In the Matter of O. Ellis EVERETT, a Member of the State Bar of Arizona.
T. J. Byrne, Prescott, for the State Bar.
H. Karl Mangum, Flagstaff, Arthur M. Johnson and W. H. Chester, Phoenix, for respondent.
This disciplinary proceeding directed against respondent, O. Ellis Everett, a member of the State Bar of Arizona, stems from the following letter, admittedly written by respondent on August 14, 1950, to his client, one Francis Platt, of Salt Lake City, Utah, viz.:
'A man has offered me One Thousand Five Hundred ($1,500.00) Cash for the Compressor which I had trucked in. It cost me Fifty ($50.00) Dollars to have it brought in. So, if you will have the enclosed Bill Of Sale properly executed and return it to me, I will send you One-half of the One Thousand Five Hundred ($1,500.00) Dollars minus my Fifty ($50.00) Dollars which will be Seven Hudred ($700.00) Dollars net to you.
'Please expedite this Business because I do not want to miss the Sale which will give us a little money. * * *' (Emphasis supplied.)
According to complainant Platt's version of the affair he subsequently learned from the purchaser of the compressor that $2,000 had been paid for it, and being unable to effect a settlement with respondent he reported the matter to the State Bar of Arizona. This complaint was referred to Local Administrative Committee for District No. 1, and on June 8, 1951 the following charges of professional misconduct were made against respondent, viz.:
'Item 1:-That you advised the complainant, representative of your said clients, by letter dated August 14, 1950, that you had been offered $1,500.00 in cash, for a compressor, which was for sale by reason of the suit above mentioned and proceedings therein, when in truth and in fact, you were offered and subsequently received $2,000.00 for said compressor.
[80 Ariz. 125] 'Item 2:-That you retained $500.00 of the $2,000.00 payment above described, without any authorization so to do from your clients.'
Chronologically the proceedings against respondent were as follows:
June 15, 1951 Preliminary hearing,
August 22, 1952 First order to show cause
September 16, 1952 Formal hearing thereon, before
members but no decision
* * * * * * * * *
July 21, 1954 New complaint (on identical
charges) filed by new
chairman of administrative
committee, and another
order to show cause
September 13, 1954 Hearing held,
September 22, 1954 Findings of fact and recommendations
as to discipline
made, signed by
five members of committee,
October, 1954 Administrative committee
record lodged with State
November 4, 1954 Respondent notified of their
June 11, 1955 Hearing before Board of
Governors, and matter decided
July 6, 1955 Record certified to this
It will be noted that more than four years elapsed between the initiation of this proceeding and the filing of the record thereof with this court. This delay on the part of the Local Administrative Committee, in our opinion was inexcusable and constitutes a reflection on the State Bar of Arizona. Certainly it was not in keeping with either the letter or the spirit of our rules goverming such matters. Rule 35(a) provides:
'* * * the committee shall proceed with the hearing unless for good cause shown they shall continue the hearing. No continuance shall be for a longer period than thirty days nor for periods aggregating more than ninety days without the approval of this court.'
and Rule 35(d) provides:
'Upon conclusion of the formal hearing, the committee shall promptly determine whether the charges shall be ...