The Presiding Disciplinary Judge of the Supreme Court of Colorado approved a stipulation to discipline attorney Brianna Lee Schaefer on Friday, October 13, 2023. The stipulation stated that Schaefer had violated the Colorado Rules of Professional Conduct by engaging in conduct that involved dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation. As a result, Schaefer was publicly censured.
The case is entitled “People v. Brianna Lee Schaefer,” with case no. 23PDJ052.
Schaefer began moonlighting as local counsel in Colorado for a different law firm based in Kansas shortly after joining a law firm in 2016. She later purchased the first law firm with three other lawyers and executed a partnership agreement with them in July 2019. The partnership agreement required that all money received for legal work must be paid or credited to the partnership and that all clients were clients of the partnership rather than clients of any individual lawyer unless otherwise approved by the partners. Schaefer did not inform the other partners of her work with the Kansas law firm, which violated the terms of the partnership agreement.
In August 2020, Schaefer replied “No” when asked if any covered lawyer was an employee of any organization, entity, or government body other than the firm. Then, in February 2022, a court clerk sent a docket sheet to the first firm regarding one of Schaefer’s cases with the Kansas firm. A lawyer who received the clerk’s email forwarded it to Schaefer and a paralegal, and then followed up with another email that stated, “Never mind, wrong Bri Schaefer again! I’ll let the clerk know AGAIN!” A few minutes later, the lawyer emailed Schaefer and the paralegal again, asking, “Unless this is [Schaefer’s] case?” Schaefer did not reply to the email. Lawyers with the first firm eventually searched the court dockets in the Denver metro area and discovered that Schaefer had filed tens, if not hundreds, of cases for the Kansas firm’s clients during the preceding few years.
According to the Presiding Disciplinary Judge, Attorney Schaefer violated Colorado Rules of Professional Conduct 8.4(c) through her conduct, which involved dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation.
The Disposition states:
“The Presiding Disciplinary Judge approved the parties’ stipulation to discipline and publicly censured Brianna Lee Schaefer (attorney registration number 34078), effective October 13, 2023.”
According to avvo.com, Ms. Schaefer is a debt collection attorney in Arvada, Colorado. She earned her law degree from Western New England College School of Law in 2002 and was subsequently licensed to practice law in Colorado the same year.
A copy of the original filing can be found here.