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BEFORE THE EVIDENTIARY PANEL OF


STATE BAR DISTRICT NO. 4E10 GRIEVANCE COMMITTEE
§ ,
COMMISSION FOR LAWYER DISCIPLINE, § 80120419235 (ERIC ESTES)
§ H0120419342 [CHANDRA JACKSON I
Petitioner, §
§
v. § HARRIS COUNTY, TEXAS
§
JAMES A. NOLEN, §
§
Respondent. §

AGREED JUDGMENT OF FULLY PROBATED SUSPENSION

On the "L\-4aay of ~ , 2006, came to be heard the above-entitled and


numbered disciplinary proceeding. Petitioner, the COMMISSION FOR LAWYER DISCIPLINE,

by and through its attorney ofrecord, Shemeika S. Landry, Assistant Disciplinary Counsel, Office of

the Chief Disciplinary Counsel, STATE BAR OF TEXAS, and Respondent, JAMES A. NOLEN

(hereinafter referred to as "Respondent"), Texas Bar Number 00784687, Pro se, announced to the

Evidentiary Panel that the parties agree and stipulate that judgment should be entered in this case as

set forth in this Agreed Judgment of Fully Probated Suspension. The Evidentiary Panel, after

considering the pleadings on file in this disciplinary proceeding, is ofthe opinion that the agreement

ofthe parties is just and equitable, and that final judgment should be entered in accordance thereof

and as set forth herein.

Respondent is an attorney licensed to practice law in Texas and is a member of the STATE

BAR OF TEXAS. Respondent's principal place of practice is Harris County, Texas. Therefore, this

Evidentiary Panel has jurisdiction over the parties and subject matter of this case, and venue is

appropriale in Harris County. Texas.

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The Evidentiary Panel finds and concludes, as stipulated by the parties, that Respondent has

committed professional misconduct as defined by Rule 1.06V ofthe TEXAS RULES OF DISCIPLINARY

PROCEDURE and should be suspended from the pmctice oflaw. Respondent consents to the rendition

and entry of this Agreed Judgment ofFully Probated Suspen.<;ion.

I. FINDINGS OF FACT

The Evidentiary Panel, having considered all ofthe evidence submitted, enters the following

agreed findings of fact in support of this Agreed Judgment ofFully Probated Suspension:

L Respondent is an attorney licensed to practice law in Texas and is a member of the STATE

BAR OF TEXAS.

2. Respondent's principal place ofpmctice is Houston, Harris County, Texas.

3. The Chief Disciplinary Counsel of the STATE BAR OF TEXAS has incurred reasonable

attorneys' fees and direct expenses associated with the proceedings of this matter, which

should be paid by Respondent.

4. In or around the first quarter of2004, Eric Estes ("Estes") hired Respondent to represent him

on criminal forgery charges.

5. On or about March 4,2004, Respondent was present for an arraignment hearing where Estes

paid Respondent $500.00 for Respondent's legal services.

6. On or about April 16, 2004, another hearing was held regarding Estes' forgery charges. The

presiding Judge inquired about the location ofthe Respondent, which Estes responded that he

was unaware of Respondent's location.

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7. Subsequent to the April 16,2004 hearing, Respondent failed to attend hearings on or around

May 15,2004, on or around June 11,2004, on or around July 16,2004, on or around August

30, 2004, on or around October 4, 2004 and the trial on or around October II, 2004.

8. Estes attempted to contact Respondent numerous times between April and October, 2004 but

was unable to reach Respondent.

9. On or about October 10,2004, Estes contacted Respondent by telephone but Respondent

hung up the telephone as soon as Respondent was able to identify the caller as Estes.

)O. On or about November 24.2004, Estes filed a grievance with the State Bar ofTexas' Office

of the Chief Disciplinary Counsel and on or about January 21, 2005, Respondent was in

receipt ofthe notice of the grievance and had thirty days to file a written response.

11. Respondent has failed to timely file a written response and has not asserted any grounds for

his failure to respond to the notice of grievance.

12. In or around the beginning of February, 2004, Chandra D. Jackson ("Jackson") and her

family hired Respondent to represent her on criminal charges.

13. On or around February 10, 2004, Jackson met with the Respondent in court and the

Respondent forced Jackson to sign for a 13-month plea bargain on the her criminal charges.

14. Thereafter, Jackson and her family made several attempts to communicate with the

Respondent but the he failed to reasonably communicate with Jackson or her family.

15. Some time on or after July 14, 2004, Respondent was ordered by thecriminaJ court judge in

Jackson's criminal case to file an affidavit with the Criminal Post-trial section but he failed

to do so.

Agreed Judgment ofFully P'olKlflld S..,pension!HOI2041923S; James A. Nolen Page 3


16. On or about December 15,2004, Jackson filed a grievance with the State Bar of Texas'

Office of Chief Disciplinary Counsel and on or about May 24, 2005, Respondent was in

receipt of the notice of the grievance and had thirty days to file a written response.

17. Respondent has failed to timely file a written response and has not asserted any grounds for

his failure to respond to the notice of grievance.

II. CONCLUSIONS OF LAW

It is agreed that the foregoing findings of fact support a violation of Rule 1.01(b)(1);

1.01(b)(2); 1.02(a)(I); 1.03(a); 1.03(b); 8.01(b); and 8.04(8)(8) ofthe TEXAS DISCIPLINARY RULES

OF PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT. Article X, Section 9, STATE BAR RULES.

III. SANCTION

IT IS AGREED AND THEREFORE ORDERED in accordance with the factors set forth

in Rule 2.18 of the TEXAS RULES OF DISCIPLINARY PROCEDURE that the proper discipline of

Respondent for each act of professional misconduct as found in this case is suspension from the

practice oflaw for a period oftwo (2) years, with the suspension being fully probated, beginning on

February 1. 2006, and ending on January 31, 2008, subject to all of the following terms and

conditions:

1. Respondent shall not engage in professional misconduct as defined by Rule


1.06V of the TEXAS RULES OF DISCIPLINARY PROCEDURE.

2. Respondent shall not violate any state or federal criminal statutes, except that
misdemeanor traffic offenses shall not be grounds for revocation ofRespondent's
probation.

3. Respondent shall at all times keep the STATE BAR OF TEXAS membership
department notified as to his current mailing, residence, and business addresses

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and telephone numbers, and he shall advise the STATE BAR OF TEXAS of any of
these changes within ten (10) days of the change.

4. Respondent shall comply with Minimum Continuing Legal Education (MeLE)


requirements in accordance with Article XII of the STATE BAR RULES.

S. Respondent shall comply with Interest on Lawyers Trust AccoWlt (IOLTA)


requirements in accordance with Article XI of the STATE BAR RULES.

6. Respondent shall respond to any request for information forwarded to him by the
Office of the Chief Disciplinary COWlsel of the STATE BAR OF TEXAS in
connection with an investigation of any allegations of professional misconduct
promptly in accordance with the TEXAS RULES OF DISCIPLINARY PROCEDURE
unless Respondent claims the privilege against self-incrimination.

7. Respondent shall pay restitution as ordered in this Judgment.

8. Respondent shall pay reasonable and necessary attorneys' fees ac; ordered in this
Judgment.

9. Respondent shall pay costs and expenses as ordered in this Judgment.

IT IS AGREED AND THEREFORE ORDERED that Respondent shall pay restitution to

Eric: Estes in the amount of Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00). All restitution payments shall be

made by money order, certified check, or cashier's check; made payable to ERIC ESTES; and

delivered to tbe STATE BAR OF TEXAS, Office oftbe Chief Disciplinary Counsel, 600 Jefferson,

Suite 1000, Houston, Texas 77002, for forwarding to Complainant. Respondent sbaD pay all

restitution contemporaneously witb tbe signing of this Judgment.

IT IS AGREED AND THEREFORE ORDERED that Respondent pay reasonable and

necessary attorneys' fees and costs in the amount of Two Tbousand One Hundred Seven and

65/100 Dollars (S2,107.65). AD payments are to be remitted to the STATE BAR OF TEXAS, Office

of the Chief DiscipUnary Counsel, 600 Jefferson, Suite 1000, Houston, Texas 77002, by money

Agrt!ed Judgmenl ofFully Probated SuspcmioN1iOI 204 I92JS; James A. NolCfl Page 5
order, certified check, or cashier's check. Respondent shall pay all attorneys' fees and costs

contemporaneously with the signing of this Judgment.

IT IS AGREED AND THEREFORE ORDERED that upon detennination by the BOARD

OF DISCIPLINARY ApPEALS that Respondent has violated any tenn or condition of probation, the

BOARD OF DISCIPLINARY ApPEALS shall enter an order revoking the probation and imposing the

active suspension of Respondent from the practice oflaw for a period oftwo (2) years commencing

on or after the date of revocation upon the following conditions:

1. The Chief Disciplinary Counsel of the STATE BAR OF TEXAS may apply to the
BOARD OF DISCIPLINARY ApPEALS for revocation by filing a written Motion to
Revoke Probation;

2. A copy of the Motion to Revoke Probation and a Notice of Hearing shall be


delivered to Respondent pursuant to Rule 2.23 of the TEXAS RULES OF
DISCIPLINARY PROCEDURE at Respondent's last known address on the
membership rolls of the STATE BAR OF TEXAS; and

3. The BOARD OF DISCIPLINARY ApPEALS shall expeditiously hear the Motion 10


Revoke Probation within thirty (30) days of service upon Respondent, shall
detennine whether Respondent has violated any of the tenns or conditions of
probation and whether the acts constituting the violation occurred during the
period of probation by a preponderance of the evidence.

IT IS AGREED AND THEREFORE ORDERED that any period of active suspension

imposed on Respondent by the BOARD OF DISCIPLINARY ApPEALS as a result of revocation of his

probation shall be in addition to any and all other action taken against Respondent as a consequence

ofhis professional misconduct or criminal acts occurring during the period ofprobation which serve

as the basis for the revocation of probation.

IT IS AGREED AND THEREFORE ORDERED that during any period of active

suspension imposed on Respondent by the BOARD OF DISCIPLINARY ApPEALS as a result of

"[('Wd Judglllent of Full}' Probated SWJl"!siOlll1iOI204I923S; James A. Nolen Page 6


revocation of his probation, Respondent shall be enjoined from practicing law in Texas, holding

himself out as an attorney, performing any legal services for others, accepting any fee directly or

indirectly for legal services, appearing as counselor in any representative capacity in any

proceeding in any Texas court or before any Texas administrative body, or holding himselfout to

others or using his name in any matter in conjunction with the words "attorney," "counselor,"

"counselor at law," or "lawyer."

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that this suspension is to be made a matter ofpublic record

and shall be appropriately recorded in accordance with the TEXAS RULES OF DISCIPLINARY

PROCEDURE.

By the signatures of Respondent and all counsel of record, it is shown that this Agreed

Judgment ofFully Probated Suspension is agreed to by the parties pursuant to Rule 11 ofthe TEXAS

RULES OF CIVIL PROCEDURE, both as to form and substance.

All relief not expressly granted in this Agreed Judgment of Fully Probated Suspension is

DENIED.
"t"'-\.
SIGNED this 'l.\ day of ~,2006.
EVIDENTIARY PANEL
DISTRICT 4E GRIEVANCE COMMITTEE
STATE BAR OF TEXAS

ll• .l4"N'" (). ~ _

KEVIN OtGORMAN
Chairperson

Agl'Wd Judgment of Fully ProbalEd SuspmsiDllMOI204I92JS; James A. Nolen Page 7


AGREED AS TO BOTH AGREED AS TO BOTH
FORM AND SUBSTANCE: FORM AND SUBSTANCE:

STATE BAR OF TEXAS


Office ofthe Chief Dlsclpl/nllry COllnsel

S EMElKA S. LANDRY SA. NOLEN


Assistant Disciplinary Counsel E
State Bar No. 24005076 Sta Bar No. 00784687
600 Jefferson, Suite 1000 2010 Shadow Bend
Houston, Texas 77002 Houston, Texas 77043
Phone: (713) 758-8200 Phone: (713) 697-4373
Fax: (713) 758-8292

ATTORNEYS FOR PETITIONER,


COMMISSION FOR LAWYER DISCIPLINE

"greed.Judgment ofFully Probal¥d Suspm.siollltlOJ204I92JS; James A. Nolen Page 8


BEFORE THE EVIDENTIARY PANEL OF
STATE BAR DISTRICT NO. 4EI0 GRIEVANCE COMMITTEE
§
COMMISSION FOR LAWYER DISCIPLINE, § 80120419235 [ERIC ESTES)
§ 80120419342 (CHANDRA JACKSON)
Petitioner, §
§
v. § HARRIS COUNTY, TEXAS
§
JAMES A. NOLEN, §
§
Respondent. §

CONSENT TO JUDGMENT

In connection with the charges ofprofessional misconduct filed against me, I hereby consent
to entry of the Agreed Judgment ofFully Probated Suspension in the fonn submitted to me.

SIGNED this).t" ~ay of '1r't'tIJ tJ II'¥?J .2006.

STATE OF TEXAS §
§
COUNTY OF HARRIS §

BEFORE ME, the undersigned, a Notary Public in and for said County and State, on this day
personally appeared JAMES A. NOLEN, known to me to be the person whose name is subscribed
to the foregoing instnunent, and being by me first duly sworn, acknowledged to me that the same
was executed for the purposes and considerations therein expressed, and the Agreed Judgment 0/
Fully Probated Suspension is true in every respect.

GIVEN UNDER my hand and seal of office this ~(1))day of j~'NlJ~ .2006.

_ _ _M

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