THESE NOTICES OF THE IMPOSITION OF DISCIPLINARY SANCTIONS AND ACTIONS are published pursuant to Rule 3.5(c) of the Washington Supreme Court Rules for Enforcement of Lawyer Conduct. Active links to directory listings, RPC definitions, and documents related to the disciplinary matter can be found at the links below or by looking up the respondent in the legal directory on the WSBA website (www.wsba.org) and then scrolling down to “Discipline History.”
As some WSBA members share the same or similar names, please read all disciplinary notices carefully for names, cities, and bar numbers.
Find prior discipline & other regulatory notices here.
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Patricia A. Toy (WSBA No. 20178, admitted 1990) of Tacoma, was suspended for one year, effective 10/15/2021, by order of the Washington Supreme Court. Toy’s conduct violated the following Rules of Professional Conduct: 1.15A (Safeguarding Property), 1.15B (Required Trust Account Records).
In relation to her handling of her trust account and disputed funds, Toy stipulated to suspension for: 1) failing to maintain a complete and current check register and client ledgers for the trust account; 2) failing to perform bank statement and client ledger reconciliations for the trust account; 3) failing to promptly pay or deliver funds that clients and third persons were entitled to receive; 4) retaining earned fees in the trust account; and 5) failing to take reasonable action to resolve the dispute over ownership of disputed funds in the trust account.
Henry Cruz acted as disciplinary counsel. Kenneth Scott Kagan represented Respondent. Timothy J. O’Connell was the hearing officer. Anthony Angelo Russo was the settlement hearing officer. The online version of Washington State Bar News contains links to the following documents: Order Approving Stipulation to Suspension; Stipulation to Suspension; and Washington Supreme Court Order.
John Gibson (WSBA No. 19407, admitted 1990) of Seattle, was reprimanded, effective 10/01/2021, by order of the Chief Hearing Officer. Gibson’s conduct violated the following Rules of Professional Conduct: 8.4(i) (Disregard of Rule of Law).
In relation to his recent convictions for DUI, brandishing a weapon, and malicious mischief/domestic violence, and a pending criminal proceeding, Gibson stipulated to reprimand for repeatedly violating the criminal law and the terms of probation.
Joanne S. Abelson acted as disciplinary counsel. John Gibson represented himself. The online version of Washington State Bar News contains links to the following documents: Order Approving Stipulation; Stipulation to Reprimand; and Notice of Reprimand.
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Melissa Ann Huelsman (WSBA No. 30935, admitted 2001) of Seattle, was reprimanded, effective 9/20/2021, by order of the hearing officer. Huelsman’s conduct violated the following Rules of Professional Conduct: 1.15A (Safeguarding Property), 1.15B (Required Trust Account Records).
In relation to her handling of her trust accounts, Huelsman stipulated to a reprimand for: 1) failing to maintain check registers for her trust accounts; 2) failing to maintain complete client ledgers that for each transaction identified: a) the purpose of the transaction, b) the transaction date, c) the check number for each disbursement, d) the payor or payee, and/or e) the client ledger balance following each transaction; 3) failing to reconcile her trust account records as often as she received bank statements; and 4) failing to hold clients’ funds in trust and by disbursing more funds than what the clients had on deposit.
Kathy Jo Blake and M Craig Bray acted as disciplinary counsel. Melissa Ann Huelsman represented herself. The online version of Washington State Bar News contains links to the following documents: Order Approving Stipulation; Stipulation to Reprimand; and Notice of Reprimand.
Jeffrey Howard Sadler (WSBA No. 27136, admitted 1997) of Tacoma, is suspended from the practice of law in the state of Washington pending the outcome of disciplinary proceedings, effective 10/29/2021, by order of the Washington Supreme Court. This is not a disciplinary sanction.