On Wednesday, July 5, 2023, the Supreme Court of the State of Kansas reinstated attorney Michael P. Jahn after being suspended for providing false information in his retainer agreement.
The case is entitled “In the matter of Michael P. Jahn” with case no. 124-587.
The respondent was suspended for six months on May 20, 2022. The respondent faced disciplinary proceedings for several violations of the Kansas Rules of Professional Conduct. The violations included practicing law without an active license for about 14 years (from October 2005 to March 2020), providing false information in his retainer agreement, communicating with a represented party without consent, making false statements of material fact, violating conflict of interest rules, and attempting to influence the complainant to reconsider filing a bar complaint.
The Opinion states:
“Respondent did not hold an active Kansas license from October 13, 2005, through March 19, 2020; approximately 14 years. The respondent was administratively suspended during this period. He was not licensed to practice law in any jurisdiction during the time his Kansas license was suspended from October 2005—March 2020. Respondent’s active license was reinstated on March 20, 2020.”
The Opinion continues:
“In November 2017, Respondent entered into a diversion agreement for violations of KRPC 5.5(a) and (b)(2) for unlicensed practice of law. This diversion was based on the Respondent working for the Omaha, Nebraska Office of Social Security Administration as an attorney advisor/ decision writer after his Kansas license to practice law was administratively suspended and not being licensed to practice in any jurisdiction. Respondent asserted that he did not need a license to practice law because he was more of a ‘scribe’ than an attorney decision writer for the Social Security Administration. Respondent successfully completed this diversion, and it was dismissed in January 2019.”
The Opinion further states:
“Before proceeding, we take this opportunity to address some of the evidence presented to establish that Jahn violated KRPC 4.1(a) (truthfulness). Jahn sent a demand letter to the opposing party, Skutt Catholic High School, stating that “attorney fees to date are $25,666,” and his client, S.D., was willing to settle for an amount of money that included those attorney fees. The summary submission agreement claims Jahn’s statement that “attorney fees to date are $ 25,666″ misrepresented the facts because he had agreed to represent S.D. pro bono. We are not persuaded this statement constitutes clear and convincing evidence of untruthfulness.”
The Opinion additionally notes:
“IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED that Michael P. Jahn is suspended for six months from the practice of law in the state of Kansas, effective the date of this opinion, in accordance with Supreme Court Rule 225(a)(3) (2022 Kan. S. Ct. R. at 281) for violations of KRPC 1.2(a) and (e) (2022 Kan. S. Ct. R. at 329) (scope of representation); KRPC 1.7(a)(2) (2022 Kan. S. Ct. R. at 342) (conflict of interest); KRPC 4.1(a) (2022 Kan. S. Ct. R. at 403) (truthfulness); KRPC 4.2 (2022 Kan. S. Ct. R. at 404) (communication with person represented by counsel); KRPC 8.4(a), (c), and (d) (2022 Kan. S. Ct. R. at 434) (misconduct); and KRPC 8.5 (2022 Kan. S. Ct. R. at 435) (jurisdiction).”
After serving the entire suspension period, Jahn petitioned for reinstatement and requested a hearing to ensure there are no current impediments to his ability to practice law. The Disciplinary Administrator certified his compliance with reinstatement requirements and recommended full reinstatement without probation.
The Supreme Court decided to fully restore Jahn’s license, but he must pay attorney registration fees and finish continuing legal education requirements. Once he did that, he would join the list of active attorneys in Kansas. The order would be printed in the official Kansas reports, and Jahn would pay all the costs.
The order states:
“The court agrees with the Disciplinary Administrator, grants Jahn’s petition, and orders the full reinstatement of Jahn’s license to practice law in Kansas.”
Mr. Jahn practices in Olathe, Kansas. He is licensed in Kansas. His info can be found on lawyer.com.
A copy of the original filing can be found here.