Kansas State Court Suspends Bankruptcy Lawyer for Not E-Filing
In the first known case of its type, a lawyer has been disciplined by a state
disciplinary authority in part for for failure to electronically file in federal court. The lawyer was generally neglectful of two clients' matters, and dishonest with them and with disciplinary authorities, but as to one client, e-filing was a central issued.
The attorney was requested to file a bankruptcy petition electronically before the 2005 change in law, and told the client he was an e-filer. Then , the attorney told the client he was not actually an e-filer but would obtain a login and password before the end of the week. The client terminated the attorney client relationship, and hired a lawyer who did e-file his petition. But the discipined attorney failed to refund the fee.
The court said that the lawyer's failure to e-file for clients (in violation of the Kansas Bankruptcy Court mandatory requirement to e-file) breached his duty to provide competent representation and to act with reasonable diligence and promptness in representing clients. The lawyer had previously been admonished by the bankrupcty court for attempting to file in paper. In re Harris
, No. 99,294, --- P.3d ----, 2008 WL 818993 (Kan. March 28, 2008).