On October 23, 2023, the Presiding Judge of the Supreme Court of Colorado suspended Kristin Marie Muscato’s law license for six months but stayed the suspension pending her successful completion of a two-year probation period. This disciplinary action stems from numerous incidents of misconduct that occurred between August 2022 and April 2023.
The case is entitled “People v.Kristin Marie Muscato,” with case number 23PDJ05.
According to the filing, Muscato violated multiple Colorado Rules of Professional Conduct, including RPC 1.3 (a lawyer must act with reasonable diligence and promptness when representing a client), RPC 1.4(a)(3)-(4) (a lawyer must keep a client reasonably informed about the status of the matter and must promptly comply with reasonable requests for information), RPC 1.15A(a) (a lawyer must hold client property separate from the lawyer’s own property), RPC 1.15D (a lawyer must maintain trust account records), RPC 1.16(d) (a lawyer must protect a client’s interests upon termination of the representation, including by returning any papers and property to which the client is entitled), and RPC 8.4(c) (it is professional misconduct for a lawyer to engage in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation).
In early August 2022, Muscato failed to maintain at least $2,100 of a client’s funds in her trust account, as the account held only $526.78 at the time. Muscato did not properly track her trust account transactions and improperly transferred funds to her operating account before earning them.
In mid-October 2022, another client requested Muscato withdraw from representation and provide an accounting of his $3,500 retainer. Over the next few days, the client repeated this request multiple times but did not receive the accounting. From October 16-18, Muscato transferred the entire retainer amount to her operating account without just cause. She did not officially withdraw from the case until eight days after informing the client she would on October 18. The former client made five additional requests for an accounting in November to no avail. He eventually filed a request for investigation in January 2023. Muscato then provided an invoice showing only $2,508.86 remaining and backdated the transfers to October, despite occurring that month. She also attempted to charge 18% interest on the phone when demanding payment.
In April 2023, Muscato failed to appear for a permanent orders hearing without notice, missed filing prehearing materials, and revealed a few details to her hospitalized client about not being present. Finally, in another case that year Muscato charged over double the $4,500 retainer, totaling $9,266, without sending an invoice until reaching that amount. She also failed to update the client after withdrawing.
The Presiding Disciplinary Judge determined these incidents violated multiple rules of professional conduct and suspended Muscato’s license for six months with the full term stayed upon successful completion of a two-year probation period, considering mitigating factors in the case.
According to Avvo, Ms. Muscato practices law in Evans, Colorado, where she acquired her law license in 2014. She attended the University of Wyoming, graduating in 2014.
A copy of the original filing can be found here.