On Wednesday, October 4, 2023, the Supreme Court of the State of Hawai’i issued an order in the disciplinary proceeding against Attorney Michael J. Collins, imposing a two-year suspension against the attorney.

The case is titled ‘Office of the Disciplinary Counsel v. Michael J. Collins XXVIII’.

The charges cited violations of Rules 1.1 and 1.3, 3.4(e), 3.4(i), 3.5(b)(c), 5.5(a), 7.1(a)(b), and  8.1(a) of the Hawai’i Rules of Professional Conduct, which penalize conduct relating to:

Failure of duty of competence and diligence;

 Frivolous argument;

Disobeying court directives;

Threatening fellow attorney;

Harassment of judges;

Disrupting a tribunal;

Embarrassing or burdening opposing counsel;

Unauthorized practice of law;

Misrepresentations in advertising;

Implying unethical means;

Failure to include required language;

False statement to disciplinary authority;

False statement to the disciplinary authority.

The Hawai’i Rules of Professional Conduct can be found here.

Michael J. Collins XXVII has been found to have violated multiple provisions of the Hawaiʻi Rules of Professional Conduct (HRPC) during various court hearings and in his general conduct as an attorney.

Attorney Collins’ conduct at various court hearings demonstrated a lack of competence and diligence in representing his clients. He engaged in wholly frivolous arguments during a hearing. He refused to obey court directives to limit himself to legal arguments and ceased speaking when directed to do so. Mr. Collins also sent an email to a fellow attorney threatening to present criminal charges for the purpose of obtaining an advantage in a civil matter. Making matters worse, he spoke in a loud and aggressive manner, made condescending and disrespectful statements, and yelled at presiding judges during court hearings. He engaged in conduct reasonably likely to disrupt a tribunal by yelling and interrupting opposing counsel.

Likewise, Attorney Collins employed means to embarrass or burden opposing counsel in an email. Among Attorney Collins’ misconducts include providing legal services while suspended from practice, advertising legal services containing material misrepresentations or omissions of fact regarding his licensure to practice law, advertising as a “Certified Legal Consultant” implying he could achieve results, holding himself out as a “Certified Legal Consultant” without providing the basis for such certification and failed to include language required by the rules, and falsely informing the Office of Disciplinary Counsel that his New Jersey law license was inactive.

Considering the stipulated mitigating factors, the court determined that a two-year suspension from the practice of law is warranted. However, this suspension is stayed for a two-year probationary period, during which Collins must fully comply with the agreed-upon conditions of probation. Failure to comply may result in the revocation of the stay and the imposition of the two-year suspension. Collins is also responsible for bearing the costs of the disciplinary proceedings.

The disposition reads:

“IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that the Respondent, Michael J.Collins XXVII, is suspended for two years from the practice of law.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that this two-year suspension is stayed for a two-year probationary period, effective upon entry of this order, during which the Respondent is required to fully comply with the conditions of probation as agreed upon by the parties, as set forth at Docket 140:70-74 and Docket 152:1-5.”

According to Avvo.com., Attorney Michael J. Collins is a Bankruptcy and Debt Attorney in Wailuku, Hawai’i. He attended American University, Washington College of Law, and acquired his license in Hawai’i in 2009.

A copy of the original filing can be found here.