Valley attorney Jane O. Ross has been suspended from practicing law for four years for violating the Rules of Professional Conduct effective Feb. 27, 2013.
Ross had a four day trial conducted by a three member panel led by Presiding Disciplinary Judge of the Arizona Supreme court where the panel found evidence of Ross' misconduct.
During one account Ross withdrew from a family matter case a week before the client would have gone to court then turned around and demanded $10,500 in legal fees by the next day at noon. The client was current in all payments and did not pay the requested money to Ross. In turn the client tried to invoke the fee arbitration clause of the fee agreement but Ross refused to give the former client a copy of the fee agreement.
Ross in turn sued the client for the fees where Ross made misleading statements to the court about the fees saying that the State Bar had already reviewed the matter and would not be taking action against her. Ross also signed a false mailing certificate when sending a pleading to her former client and was sanctioned by the court under Rule 11 for filing a "patently defective" Motion for Summary Judgment.
Secondly the panel found Ross had not provided vital information during a separate family case matter. Ross did not provide witness contact information for an unrepresented opposing party and told the court that the opposing party had moved to Tennessee, knowing that they still lived here in Arizona.
In addition to the case Ross filed a disclosure statement including four expert witnesses that had no knowledge of her case, did not practice family law and all four came from the judge's former law firm. Ross then accused the judge on record of prejudging her case and made the comment the judge "just doesn't like lesbians" to a courtroom gallery.
In addition to the four year suspension Ross was ordered to pay $5348.87 to the State Bar of Arizona for costs and expenses incurred during the investigation.
If Ross were to be reinstated she will be placed on probation for two years.
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