On Friday, September 15, 2023, the Presiding Disciplinary Judge of the Supreme Court of Colorado issued a disciplinary order against attorney Heather Marx Tice, publicly censuring her for violating several rules of professional conduct while representing a client in a matter involving a homeowners association. The court’s decision was based on Tice’s failure to act with reasonable diligence and promptness, communicate effectively with her client, and refrain from asserting frivolous claims.
The case is entitled “People v. Heather Marx Tice” with case no. 23PDJ047.
The charges cited Colorado Rules of Professional Conduct Colo. RPC 1.3 (a lawyer must act with reasonable diligence and promptness when representing a client); Colo. RPC 1.4(a) (a lawyer must reasonably communicate with the client); Colo. RPC 1.4(b) (a lawyer must explain a matter so as to permit the client to make informed decisions regarding the representation); and Colo. RPC 3.1 (a lawyer must not assert frivolous claims).
The rules of professional conduct can be found here.
The disciplinary action arose from Tice’s mishandling of a legal matter involving a homeowners association (HOA). Tice initially tried to dismiss the complaint, claiming that it was filed after the statute of limitations had expired, but she did not verify this information before filing the motion. The court found her motion groundless and frivolous and allowed her 14 days to answer the complaint.
However, Tice failed to file an answer or request an extension and did not follow up on a motion to reconsider. In December 2018, the HOA requested default judgment and attorney’s fees. Tice claimed she didn’t receive the filings, but the court granted the motion and issued orders requiring her client to repaint their home in cooperation with the HOA, or else the HOA would repaint it. The court also awarded attorney’s fees against both Tice and her client.
From December 2018 to mid-March 2019, Tice had no communication with her client due to email issues. Her client only found out about the court’s decisions in March 2019 when Tice finally informed the client to hire new counsel specializing in HOA law. The client did so in May 2019, and the case was eventually settled. In 2021, the client sued Tice for malpractice, and Tice settled the case.
Based on these acts, the Court formally concluded that Tice violated the rules of professional conduct as charged, approved the parties’ stipulation to discipline, and publicly censured Tice. The public censure will take effect on October 20, 2023.
Ms. Heather Marx Tice’s LinkedIn profile indicates that she is the Founding Partner of The Marx Law Office located in Denver. She attended the University of Miami School of Law, graduating in 2004. Tice has been admitted to practice in Colorado, license no. 38688.
A copy of the original filing can be found here.