On Tuesday, September 20, 2022, the Presiding Disciplinary Judge of the Arizona Supreme Court ruled on charges of attorney discipline against Phoenix attorney Allan K. Wittig alleging Negligence. 

The case is entitled “In the matter of Alam K. Wittig” and was brought by the State Bar of Arizona. Case #2022-9049.

The charges cited rules of professional conduct 1.3, 1.4, 8.4 (d) which state:

A lawyer shall act with reasonable diligence and promptness in representing a client.

A lawyer shall:
(1) promptly inform the client of any decision or circumstance with respect to which the client’s informed consent, as                           defined in ER 1.0(e), is required by these Rules;
(2) reasonably consult with the client about the means by which the client’s objectives are to be accomplished;
(3) keep the client reasonably informed about the status of the matter;
(4) promptly comply with reasonable requests for information; and
(5) consult with the client about any relevant limitation on the lawyer’s conduct when the lawyer knows that the client expects
assistance not permitted by the Rules of Professional Conduct or other law.

It is professional misconduct for a lawyer to engage in conduct that is prejudicial to the administration of justice.

The rules of Professional conduct can be found here.

The following are as alleged and summarized from the filing:

In representing a client in a family court matter, Mr. Wittig negligently failed to act diligently or reasonably communicate with his client. The Agreement includes details regarding these violations. Mr. Wittig’s conduct violated duties owed to his client, the profession, and the legal system, causing potential harm.

During a trial, Respondent disclosed four trial exhibits, which were all that Smith(client) provided to him: a) An Affidavit of Financial Information filed with the Court, b) a document outlining the child’s daily routine, c) a letter regarding Smith’s social security income, and d) certain text messages between the parties.

On December 8, 2021, opposing counsel explained that he had not received any of Smith’s exhibits prior to the trial. As a result, the court precluded the admission of Smith’s exhibits, except for the text messages between the parties. Smith was allowed to testify to the substance of what was contained in the exhibits.

The filing states:

‘After the hearing, Smith e-mailed Judd and explained: “I understand you were put in a difficult situation as well, and I have nothing against you, truly. But the experience I had with this firm is absolutely horrendous. I understand Alex has never been to Tennessee but I told MrWebster when he chose to leave, I don’t want to send him, he knew that. I got absolutely slaughtered in that trial because of Alan’s negligence I know I’ve told you I don’t have experiences with the court, trial, or lawyers for that matter but I DO know that I provided concrete evidence to paint a perfect picture as to why I don’t want our son going out of state with him.’

The filing continues:

‘Respondent later discovered that the exhıbits were submitted to the court timely, however, his paralegal failed to provide the opposing party with a copy of the exhibits. His paralegal had believed he sent them to the opposing party.’

After careful discussion and consideration, the Presiding Disciplinary Judge decided to place the respondent on probation.

The Disposition States

“It is furthered ordered that placing Respondent on probation for a period of one year, subject to early termination upon successful completion of the following terms.”

As of today, Mr. Wittig is listed on the website of the law firm Law Office of Alan K. Wittig, P.C. as a practicing attorney. His info can be found online at Linkedin.  He attended Southern Illinois University School of Law, graduating in 1992. Wittig practices in Phoenix, Arizona. He has been licensed in Arizona, license #18193.

A copy of the original filing can be found here.