Kaplan v. Height
An attorney who allegedly does not communicate promptly with a client, prior to the expiration of the appeals period, to inform the client about a court decision, violates Rule 1.4 of the Rules of Professional Conduct. Barry Kaplan, who currently resides in Texas, hired Attorney Jennifer Height, of Brown Paindiris, to represent him in a family-law case. A court hearing took place on May 6, 2011. Allegedly, Attorney Height did not provide a copy of the court's decision to her client until June 17, which was after the appeals period had passed. Kaplan contacted Attorney Height's law firm and was informed that Attorney Height had left the law firm. Kaplan filed a grievance complaint, and the respondent attorney allegedly did not file an answer. The Statewide Grievance Committee found, by clear and convincing evidence, that the respondent attorney failed to communicate adequately with her client, in violation of Rule 1.4 of the Rules of Professional Conduct. The respondent attorney also failed to file an answer to the grievance complaint, in violation of Rule 8.1(2). The Statewide Grievance Committee ordered the respondent attorney's presentation to Superior Court for discipline. The Statewide Grievance Committee ordered disciplinary counsel to include a charge that the respondent attorney was not diligent, in violation of Rule 1.3.