On Tuesday, July 18, 2023, the State of Michigan Attorney Discipline Board reinstated attorney Zachary Hallman after being disciplined for neglecting a whistleblower action.

The case is entitled “Grievance Administrator v Zachary Hallman” with case no. 22-87-GA.

The charges cited Michigan Rules of Professional Conduct 1.1(b), 1.1(c), 1.2(a), 1.3, 1.4(a), 1.4(b), 1.5, 1.16(d), 3.2, 8.1(a)(2), 8.4(b)(c) and Michigan Court Rules 9.113(a)(b)(2), 9.104(7), 8.4(a), 9.104(1)(2)(3)(4) which states:

Handled a legal matter without preparation adequate in the circumstances.

Failed to seek lawful objectives of the client.

Failed to act with reasonable diligence and promptness in representing a client.

Failed to keep a client reasonably informed about the status of a matter

Failed to explain the matter to the extent reasonably necessary to permit the client to make informed decisions regarding the representation.

Failed to reduce his contingency fee agreement with his client to writing and, or failed to have his client, sign a contingency fee agreement

Failed to surrender papers and/or property to which the client is entitled.

Failed to make reasonable efforts to expedite litigation consistent with the interests of the client.

Knowingly failed to respond to a lawful demand for information from a disciplinary authority.

Failed to answer the request for an investigation in conformity.

Engaged in conduct that is a violation of the Michigan Rules of Professional Conduct.

Engaged in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, misrepresentation, or violation of the criminal law, where such conduct reflects adversely on the lawyer’s honesty, trustworthiness, or fitness as a lawyer

Engaged in conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice

Engaged in conduct that exposes the legal profession or the courts to obloquy, contempt, censure, or reproach.

Engaged in conduct that is contrary to justice, ethics, honesty, or good morals.

The Rules of Professional Conduct can be found here.

On May 31, 2023, the State of Michigan Attorney Discipline Board suspended Attorney Hallman for neglecting a whistleblower action that was entrusted to him by a client. In accordance with Michigan Court Rules, both the respondent and the Grievance Administrator have collaboratively submitted a stipulation for a consent order, resulting in a 45-day suspension. This stipulation has gained approval from the Attorney Grievance Commission and has been accepted by the hearing panel. Contained within this stipulation, the respondent has fully confessed to the factual allegations and charges of misconduct that were outlined in the three-count formal complaint filed by the administrator.

The respondent has acknowledged engaging in the following acts of misconduct: neglecting to handle a whistleblower action entrusted to him by a client, failing to properly document the contingency fee agreement in writing, failing to communicate with the client about the dismissal of the action due to the respondent’s own neglect and lack of responsiveness, retaining the client’s file materials despite a direct request, disregarding a subsequent request from the client to conduct an investigation, and neglecting to provide the complete client file upon being subpoenaed by the Grievance Administrator.

On July 12, 2023, the respondent submitted an affidavit in accordance with MCR 9.123(A), affirming his full compliance with all requirements specified in the panel’s order and expressing an ongoing commitment to adhering to the order’s provisions unless reinstated. The Board has been informed that the Grievance Administrator has raised no objections to the affidavit, and the Board has considered all relevant information.

The Disposition states:

“NOW THEREFORE, IT IS ORDERED that respondent, Zachary Hallman, is REINSTATED to the practice of law in Michigan effective July 18, 2023.”

Mr. Hallman is listed as the owner at Meroueh & Hallman LLP. He attended the University of Illinois College of Law graduating in 2013. He practices in Dearborn, Michigan. He is licensed in Michigan. His info can be found on Linkedin.

A copy of the original filing can be found here.