By Jim Angell, Cowboy State Daily
A Casper attorney accused of failing to adequately represent a client in a divorce case has been suspended from the practice of law for three years.
Wyoming’s Supreme Court on Wednesday suspended Donald Tolin on the recommendation of the state Board of Professional Responsibility, the group that investigates complaints against attorneys and determine whether they will be punished.
A note posted on the Google listing for the website for Tolin’s law practice said he had closed his office and retired as of Dec. 31.
In its recommendation forwarded to the Supreme Court, the BPR said Tolin was approached by a woman in June of 2019 seeking legal advice about a possible separation or divorce from her husband.
In her communications with Tolin, the woman made it clear that “her overriding concern was that her husband was concealing assets …” the report said.
It added that the woman paid Tolin a $5,000 “availability retainer” in June 2019.
According to the report, the woman repeatedly asked Tolin from June of 2019 to August of 2020 to take steps to make sure assets were not concealed by her husband.
“Despite expressing fears since June 2019 that her husband was hiding assets and demanding a full accounting, Tolin never requested an accounting from wife’s husband,” the report said.
The report also said Tolin failed to communicate with the wife about proposed mediation dates and said he failed to “exercise professional billing judgment.”
“The invoices reflect that he repeatedly charged $20 for texts and emails containing little information or containing information unrelated to legal issues, such as information about Tolin’s grandchild,” it said.
It added Tolin did not send any invoices to the woman while he was employed by her.
The woman fired Tolin as her attorney in August 2020.
During the investigation by the BPR, Tolin admitted he had failed to comply with the woman’s directives, had neglected the case for several months, failed to respond to inquiries from his client and willfully violated a court order for mediation of the case.