March 2022 > Discipline & Other Regulatory Notices

gavel, discipline notices

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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Disbarred

Florian Damaso Purganan (WSBA No. 36291, admitted 2005) of Renton, was disbarred, effective 12/27/2021, by order of the Washington Supreme Court. Purganan’s conduct violated the following Rules of Professional Conduct: 8.4(c) (Dishonesty, Fraud, Deceit or Misrepresentation).

In relation to his use of his employer law firm’s resources in representing non-firm “ghost clients,” Purganan stipulated to disbarment for unlawfully appropriating funds belonging to his employer, performing legal services for outside clients while he was a law firm partner, retaining the fees for those services, and concealing both the fact of the representations and the receipt of associated fees.

Kathy Jo Blake acted as disciplinary counsel. Kenneth Scott Kagan represented Respondent. The online version of Washington State Bar News contains links to the following documents: Disciplinary Board Order Approving Stipulation to Disbarment; Stipulation to Disbarment; and Washington Supreme Court Order.


Resigned in Lieu of Discipline 

Linda Staples (WSBA No. 32854, admitted 2002) of Vancouver, resigned in lieu of discipline, effective 01/07/2022. Staples agrees that she is aware of the alleged misconduct in disciplinary counsel’s Statement of Alleged Misconduct and rather than defend against the allegations, wishes to permanently resign from membership in the Association. The Statement of Alleged Misconduct reflects the following violations of the Rules of Professional Conduct: 1.3 (Diligence), 1.4 (Communication), 1.15A (Safeguarding Property), 3.2 (Expediting Litigation), 8.4(a) (Attempt, Assists or Induce), 8.4(d) (Prejudicial to the Admin of Justice), 8.4(l) ELC violation.

Staples’ alleged misconduct, as stated in disciplinary counsel’s Statement of Alleged Misconduct, related to her representation of a client in a non-parental custody matter. Staples’ alleged misconduct includes: 1) failing to act quickly when her client’s matter was at risk of dismissal; 2) failing to respond to her client’s repeated requests for information; 3) entering into a fee agreement that provided that the funds could be transferred out of the trust account at the time of billing without allowing for reasonable notice to her client; 4) failing to provide her client with a written accounting, despite her client’s requests; and 5) failing to provide the Office of Disciplinary Counsel with the requested information in response to the grievance.

Sachia Stonefeld Powell acted as disciplinary counsel. Linda Staples represented herself. The online version of Washington State Bar News contains a link to the following document: Resignation Form of Linda Staples ELC 9.3(b).


Suspended

John A. Cimino (WSBA No. 11698, admitted 1981) of Denver, CO, was suspended for six months, with four months to be served and two months to be stayed upon completion of a one year probation, effective 01/17/2021, by order of the Washington Supreme Court imposing reciprocal discipline in accordance with an order of the Supreme Court of the State of Colorado. For more information, click here. Henry Cruz acted as disciplinary counsel. John A. Cimino represented himself. The online version of Washington State Bar News contains a link to the following document: The Washington Supreme Court Order.

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Matthew S. Furness (WSBA No. 43649, admitted 2011) of Houston, TX, was suspended for 12 months, effective 12/27/2021, by order of the Washington Supreme Court. Furness’ conduct violated the following Rules of Professional Conduct: 1.3 (Diligence), 1.4 (Communication).

In relation to his handling of two client’s immigration matters, Furness stipulated to suspension for: 1) failing to act with reasonable diligence and promptness in representing client A and by willfully abandoning and willfully disregarding a legal matter entrusted to him; 2) failing to keep client A reasonably informed about the status of the case, failing to explain the matter to the extent reasonably necessary to permit client A to make informed decisions regarding the representation, and failing to maintain communication with client A; 3) neglecting client B’s legal matter and by failing to act with reasonable diligence and promptness in representing client B; and 4) failing to keep client B reasonably informed about the status of the case, by failing to promptly comply with client B and client B’s fiancé’s reasonable requests for information, by failing to explain a matter to the extent reasonably necessary to permit client B to make informed decisions regarding the representation, and by failing to maintain communication with client B.

Francesca D’Angelo and Amanda Lee acted as disciplinary counsel. Matthew S. Furness represented himself. David Bruce Condon was the hearing officer. Carl Joseph Oreskovich was the settlement hearing officer. The online version of Washington State Bar News contains links to the following documents: Disciplinary Board Order Approving Stipulation; Stipulation to 12 Month Suspension; and Washington Supreme Court Order.

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Amanda Rae Lilly (WSBA No. 48416, admitted 2014) of Yakima, was suspended for two years, effective 01/18/2022, by order of the Washington Supreme Court. Lilly’s conduct violated the following Rules of Professional Conduct: 1.15A (Safeguarding Property), 1.16 (Declining or Terminating Representation).

In relation to the handling of her trust account and the closing down of her family law solo practice, Lilly stipulated to suspension for: 1) removing client funds by wrongly charging duplicate expenses; 2) failing to place client cash deposits into the trust account, and by disbursing more funds than the clients had on deposit; 3) disbursing more funds on behalf of one or more clients than the clients had in trust; 4) failing to refund clients’ unearned trust account funds after withdrawal from representation; and 5) failing to reconcile the check register balance to the bank statement balance and reconcile the check register balance to the combined total of all client ledgers.

Francesca D’Angelo acted as disciplinary counsel. Amanda Rae Lilly represented herself. The online version of Washington State Bar News contains links to the following documents: Disciplinary Board Order Conditionally Approving Stipulation to Suspension; Consent Under ELC 9.1(e); Stipulation to Two Year Suspension; and Washington Supreme Court Order.

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Lynn Earl Smith (WSBA No. 20060, admitted 1990) of Lake Oswego, OR, was suspended for 90 days, effective 09/01/2019, with the entire suspension stayed based on his successful completion of the two-year term of probation in Oregon, by order of the Washington Supreme Court imposing reciprocal discipline in accordance with an order of the Supreme Court of the State of Oregon. For more information, click here. Joanne S. Abelson acted as disciplinary counsel. Lynn Earl Smith represented himself. The online version of Washington State Bar News contains a link to the following document: The Washington Supreme Court Order.

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Troy Alvord Stewart (WSBA No. 15888, admitted 1986) of Glendale, CA, was suspended for two years, with execution of the suspension stayed except for 90 days of actual suspension, and two years of probation, effective 07/14/2021, by order of the Washington Supreme Court imposing reciprocal discipline in accordance with an order of the Supreme Court of the State of California. For more information, click here. Henry Cruz acted as disciplinary counsel. Troy Alvord Stewart represented himself. The online version of Washington State Bar News contains a link to the following document: The Washington Supreme Court Order.


Reprimanded

Jeff B. Crollard (WSBA No. 15561, admitted 1985) of Seattle, was reprimanded, effective 12/23/2021, by order of the Chief Hearing Officer. Crollard’s conduct violated the following Rules of Professional Conduct: 1.3 (Diligence), 1.4 (Communication), 8.4(l) ELC violation.

In relation to his handling of a nursing home litigation matter, Crollard stipulated to a reprimand for: 1) failing to finalize the client’s legal matter promptly; 2) failing to respond promptly to the client’s repeated requests for information about the status of their case; and 3) failing to respond to disciplinary counsel’s written requests for a response to the grievance, necessitating subpoenas and noncooperation depositions.

Joanne S. Abelson acted as disciplinary counsel. Jeff B. Crollard represented himself. The online version of Washington State Bar News contains links to the following documents: Order Approving Stipulation to Reprimand; Stipulation to Reprimand; and Notice of Reprimand.


Interim Suspension

Nicholas A. Fay (WSBA No. 47603, admitted 2014) of Bellingham, is suspended from the practice of law in the State of Washington pending the outcome of disciplinary proceedings, effective 01/13/2022, by order of the Washington Supreme Court. This is not a disciplinary sanction.

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Michael Graham (WSBA No. 37391, admitted 2006) of Seattle, is suspended from the practice of law in the State of Washington pending the outcome of disciplinary proceedings, effective 01/13/2022, by order of the Washington Supreme Court. This is not a disciplinary sanction.


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