On Tuesday, May 2, 2023, the Supreme Court of Missouri suspended attorney Daniel S. Cornacchione Sr., for his arrest due to domestic assault. The case is entitled “In the Matter of Daniel S. Cornacchione Sr.,” with case no. 99933.

The charges cited Missouri Rules of Professional Conduct 4-1.3, 4-1.4, 4-1.6(a), 4-1.15(a), 4- 1.15(b), 4-1.15(c), 4-1.15(f), 4-3.2, 4-8.4(b), and 4-8.4(d) which:

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

Requires a lawyer to (1) keep the client reasonably informed about the status of the matter and (2) promptly comply with reasonable requests for information.

Prohibits lawyers from revealing information relating to the representation of a client in the absence of informed consent.

Requires lawyers to hold client property separate from the lawyer’s own property.

Prohibits lawyers from depositing their own funds into the client trust account, except as needed to pay service charges imposed by the financial institution.

Requires lawyers to create and maintain complete client trust records, and establishes minimum standards for what “complete records shall include.

Depositing unearned fees exceeding $2,000 directly into his operating account.

The Rules of Professional Conduct can be found here.

The respondent’s misconduct arose from a four-count misconduct filed against him. In count one, the respondent was arrested and charged with unlawful use of a weapon, unlawful use of a weapon while intoxicated, and domestic assault.

The informant’s brief states:

“On April 10, 2020, at about 11:30 p.m., Respondent’s former wife summoned police to the home she shared with Respondent. When police arrived, the Respondent was in an upstairs bedroom. The responding officer called to Respondent several times before he came out of the bedroom and came downstairs. The respondent and his former wife had been arguing that day. Respondent testified at the hearing that he was depressed and was having personal problems in April of 2020.”

The informant’s brief continues:

“Respondent had been consuming alcohol earlier that evening, and the officer noted in his report that Respondent “had a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage coming from his person.” The officer also noted in his report that he recovered a loaded handgun from the foot of the bed in the room that the Respondent emerged from. Respondent’s former wife told police that Respondent had waved the gun around and pointed it at her while making threatening statements.”

On the three other counts, the respondent allegedly failed to handle the client’s probate estate in a reasonably timely manner. He also failed to act diligently with respect to identifying and communicating clearly which family members, he was representing, even though one of the other attorneys in the case tried to discuss the subject with him on more than one occasion. Lastly, the respondent, in count four, failed to perform proper reconciliations of the client’s trust account, because he was not creating and maintaining a general ledger.

In the respondent’s brief, on the matter of domestic assault, the respondent cleared out that he and his then-wife were trying to “work through things.” This is because the respondent discovered that his wife was still seeing her paramour and diverting substantial amounts of the respondent’s income to the same. The respondent stated that it is important to mention that the only threats that he made, were that of his own life.

Despite the respondent’s clarification, and in light of the court’s precedents, as well as the mitigating and aggravating circumstances identified by the Disciplinary Hearing Panel, an indefinite suspension with no leave to apply for reinstatement for two years would be an appropriate sanction against the respondent, according to the court.

The Disposition states:

“Now, therefore, it is ordered by this Court that Respondent, Daniel S. Cornacchione, Sr., is hereby suspended indefinitely from the practice of law and that no petition for reinstatement will be entertained for a period of six months from the date of this order.”

Mr. Cornacchione Sr. practices in Caruthersville, Missouri. He is licensed in Missouri. His info can be found on lawyersfindlaw.com.

A copy of the original filing can be found here.