STATEWIDE GRIEVANCE COMMITTEE
Patrick Hubeny, Complainant vs. Robert Izzo, Respondent
Grievance Complaint #02-0007
Pursuant to Practice Book §2-35, the undersigned, duly-appointed reviewing committee of the Statewide Grievance Committee, conducted a hearing at the Superior Court, 95 Washington Street, Hartford, Connecticut on January 9, 2003. The hearing addressed the record of the complaint filed on July 5, 2002, and the probable cause determination filed by the New Britain Judicial District and Judicial District of Hartford for Geographical Area 12 and the Towns of Avon, Bloomfield, Canton, Farmington and West Hartford Grievance Panel on October 17, 2002, finding that there existed probable cause that the Respondent violated Rules 1.1, 1.3, 1.4 and 8.4 of the Rules of Professional Conduct.
Notice of the hearing was mailed to the Complainant and to the Respondent on December 3, 2002. At the hearing, the Complainant appeared and testified. The Respondent did not appear at the hearing before this reviewing committee.
The Complainant was advised that William Carroll, the lay-member of this reviewing committee, would not be present at the hearing. The Complainant waived the participation of Mr. Carroll. Accordingly, this decision was rendered by the undersigned.
This reviewing committee finds the following facts by clear and convincing evidence:
The Complainant was injured in 1995 at his place of employment. He retained the Respondent in May of 1996 to represent him in a workers’ compensation claim. The Respondent sent letters of protection to the Complainant’s various medical providers, but did not otherwise pursue the claim. The medical providers are now pursuing the Complainant for payment of their bills. In the summer of 2002, the Complainant asked the Respondent to provide proof that he had submitted the claim to workers’ compensation, but the Respondent did not do so. The Respondent did not thereafter communicate with the Complainant.
The Respondent, who is currently under interim suspension, did not file an answer to the grievance complaint.
This reviewing committee concludes by clear and convincing evidence that the Respondent violated the Rules of Professional Conduct. The Respondent failed to pursue the Complainant’s workers’ compensation matter, demonstrating a lack of competence and diligence, in violation of Rules 1.1 and 1.3 of the Rules of Professional Conduct, respectively. The Respondent has failed to communicate with the Complainant since the summer of 2002, in violation of Rule 1.4 of the Rules of Professional Conduct. Having agreed to pursue the matter, the Respondent’s abandonment of the Complainant’s claim, without notice or explanation, further constitutes conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation, in violation of Rule 8.4(3) of the Rules of Professional Conduct. It is hereby ordered that the Respondent be presented to the Superior Court for the imposition of whatever discipline is deemed appropriate. Since the presentment will be a de novo proceeding, it is further ordered that a charge be added for the Respondent’s failure to file an answer to the grievance complaint, as required by Practice Book §2-32(a)(1).
Attorney Vincent DeAngelo
Attorney Tracie Molinaro