Disciplinary Board v. Stensland

20080213 In the Matter of the Application
for Disciplinary Action Against
Monty J. Stensland, A Member of
the Bar of the State of North Dakota
Disciplinary Board of the Supreme
Court of the State of North Dakota, Petitioner
Monty J. Stensland, Respondent

Nature of Action: Disciplinary Proceedings (Civil)
Petitioner: Brent J. Edison
Respondent: Monty Jay Stensland
Term: 12/2008   Argument: 12/04/2008  Waived
ND cite: 2009 ND 77
NW cite: 764 N.W.2d 438

Issues: Petitioner's Statement of the Issues:
1. Respondent objects to the findings and conclusions that he violated N.D.R. Lawyer Discipline 6.3, in that 6.3 is an ambiguous rule that contains no definitions. Specifically, "All Clients being represented in Pending Matters," can be interpreted in more than one context, i.e., pending matters, pending cases, pending actions are synonymous terms. Pending is a legal term not a layman's term, so in Rule 6.3, Disciplinary Counsel asserts that it should be read as a layman.
2. Respondent complied in good faith with his interpretation of Rule 6.3 in providing notices, and in filing affidavit of each.
3. Respondent requests that the Court take notice of the caption of the Report of Hearing Panel herein, which states "In the Matter of" in the very first line. Moreover, the first paragraph commences with the words, "This matter came on for hearing." Respondent takes the position that Disciplinary Counsel by using such language has made the point for respondent that the terms pending matter, pending action, and pending case are synonymous.
4. Respondent objects to the finding that he failed to take McLaurin's telephone calls during the 60 day suspension, in that Ms. McLaurin did not claim to have made any telephone calls specifically during the suspension period.
5. Respondent did not claim to have read Rule 6.3 over a thousand times prior to sending out notices, the context of his statement was referencing having read Rule 6.3 over a thousand times after having been served with disciplinary complaint. Prior to sending notices, Respondent read Rule 6.3 several times. Respondent further objects, due to the wording of Rule 6.3(A)(3), which states, "Opposing Counsel in pending matters, or in the absence of such counsel, the adverse parties," opposing counsel and/or adverse parties can only exist where service and/or filing has occurred, which leads one to interpret both paragraphs 6.3(A)(1) and 6.3(A)(3) in like manner.
6. Respondent objects to the panel's report, as containing no clear and convincing support for the findings and conclusion that 6.3(A)(1) requiring definition that" all clients being represented in pending matters" is equivalent to "all clients being

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Docket entries:
108/29/2008 REPORT OF DISCIPLINARY BOARD (Part of Record)
309/02/2008 CERTIFICATE of Record
409/03/2008 TRANSCRIPT DATED June 10, 2008 (copy) w/ exhibits DC1-DC10 & Exhibit R1
509/04/2008 Original Transcript dated 6-10-08 w/ exhibits DC1-DC10 & Exhibit R1
609/05/2008 Supplemental Certificate of Record
709/09/2008 DISK of tra dated 6-10-08
1010/17/2008 Appendix of Petitioner
1110/17/2008 DISK - PTB
1210/29/2008 Mr. Edison's e-mail dated 10/29/08 requesting waiver of oral argument
1310/29/2008 E-FILED MOTION (Request to waive oral argument)
1411/19/2008 ACTION BY SUPREME COURT (Request to waive on behalf of Petitioner). Granted
1512/04/2008 APPEARANCES: waived on behalf of Petitioner under NDRAppP 34(f) and submitted on the records and
1612/04/2008 brief filed. Respondent filed no brief, therefore, oral argument waived under NDRAppP 34(a)(2) and
1712/04/2008 submitted to the Court
1812/04/2008 ARGUED: submitted on brief of Petitioner under NDRAppP 34(f); submitted under NDRAppP 34(a)(2) on
1912/04/2008 behalf of Respondent
2104/30/2009 UNANIMOUS OPINION: Per Curiam
2204/30/2009 Stensland is suspended from the practice of law for 60 days, effective 5-15-09 for
2304/30/2009 violation of N.D.R.Prof.Conduct 1.4, 3.3, & 5.5 and N.D.R.Lawyer Discipl. 4.5 & 6.3
2404/30/2009 Mr. Stensland must pay the costs of the disciplinary proceeding in the amount of $3,880.40, payable
2504/30/2009 to the Secretary of Disciplinary Board
2605/04/2009 Judgment E-Mailed & Mailed to Parties
2705/04/2009 Mailed Notice of Order Suspending Attorney to Grand Forks Herald, SBAND, Michie Co., US Court
2805/04/2009 of Appeals, and Martindale-Hubbell
2905/15/2009 Affidavit of Publication - Grand Forks Herald
3106/17/2009 JUDGMENT TRANSCRIBED TO Grand Forks County
3207/28/2009 Affidavit of Compliance With Lawyer Disciplinary Rule 6.3 & Affidavit of Compliance With Lawyer
3307/28/2009 Disciplinary Rule 4.5(b) & Cert./Mailing
3408/19/2009 Acknowledgement of Satisfaction of Judgment

Generated from Supreme Court Docket on 04/18/2014