Wyoming Supreme Court Suspends Rock Springs Lawyer

CHEYENNE – The Wyoming Supreme Court issued an order of 30-day suspension of Rock Springs attorney Robert W. Hiatt Jr. commencing July 2, 2018. The disciplinary order resulted from Hiatt’s representation of a client in a child custody and visitation modification matter.  The client paid a $3,000.00 flat fee, which was characterized in Hiatt’s written fee agreement as nonrefundable. Hiatt neglected to pursue the matter diligently and failed to maintain adequate communication with his client, who ultimately terminated Hiatt’s representation.  After the client discharged Hiatt, Hiatt failed to return the unearned portion of the fee.

The Court found clear and convincing evidence that Hiatt committed violations of Rule 1.3 (diligence), Rule 1.4 (communication with client) and Rule 1.5 (fees). Hiatt also violated Rule 1.16 (termination of representation) in failing to return the unearned portion of the fee. The Court noted that Hiatt received a public censure for similar misconduct in 2016, and determined that the harsher sanction of a 30-day suspension was appropriate because the lighter sanction did not deter Hiatt from repeating the misconduct.  In addition to being suspended for 30 days, Hiatt was ordered to refund $1,150.00 in unearned fees to the client, to pay an administrative fee in the amount of $750.00 and costs of $3,674.39 to the Wyoming State Bar.

Order of 30-Day Suspension

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