On December 4, 2023, the Director of the Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility filed a formal complaint in the Supreme Court of Minnesota against Attorney Paul E. Overson for knowingly making a misleading statement to the court during a hearing, and subsequent failure to correct his misleading statement.

The case is entitled “In the Matter of Paul E. Overson.”

The charge cited the Minnesota Rules of Professional Conduct Rules 8.4(c) and (d) which states:

Engage in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation;

Engage in conduct that is prejudicial to the administration of justice

The case stemmed when Overson received an admonition for withdrawing from representing a client the day before their deposition. The petition goes on to detail a more recent incident involving a custody and order for protection (OFP) matter.

In the A.B. and J.B. Matter, Overson represented A.B., who filed an OFP against J.B. on June 23, 2022. Despite reaching an agreement to dismiss the OFP case during a hearing on July 25, 2022, Overson allegedly failed to inform the court of the resolution, leading to subsequent complications.

During an Initial Case Management Conference (ICMC) on September 2, 2022, Overson allegedly misled the court by expressing a desire to set a trial date for the OFP matter. The petition claims Overson knew the matter had been resolved but failed to correct the court’s misunderstanding. The court subsequently looked to schedule a hearing on allegations that were already resolved.

As a result of Overson’s conduct, J.B. sought clarification from their counsel, leading to letters sent to the judges involved requesting the dismissal of the OFP matter. Overson is now facing allegations of violation of the aforementioned Rules of Conduct for knowingly making a misleading statement to the court and failing to correct it.

On December 4, 2023, Overson entered into a stipulation with the Director of the Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility, outlining disciplinary actions to be taken following allegations of unprofessional conduct.

In the stipulation, Overson acknowledges his right to have charges heard by a Lawyers Professional Responsibility Board Panel and agrees to dispense with Panel proceedings and proceed directly to filing a petition for disciplinary action in the Minnesota Supreme Court. This decision makes the matter part of the public record.

Overson also waives certain rights, including the right to a hearing before a referee, to contest findings and conclusions, and to a hearing before the Supreme Court. He admits service of the petition and unconditionally admits to the allegations within it.

The stipulation recommends a 30-day suspension, waiving the reinstatement hearing provided for in Rule 18(a) through (d) of the Rules on Lawyers Professional Responsibility (RLPR). Additionally, Overson agrees to complete the professional responsibility portion of the state bar examination within one year of the court’s order. Other recommendations include compliance with RLPR Rules 26 and 24(a), payment of $900 in costs, and a reinstatement process following the suspension.

According to Avvo, Mr. Overson is a family attorney at Lake Elmo, Minnesota. He graduated from the Hamline University School of Law in 1988 and obtained his law license in Minnesota in the same year.

A copy of the original filing can be found here.