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Law Offices of Michael E. Douglas
P.O. Box 251551
Woodbury, Minnesota 55125-6551
   

 Saint Paul Lawyer
 
 mdouglas@injurylawtwincities.com

 

In re Petition for Disciplinary Action against Ronald Lyle Kopeska: ETHICS - suspension for conversion of funds, business relations with client

1
STATE OF MINNESOTA
IN SUPREME COURT
A07-2152
In re Petition for Disciplinary Action against
Ronald Lyle Kopeska, a Minnesota Attorney,
Registration No. 5754X.
O R D E R
The Director of the Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility has filed a
petition for disciplinary action alleging that respondent Ronald Lyle Kopeska committed
professional misconduct warranting public discipline, namely, conversion of client funds
that were subject to a receivership; failure to inform the receiver of the disbursement;
failure to return the client funds; failure to timely satisfy a court-ordered judgment
entered in favor of the receiver for the amount respondent converted; entering into an
improper business transaction with a client, which created a conflict of interest; and
failure to comply with the requirements for entering into a business transaction with a
client, namely, providing the client with a reasonable opportunity to seek the advice of
independent counsel and failing to obtain the clients written consent to the conflict, in
violation of Minn. R. Prof. Conduct 3.4(c), 8.4(c) and (d), 1.7(b), and 1.8(a).
Respondent admits his conduct violated the Rules of Professional Conduct, waives
his rights under Rule 14, Rules on Lawyers Professional Responsibility (RLPR), and has
entered into a stipulation with the Director in which they jointly recommend that the
2
appropriate discipline is a 90-day suspension, with reinstatement by affidavit, followed
by two years of supervised probation. The parties also jointly recommend that if
respondent, while on supervised probation, intends to enter into a business transaction
with a client, respondent be required to submit the terms of the transaction to the Director
for review in order to ensure respondents compliance with Minn. R. Prof. Conduct
1.8(a).
The court has independently reviewed the file and approves the jointly
recommended disposition, except that the Directors review of proposed transactions
between respondent and his clients shall extend to proposed transactions between
respondents clients and entities in which respondent has a direct or indirect ownership
interest or in which respondent serves as an officer or director.
Based upon all the files, records and proceedings herein,
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that respondent Ronald Lyle Kopeska is suspended
from the practice of law for 90 days, effective as of the date of filing of this order. The
hearing provided for under Rule 18, RLPR, is waived. Respondent shall be conditionally
reinstated following the expiration of the suspension provided that at least 15 days before
the expiration of the suspension, respondent files an affidavit with the clerk of appellate
courts and the Directors Office establishing that respondent is current with continuing
education requirements and has fully complied with Rules 24 and 26, RLPR. Upon
reinstatement, respondent shall be subject to supervised probation for a period of
two years under the following conditions:
3
(a) Respondent shall cooperate fully with the Directors Office in its
efforts to monitor compliance with the probation and shall promptly
respond to the Directors correspondence by its due date. Respondent shall
provide to the Director a current mailing address and shall immediately
notify the Director of any change of address. Respondent shall cooperate
with the Directors investigation of any allegations of unprofessional
conduct that may come to the Directors attention. Upon the Directors
request, respondent shall provide authorization for release of information
and documentation to verify compliance with the terms of this probation.
(b) Respondent shall abide by the Rules of Professional Conduct.
(c) Respondent shall be supervised by a licensed Minnesota attorney,
appointed by the Director to monitor compliance with the terms of this
probation. Respondent shall provide to the Director the names of four
attorneys who have agreed to be nominated as respondents supervisor
within two weeks from the date of filing of this order. If, after diligent
effort, respondent is unable to locate a supervisor acceptable to the
Director, the Director will seek to appoint a supervisor. Until a supervisor
has signed a consent to supervise, the respondent shall on the first day of
each month provide the Director with an inventory of active client files
described in paragraph (d) below. Respondent shall make active client files
available to the Director upon request.
(d) Respondent shall cooperate fully with the supervisor in his or her
efforts to monitor compliance with this probation. Respondent shall
contact the supervisor and schedule a minimum of one in-person meeting
per calendar quarter. Respondent shall submit to the supervisor an
inventory of all active client files by the first day of each month during the
probation. With respect to each active file, the inventory shall disclose the
client name, type of representation, date opened, most recent activity, next
anticipated action, and anticipated closing date. Respondents supervisor
shall file written reports with the Director at least quarterly, or at such more
frequent intervals as may reasonably be requested by the Director.
(e) If respondent, or any entity in which respondent has an ownership
interest or serves as an officer or director, intends to enter into a business
transaction with one of respondents clients, respondent shall notify the
Director and submit the terms of the transaction to the Director for review
in order to ensure respondents compliance with Minn. R. Prof. Conduct
1.8(a).
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Respondent shall pay 0 in costs pursuant to Rule 24, RLPR. Respondent shall
successfully complete the professional responsibility portion of the state bar examination
within one year from the date of filing of this order. Respondent shall comply with
Rule 26, RLPR (requiring notice of suspension to clients, opposing counsel, and
tribunals).
Dated: December 7, 2007
BY THE COURT:
/s/
Helen M. Meyer
Associate Justice
 

 
 
 

  What day were you injured?

  / /


  What caused your injuries?
Traffic/Bicycle Accident
Work-Related Injury
Wrongful Death
Dog Bite
Slip and Fall
Other:


  How have your injuries affected

  your life?

 


  What kinds of medical care
  professionals have you seen?

 


  What has your treatment cost?

 

  Is Insurance Involved?
My insurance may cover
        this.

Someone else's insurance
        may cover this.

I already filed a claim.
I rejected a settlement
        offer.

I accepted a settlement
        offer.

  Were there any witnesses?
Bystanders Witnessed This.
Police Responded and Filed
        a Police Report

Police Responded but Did
        Not File a Police Report


 

 

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