Board of Professional Responsibility, Wyoming State Bar v. Casper

318 P.3d 790 (2014)

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Board of Professional Responsibility, Wyoming State Bar v. Casper

Wyoming Supreme Court
318 P.3d 790 (2014)

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Facts

Stacey Casper (defendant) represented a client in a divorce and child-custody proceeding. The legal-services agreement governing the attorney-client relationship provided that Casper would charge a minimum of 15 minutes for tasks completed in furtherance of the client’s case, including phone calls and reviewing and signing documents. The proceeding was adjourned for approximately six months. Before the case resumed, Casper moved to withdraw because the client had not paid her fees. Casper’s billing record indicated that she had billed the client twice for reviewing the fee agreement, and had made 106 entries for 15-minute increments to complete tasks that could not reasonably require that much time, including for simply reviewing and signing one-page documents. In some cases, Casper billed the client for two 15-minute increments for reviewing and signing the same document. At least once, Casper billed for time she spent working on a motion to continue that was needed only because of Casper’s own scheduling issues. The district court granted Casper’s motion to withdraw and the client moved forward without counsel. The Board of Professional Responsibility of the Wyoming State Bar (plaintiff), however, brought disciplinary charges against Casper for billing excessive fees, and filed a Report and Recommendation for 30 Day Suspension.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Kite, C.J)

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