Archive for Wednesday, November 12, 2003

Attorney’s license suspended

November 12, 2003

A Leavenworth attorney has lost his license to practice law for the next year.

The action stems from a case in which Terence A. Lober was representing Patricia Leach, Linwood, in a child-custody dispute with her ex-husband.

The Kansas Supreme Court has ruled that Lober failed to communicate with Leach about court proceedings; that his violation of his duties caused potential injury to her and actual injury to the legal profession; and that he did not respond to a complaint filed against him.

Leach said that Lober did not inform her that she owed child support to her former husband and that she found out about the required payments when her employer informed her that money would be withheld from her paycheck. When Leach tried to contact Lober for information about why he hadn't informed her about the situation, he failed to return her telephone calls.

In addition, a Lawrence attorney who was asked to investigate the complaint against Lober said he did not cooperate with the investigation, despite repeated attempts to obtain information from him.

Because Lober had been placed on probation by the court previously, "he should have had an understanding of its provisions and the consequences of a failure to cooperate with a disciplinary investigation," the court's ruling said.

The court said several factors played into its decision to suspend Lober from practicing law, including the fact that Lober has been disciplined a total of five times since 1994.

Lober had been informally admonished by the state's disciplinary administrator's office in 1994 and 1996.

The state Supreme Court placed him on probation in 1998 for two years, based on four disciplinary complaints. In fact, he was on probation when Leach filed her complaint against him. On two occasions in 2000, the disciplinary administrator's office again informally admonished Lober.

A panel that made a recommendation to the court on Lober's discipline said Lober's misconduct "did not appear motivated by dishonesty or selfishness and that he had suffered a heart attack shortly before receiving the disciplinary administrator's letter and had reduced his work load as a result."

After Lober lost his license, he also was relieved of his duties as Lansing city prosecutor. The city council on Thursday hired Lansing attorney Catalina Thompson to serve in that position until May, when the city will seek bids to fill that position.

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