Statewide Grievance Committee
Stephanie Dunn, Complainant vs. Dennis W. Driscoll, Respondent
Grievance Complaint #06-1030
Pursuant to Practice Book §2-35, the undersigned, duly-appointed reviewing committee of the Statewide Grievance Committee, conducted a hearing at the Superior Court, 235 Church Street, New Haven, Connecticut on March 7, 2007. The hearing addressed the record of the complaint filed on November 14, 2006, and the probable cause determination filed by the New Haven Judicial District Grievance Panel for the towns of Bethany, New Haven and Woodbridge on January 3, 2007, finding that there existed probable cause that the Respondent violated Rules 1.4(a) and 8.1(2) of the Rules of Professional Conduct and Practice Book §2-32(a)(1).
Notice of the hearing was mailed to the Complainant, to the Respondent and to the Office of the Chief Disciplinary Counsel on January 29, 2007. Pursuant to Practice Book §2-35(d), Assistant Disciplinary Counsel Jeffrey Donahue pursued the matter before this reviewing committee. Neither the Complainant nor the Respondent appeared for the hearing. No exhibits were received into evidence at the hearing.
This reviewing committee makes the following findings of fact by clear and convincing evidence:
The Complainant retained the Respondent on February 14, 2004 to represent her in post-dissolution of marriage proceedings. The Complainant paid the Respondent a retainer in the amount of $1,620.00 on February 14, 2004. The Respondent represented the Complainant in mediation during a contempt hearing in October of 2004. However, the parties were not able to reach an agreement. Thereafter, the Complainant left messages for the Respondent which were not returned.
The Respondent has not filed his Attorney Registration Form with the Statewide Grievance Committee since February 22, 2005. A copy of the grievance complaint was mailed to the Respondent on November 16, 2006 by certified mail, return receipt requested, and returned to the Statewide Grievance Committee on December 21, 2006 unclaimed. The Respondent did not file an answer to this grievance complaint.
The Respondent violated Rule 1.4(a) of the Rules of Professional Conduct by failing to return the Complainant’s messages after October of 2004. The Respondent violated Rule 8.1(2) and Practice Book §2-32(a)(1) by failing to answer the grievance complaint.
Accordingly, this reviewing committee directs the Disciplinary Counsel to bring a presentment against the Respondent in Superior Court for the imposition of whatever discipline is deemed appropriate.
DECISION DATE: 4/5/07
Attorney Jorene M. Couture
Attorney Dominick Rutigliano
Dr. Romeo Vidone