On Friday, January 19, 2024, the Presiding Disciplinary Judge of the Arizona Supreme Court issued a Final Judgment and Order against attorney Paul Gattone following disciplinary proceedings held against him.
The case is entitled “In the Matter of Paul J. Gattone,” with case no. 22-0205, 22-0504.
The charges cited Arizona Rules of Supreme Court 1.3, 1.4, and 3.2.
The order came after a hearing on November 14, 2023, where a panel considered a two-count complaint filed by the State Bar of Arizona against Gattone on June 2, 2023, regarding his representation of two criminal clients. In a Decision and Order filed on December 12, 2023, the panel found that Gattone violated ethical rules through deficiencies in communicating with client Kenneth Flieger during an appeal filed in 2021 and imposed a reprimand along with two years of probation.
Regarding Flieger’s case, the panel found Gattone did not diligently pursue the appeal after being paid an additional $1500 fee in October 2021 to handle it. He filed the opening brief late without sending Flieger a draft or the final version, which was submitted on January 26, 2022. Although Gattone maintained he adequately communicated with Flieger by phone from 2021-2022, the deficiencies in the representation were clear.
In the second matter, Gattone was appointed to represent Michelle Wimberly in criminal proceedings in Pima County Superior Court in October 2021. The panel found issues with how Gattone handled a hearing date changing without proper notice to Wimberly in December 2021, which resulted in a warrant being issued for her arrest and her spending in jail from December 2021 to January 2022 before Gattone filed a motion to quash it.
Based on these findings, the Presiding Judge formally reprimanded Gattone and placed him on probation for two years.
The Disposition states:
“IT IS ORDERED reprimanding Paul J. Gattone for violating the Arizona Rules of Professional Conduct, as set forth in the hearing panel’s decision. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED placing Mr. Gattone on probation for a period of two years.”
According to avvo.com, Mr. Gattone is a criminal defense attorney in Tucson, Arizona. He attended the University of Arizona College of Law, graduating in 1989. He acquired his law license in Arizona in the same year.
A copy of the original filing can be found here.