of $100, commencing August 8, 1960.

'None of the foregoing representations were true; neither Doug Clark nor his insurance carrier had agreed to make any settlement or ever had any negotiations with the Respondent regarding a settlement.

'Pursuant to the settlement agreement fabricated by the Respondent, the Respondent gave Mr. Young his personal check for $5,000, which was not honored at the bank on account of insufficient funds. Subsequently, however, Respondent gave Mr. Young a cashier's check for $5,000, whereupon Respondent misrepresented that he had received $2,500 from the defendant Doug Clark, which satisfied Respondent's fee.

'After several of the above-mentioned monthly installments of $100 became overdue, Respondent promised Mr. Young to pay him by check for the arrearage. After several weeks had passed without receiving a check from the Respondent, Mr. Young called on Respondent personally. At this meeting the Respondent at first tendered $300 in cash to Mr. Young but withdrew same and forcibly [96...

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5 practice notes
  • Wines, Matter of, No. SB-140-2
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Arizona
    • 28 January 1983
    ...to use our independent judgment in determining the appropriate discipline under the circumstances of each case. See In re Steward, 96 Ariz. 49, 55, 391 P.2d 911, 915 On March 30, 1977, respondent was indicted by a federal grand jury sitting in the United States District Court for the Distri......
  • Mercer, Matter of, No. SB
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Arizona
    • 21 September 1982
    ...the discipline to be imposed although it be more severe than that which was recommended by the Disciplinary Board. See In re Steward, 96 Ariz. 49, 391 P.2d 911 (1964); Heavey v. State Bar, 17 Cal.3d 553, 131 Cal.Rptr. 406, 551 P.2d 1238 (1976). We hold that, because of the seriousness of th......
  • Kleindienst, Matter of, No. SB
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Arizona
    • 23 April 1982
    ...also required to use its independent judgment in determining the discipline appropriate to the circumstances of each case. In re Steward, 96 Ariz. 49, 55, 391 P.2d 911, 915 (1964). In this case, I believe the Bar recommendation is too lenient because it has failed to consider respondent's p......
  • Rogers, In re, No. 8689
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Arizona
    • 16 December 1965
    ...does, as the administrative committee found, constitute professional misconduct and calls for disbarment of the person guilty thereof." 96 Ariz. at 49, 391 P.2d at We hold, from the record and the evidence in the instant case, as was found by [99 Ariz. 346] the administrative committee, tha......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
5 cases
  • Wines, Matter of, No. SB-140-2
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Arizona
    • 28 January 1983
    ...to use our independent judgment in determining the appropriate discipline under the circumstances of each case. See In re Steward, 96 Ariz. 49, 55, 391 P.2d 911, 915 On March 30, 1977, respondent was indicted by a federal grand jury sitting in the United States District Court for the Distri......
  • Mercer, Matter of, No. SB
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Arizona
    • 21 September 1982
    ...the discipline to be imposed although it be more severe than that which was recommended by the Disciplinary Board. See In re Steward, 96 Ariz. 49, 391 P.2d 911 (1964); Heavey v. State Bar, 17 Cal.3d 553, 131 Cal.Rptr. 406, 551 P.2d 1238 (1976). We hold that, because of the seriousness of th......
  • Kleindienst, Matter of, No. SB
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Arizona
    • 23 April 1982
    ...also required to use its independent judgment in determining the discipline appropriate to the circumstances of each case. In re Steward, 96 Ariz. 49, 55, 391 P.2d 911, 915 (1964). In this case, I believe the Bar recommendation is too lenient because it has failed to consider respondent's p......
  • Rogers, In re, No. 8689
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Arizona
    • 16 December 1965
    ...does, as the administrative committee found, constitute professional misconduct and calls for disbarment of the person guilty thereof." 96 Ariz. at 49, 391 P.2d at We hold, from the record and the evidence in the instant case, as was found by [99 Ariz. 346] the administrative committee, tha......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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