On Thursday, March 2, 2023, the Presiding Disciplinary Judge of the Supreme Court of Arizona suspended attorney Ryan Christopher Hengl for his failure to properly communicate with clients. The case is entitled “In the Matter of Ryan Christopher Hengl,” with case no. 2023-9014.

The charges cited Arizona Rules of Professional Conduct 1.2, 1.3, 1.4, 1.5, 1.16, 8.4(c), and 8.4(d). 

The respondent conditionally admitted his engagement in misconduct relating to six different client matters. Generally speaking, he failed to diligently represent or adequately communicate with his clients, failed to pay a court-imposed sanction against him and accept funds for an appeal that had been dismissed without informing his client of the dismissal.

The filing states:

“In April of 2021, Jesus and Elizabeth Peralta hired the Respondent to defend them in a civil case (S1400CV2018-00746, Yuma County Superior Court). Respondent stopped communicating with the Peraltas following an October 11, 2021, bench trial at which they did not prevail. On October 12, 2021, a judgment was entered against the Peraltas in the amount of $39,300. Respondent did not inform the Peralta of the judgment.”

The filing continues:

“Evelyn Groper hired Respondent in a personal injury case. On November 1, 2020, during the pendency of the representation, Groper died. After her death, Respondent informed the personal representative of Groper’s estate, Veronica Tiedt, that he would prepare a civil complaint on behalf of the estate. Respondent, however, failed to do so and stopped communicating with Tiedt for more than one year.”

The filing further states:

“In the Silao matter, the Respondent failed to inform Silao of an arbitration hearing on a real estate dispute. A judgment was entered against Silao without his knowledge. He later discovered the judgment on his credit report. Silao paid the first judgment and, on July 19, 2022, the credit or filed a satisfaction of the judgment.”

According to the presiding judge, Mr. Hengl violated the duties owed to clients and the legal system, causing actual harm. Some of his misconduct was intentional, and some were negligent. In relation to this, the parties agreed that the appropriate sanction under the American Bar Association’s Standards for imposing lawyer sanctions is a suspension.

The Disposition states:

“IT IS ORDERED that RYAN CHRISTOPHER HENGL, Bar No. 023931, is suspended from the practice of law in Arizona for six months and one day, effective 30 days from the date of this order, for his conduct in violation of the Arizona Rules of Professional Conduct and Rules of the Supreme Court of Arizona, as outlined in the consent documents.”

Mr. Hengl practices in Yuma, Arizona. He is licensed in Arizona. His info can be found on avvo.com.

A copy of the original filing can be found here.