Jin v. Wang
Rule 1.4 of the Rules of Profession Conduct provides that a lawyer shall promptly inform a client of any decision or circumstance with respect to which the client's informed consent is required; reasonably consult with the client about the means by which the client's objectives are to be accomplished; keep the client reasonably informed about the status; promptly comply with reasonable requests for information; and consult with the client about any relevant restriction on the lawyer's conduct. Allegedly, the complainant, Yinzhou Jin, hired the respondent attorney, John Xiong Wang, for assistance with a previously filed application for political asylum, and the respondent did not provide a written fee contract. The respondent attorney met his client prior to the immigration hearing, reviewed the application with his client in Mandarin Chinese, accompanied his client to the hearing and informed his client that she possessed the right to appeal. After the hearing, his client complained that her best language is Korean, and it was unfair she was required to speak Mandarin Chinese at the immigration hearing. The respondent attorney claimed that the client informed the respondent, prior to the hearing, that her best language was Mandarin Chinese, and that he himself communicated with the client in Mandarin Chinese and did not believe his client experienced difficulty communicating in that language. The Statewide Grievance Committee was not persuaded that the respondent failed to communicate adequately, in violation of Rule 1.4. The Statewide Grievance Committee found, by clear and convincing evidence, that the respondent attorney failed to provide his client with a written fee contract, in violation of Rule 1.5(b) of the Rules of Professional Conduct. The Statewide Grievance Committee ordered the respondent to take a continuing education course in legal ethics.