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Archive for Friday, May 19, 1995

COURT DISBARS LAWRENCE ATTORNEY

May 19, 1995

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Complaints filed against Brian J. Shultz allege failures in communication and diligence.

The Kansas Supreme Court has disbarred a Lawrence attorney who has been the subject of numerous client complaints over the past few months.

In an order of disbarment dated Monday, the court formally revoked Brian J. Shultz's right to practice law in Kansas. Shultz, 35, surrendered his law license May 2, according to the order. He was admitted to the Kansas bar in September 1990.

The order indicates that Shultz had been disciplined on two previous occasions. Those included an informal admonishment in November 1993 and a public censure in October 1994. Pending before the Supreme Court is a recommendation made by a hearing panel after a November 1994 hearing that Shultz's law license be suspended for one year.

The hearing panel from the Kansas Board for Discipline of Attorneys that recommended the suspension also recommended that Shultz should undergo a psychological evaluation to determine if he was psychologically suited for readmission, that he complete a law office management or client relations seminar, and that he pass a multistate ethics examination before his law license was reinstated.

Marty Snyder, a deputy disciplinary administrator who was involved in most of the proceedings involving Shultz, said Shultz didn't attend the formal hearing at which the suspension was recommended. She said no further action would be taken on that recommendation because the court no longer has jurisdiction over Shultz now that he is disbarred.

Snyder said most of the complaints against Shultz stemmed from his dealings with individual clients.

"It's a failure to keep his clients informed about the progress of the cases, perhaps because there was no progress," Snyder said. "The lack of diligence is a big problem. He did not keep the cases moving for his clients."

Snyder said another violation noted in the court's order was Shultz's failure to cooperate with the disciplinary administrator's office during the various proceedings.

She said a hearing on another formal complaint that was scheduled for Thursday was canceled because of the disbarment. Allegations contained in that complaint included failure to account for client trust funds and the theft of client trust funds.

The court's order also indicates that Shultz is the defendant in a legal negligence suit now pending in Shawnee County.

Snyder said she had no information on the total amount of money that may be involved in the various complaints that have been lodged against Shultz. She said civil or criminal litigation was possible in some of the incidents.

She said the disciplinary administrators office was working closely with Administrative Judge Michael J. Malone and Andy Ramirez, chairman of the Douglas County committee, to help people who had depended on Schultz for representation. The Douglas County committee investigates ethics complaints and grievances against local attorneys.

"We regret the entire thing," Snyder said. "We think disbarment is the proper result. Our big concern is the protection of the public."

Attempts to contact Shultz for comment were unsuccessful. The phone at his Lawrence office has been disconnected, and there was no local residential listing under his name.

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