June 4, 2012
OFFICE OF DISCIPLINARY COUNSEL, PETITIONER,
STEVEN H.S. WONG, RESPONDENT.
ORIGINAL PROCEEDING (ODC 10-067-8901)
Electronically Filed Supreme Court SCAD-12-0000490 04-JUN-2012 10:32 AM
(By: Recktenwald, C.J., Nakayama, Acoba, and McKenna, JJ. and Intermediate Court of Appeals Associate Judge Foley, assigned by reason of vacancy)
Upon consideration of the Report and Recommendation of the Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court of the State of Hawai#i, the stipulated facts, and the evidence in the record, it appears that Respondent Steven H.S. Wong neglected a client's probate matter for seventeen months and failed, during the same period of time, to keep the client reasonably informed about the status of the matter or to explain the matter to the extent reasonably necessary to permit the client to make informed decisions, in violation of Rules 1.3, 1.4(a), 1.4(b), and 8.4(a) of the Hawai#i Rules of Professional Conduct. In aggravation, it appears Respondent Wong's acts and omissions resulted in financial injury to the estate, the multiple violations occurred over an extended period of time, Respondent Wong received an informal admonition in 2007 for similar violations, and
Respondent Wong has significant experience in the practice of law. In mitigation, Respondent Wong cooperated with disciplinary authorities, has expressed remorse and recognized the shortcomings in his practice that led to the violations, has taken steps to address those shortcomings, and was under significant emotional distress during the period in question. Therefore, it appearing that a public censure is appropriate, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that Respondent Steven H.S. Wong is publicly censured by the Supreme Court of the State of Hawai#i, pursuant to Rule 2.3(a)(3) of the Rules of the Supreme Court of the State of Hawai#i (RSCH).
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that, within 30 days after the entrance of this order, Respondent Steven H.S. Wong shall submit proof to the Supreme Court of the completion of a Practicing Attorneys Liability Management Society course addressing the shortcomings in the case-management system in Respondent Wong's law practice, or good cause for an extension of time within which to complete said course.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Respondent Wong shall pay all costs of the proceedings, as approved upon a timely submission of a bill of costs, as prescribed by RSCH Rule 2.3(c).
/s/ Mark E. Recktenwald
/s/ Paula A. Nakayama
/s/ Simeon R. Acoba, Jr. /s/ Sabrina S. McKenna /s/ Daniel R. Foley
© 1992-2012 VersusLaw Inc.