You are on page 1of 9

PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT BOARD

IDAHO STATE BAR

SEP 1 5 2000

Julia A. Crossland
Assistant Bar Counsel
Idaho State Bar
P. 0. Box 895
Boise. ID 83701
(208) 334-4500
ISB No. 3989
BEFORE THE PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT BOARD
OF THE IDAHO STATE BAR
IDAHO STATE BAR,

Plaintiff.

Case : FC 00-10

COMPLAINT

)
)

CLINTON E. MINER.

Defendant.

)
)

The Idaho State Bar (ISB), by and through its counsel, Julia A. Crossland, charges Clinton E.
Miner, an attorney admitted to practice before the courts of Idaho, with professional misconduct
as follows:

I.

Clinton E. Miner, hereinafter referred to as "Defendant" or "Defendant Miner," was admitted to


the practice of law in the State of Idaho in 1988, at which time he took the oath required for
admission, wherein he agreed to abide by and follow the Idaho Rules of Professional Conduct as
adopted and amended by the ISB and the. Rules of the Idaho Supreme Court.

At all times

mentioned herein he has continuously been under the jurisdiction of the Idaho Supreme Court as
a member of the ISB on active status.

Complaint - 1

II.

The Supreme Court of the State of Idaho has approved and adopted the Idaho Rules of
Professional Conduct, governing the ethical conduct of attorneys licensed to practice in the State
of Idaho, which Rules were in effect at all times relevant herein.

III.

Pursuant to Rule 511(a)(!) of the Idaho Bar Commission Rules, the Board of Commissioners has
concuned in the filing of these charges against the Defendant.

COUNT ONE

(Neglect)
I.

In July 1997, Fred Quinto retained Defendant Miner, a sole practitioner, to represent him in

.'
collecting on a debt in the amount of $860.00. Mr. Quinto initially paid the Defendant $550.00
and the complaint was filed on August 22, 1997.

Complaint - 2

II.

Shortly after taking Mr. Quinto's case, Defendant Miner became employed by the Shuster Law
Firm in Greenacres, Washington.

III.

Appr<Jximately one week before the trial in this matter. Defendant Miner asked 'vir. Quinto for an
additional 52.000.00, which Mr. Quinto paid.

A jury trial was held on August 31, 1998, after

which the jury found in favor of Mr. Quinto and awarded him 5860.00. At the conclLLsion of the
trial, Defendant Miner assured Mr. Quinto that the judgment and memorandum of costs would be
filed by the end of that week- September 4, 1998.

The Defendant also informed Mr. Quinto that

he was soon leaving the Shuster Law Firm to begin working for the Idaho Attorney General's
office in Boise.

IV.

.,
Mr. Quinto spoke with the Defendant the next week and learned that the documents had not yet
been filed. Again the Defendant assured Mr. Quinto that they would be filed by the end of that
week, September 11, 1998.

Complaint - 3

V.

Mr. Quinto spoke with the Defendant again on September 15. 1998, and learned that the
documents remained unfiled. The Defendant told Mr. Quinto that he had not filed the papers
because he needed more money, 67 hours at S I 00.00. to file the judgment and memorandum of
costs, and that he had no incentive to file those papers unless he was paid these additional fees.
By October 9. !99S, the documents had still not been filed.

VI.

On October 15, !998, Mr. Quinto filed a complaint with the !SB. On November I 0, !998, the
ISB asked the Defendant to contact Mr. Quinto to provide infonnation and assistance within ten
(!0) days of his receipt of the letter. By November 27, 1998, Mr. Quinto had not heard from the
Defendant.

VII.

.'

On January 21, 1999, Defendant Miner infonned the ISB that he had an agreement with Leroy
Shuster that the Shuster Law Firm would complete Mr. Quinto's case, but that Mr. Shuster had
died on December 3, 1998. He also told the ISB that he had spoken to the receiver at the. law
firm of Lukins and Annis, and that this firm would complete the case.

Complaint - 4

VIII.

On February 4, 1999, Mr. Quinto notified the ISB that he had still not heard from the Defendant.
and that on February 28, 1999, the case would be dismissed for inactivity.

IX.

ln Ap il \999. Defendant :Vlincr inforn1ed the ISB that because the receiver ot :Vlr. Shuster's
estate had not filed the judgment and memorandum of costs, Defendant Miner had prepared them
and would be filing them along with his motion to withdraw as attorney of record.

X.

On August 6, 1999, Mr. Quinto notified the ISB that the Defendant had neither filed the
jttdgment and memorandum of costs, nor the motion to withdraw as attorney of record.

XI.

In November 1999, the clerk's office of the district court in Nez Perce County informed the ISB
that there had been no activity in Mr. Quinto's case since the trial in August 1998.

Complaint - 5

XII.

The Defendant did not tile a motion to withdraw as attorney of record until March 29, 2000. The
judgment and memorandum of costs were never filed.

XIII.

'o
The conduct described in paragraphs I. through XII. of this count constitutes a violation of Idah
Rules of Professional Conduct l.3 ["Diligence"]; 1.4 ['Communication"]; 1.16(d) [Failure to
take steps reasonably practicable to protect client's interests upon termination of representation];
3.2 [Failure to expedite litigation consistent with the interests of the client]; and 8.4(d) [Conduct

prejudicial to the administration of justice].

COUNT TWO
(False Statement in Disciplinary Matter)

-'
I.

The matters set forth in Count One above are hereby


realleged as if fully set forth.
.
.

.; -

Complaint - 6

II.

As alleged above, in January 1999, Defendant Miner informed the ISB that Leroy Sl1Llster of the
Shuster Law Firm had agreed to complete Mr. Quinto's case. but that Mr. Shuster had died in
December 1998. The Defendant also told the ISB that the receiver for Mr. Shuster's estate, the
law finn of Lukinsand i\nnis, would complete the case.

. m.

In February 1999, the ISB contacted the office of Lukins and Annis and was told that Fred
Quinto was not on the list of Mr. Shuster's clients to be contacted by that firm. Mr. Quinto's file
had, in fact, been forwarded to the Defend<: nt by Mr. Shuster's office on December 4, 1998, for
him to complete due to Mr. Shuster's untimely death and because there was no other attorney in
the office familiar with Mr. Quinto's case.

IV.

Defendant Miner'sstate ents to the ISB that he had not filed the judgment and memorandum of
costs in Mr. Quinto's case because he did not have the file, and that the receiver law firm of Mr.
Shuster's estate had the file and was to prepare and file the documents, was false..

Complaint - 7

V.

The conduct described in paragraphs I. through IV. of this count constitutes of violation of Idaho

Rules of Professional Conduct 8.1 (a) [False statement of material fact made in connection with a
disciplinary

matter];

and

8.4(c)

[Conduct

involving

dishonesty,

fraud,

deceit

or

misrepresentation].

WHEREFORE. based on the matters alleged in Counts One and Two above. Plaintiff prays for
judgment against Defendant, Clinton E. Miner, as follows:

That Defendant be suspended from the practice of law; that he be ordered to pay the costs and
expenses incurred in investigating and prosecuting this matter; and for such other relief as is
deemed necessary and proper.

DATED this

. -{!--.
day of September, 2000.

;. a.tUW= )
_. Julia A Crossland
.
Assistant Bar Counsel

Complaint - 8

CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE
I hereby certify that on the

!5+-f._rlay of September, 2000, I served a true and correct copy of

the foregoing COMPLAINT upon the following by certified mail, return receipt requested,
addressed and directed as follows:
Clinton E. Miner
5074 Harbourview Drive
Boise. ID 83703

Ju!ia A. Crossland

Complaint - 9