Texas Bar releases latest disciplinary actions report
AUSTIN – The State Bar of Texas has released disciplinary actions for June 2022. The report shows three individuals have been disbarred while four others have resigned in lieu of discipline.
According to the report, the following individuals were disbarred: Ward Brackett Bennett Davison, Norberto Flores, and Refugio Rafael Perez.
Among the complaints against Davison, the report states that a complainant repeatedly attempted to contact Davison for a status update on his case. Davison never responded to any of the complainant’s requests for information. Davison neglected the complainant’s legal matter and failed to complete any legal work on the complainant’s behalf.
An evidentiary panel found that Perez failed to refund unearned fees, failed to comply with the terms of a prior disciplinary judgment, failed to comply with cessation of practice rules and practiced law while his license was suspended, and failed to respond to a grievance in a timely manner.
For Flores, an evidentiary panel found that in connection with four complaints, Flores failed to promptly notify clients and third parties of the receipt of settlement funds; failed to promptly deliver funds to parties entitled to receive funds; failed to hold clients’ funds in a trust account; failed to keep his clients reasonably informed; failed to decline or withdraw from representation; engaged in conduct involving fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation; and failed to respond to grievances.
The individuals who resigned include: John Luna Mendoza, Charles J. Paternostro, Eric Pursley and Petrina Lucretia Thompson.
According to the report, at the time of Mendoza’s resignation there were five pending disciplinary actions alleging that he neglected legal matters entrusted to him, frequently failed to carry out completely the obligations he owed to his clients, failed to keep his clients reasonably informed about the status of their legal matters and failed to promptly comply with reasonable requests for information, and failed to explain legal matters to the extent reasonably necessary to permit his clients to make informed decisions regarding the representation.
At the time of Paternostro’s resignation, there was one pending matter against him alleging professional misconduct, the report states.
The report states that at the time of Pursley’s resignation, Pursley had no active cases, nor was he holding any client funds. Pursley had closed his practice and was not practicing law. Pursley voluntarily resigned.
According to the report, on Nov. 15, 2019, Thompson did knowingly and intentionally threaten three individuals with imminent bodily injury. On July 8, 2021, Thompson was convicted of three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and sentenced to serve four years in prison. On March 29, the Texas Supreme Court accepted Thompson’s resignation in lieu of discipline.
The report can be found here.