On Tuesday, October 10, 2023, the Presiding Disciplinary Judge of the Supreme Court of Colorado approved a stipulation to suspend attorney William Thomas O’Connell Hart III for nine months. The suspension arises from a physical altercation with a neighbor that took place in February of this year.

The case is entitled “People v. William Thomas O’Connell Hart III,” case no. 23PDJ034.

The charges cited Hart’s violation of Colorado Rules of Professional Conduct 8.4(b), which states that:

It is professional misconduct for a lawyer to commit a criminal act that reflects adversely on the lawyer’s honesty, trustworthiness, or fitness as a lawyer in other respects.

According to the court filing, Mr. Hart went uninvited to the apartment of his neighbor, J.B., claiming to have heard noises. When asked to leave, Hart initially did but later returned and had words with J.B. and his family. Feeling threatened, the family said they would call the police, which prompted Hart to strike J.B. in the face. J.B. then had to restrain Hart until the police arrived.

Responding officers observed J.B.’s injuries and reported signs that Hart had been drinking, contradicting his denial. Hart later pleaded guilty to second-degree assault as part of a deferred sentence involving probation terms.

Accordingly, the Court concluded that Hart’s conduct violated the rules of professional conduct as charged. The Presiding Disciplinary judge approved the parties’ stipulation to discipline and suspended Hart for nine months.

In approving the nine-month suspension, the Judge required Hart to prove rehabilitation before reinstatement per the stipulated discipline. The suspension will take effect on November 14, 2023, with the matter now part of the public record.

A copy of the original filing can be found here.