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In re Olsen

326 P.3d 1004 (2014)

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In re Olsen

Colorado Supreme Court

326 P.3d 1004 (2014)

Facts

Attorney John Olsen filed claims for unemployment benefits for client Melissa Mellott against her former employer, MSN Communications, Inc. (MSN). MSN moved to dismiss on the ground that the claims were frivolous and produced W-2s showing Mellott had been employed and earning a significant amount of money since MSN terminated her and had used someone else’s Social Security number to hide her income. Mellott claimed she was unavailable to appear in court because she had supposedly moved to Europe. Olsen opposed the motion to dismiss without investigating Mellott’s stories himself and repeated that she had moved to Europe to the federal magistrate and judge, making them reschedule hearings several times. Ultimately the court dismissed Mellott’s claims and requested attorney’s fees and sanctions. Olsen repeated the same frivolous arguments defending against MSN’s request. The Colorado Office of Attorney Regulation charged Olsen with violating the ethical rules prohibiting attorneys from advancing frivolous arguments or engaging in protracted and unnecessary litigation. The hearing board concluded that Olsen had violated both ethical rules and suspended him from practicing law for six months. Olsen appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Hobbs, J.)

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