Casper Attorney Suspended Four Months by Wyoming Supreme Court
The Wyoming Supreme Court on Wednesday ordered the four-month suspension of a Casper attorney after consolidating two separate disciplinary matters.
Kara Crawford-Fink will be suspended from the practice of law effective Dec. 14 for a period of 120 days. The Wyoming State Bar's Board of Professional Responsibility recommended her suspension.
The first disciplinary matter involved Crawford-Fink's representation of a client in a divorce proceeding. After receiving a $5,000 fee from the client, Crawford-Fink "neglected to pursue the matter diligently and failed to maintain adequate communication with her client."
Crawford-Fink terminated as counsel in the matter, and the client retained other representation. In a statement from the Wyoming State Bar, Executive Director Sharon Wilkinson said that Crawford-Fink had charged the client an unreasonable fee and initially refused to return the unearned portion.
Ultimately, Crawford-Fink agreed to return $2,350 to the client and stipulated to a 30-day suspension.
The second matter involved Crawford-Fink's representation of a landscaping contractor in a contract dispute. The contractor claimed it was owed roughly $35,000 for its work on a residential construction project, and Crawford-Fink filed suit against the homeowners.
The homeowners countersued and the case was eventually settled, with the contractor and its insurer paying $55,000 to the homeowners. The attorney who had represented the homeowners filed a complaint with the Wyoming State Bar, contending that Crawford-Fink had violated numerous rules of professional conduct.
In that matter, Crawford-Fink admitted that she violated a number of rules and stipulated to a 90-day suspension.
In addition to the $2,350 refund to the first client, Crawford-Fink will also have to pay $1,600 in administrative fees and costs to the Wyoming State Bar.
Crawford-Fink previously served as a Casper Municipal Court judge, having been authorized as such by Casper City Council in 2014.
On Tuesday, she represented 33-year-old Kellan Holbrook, a second-grade teacher who was arrested at Crest Hill Elementary School on Monday and charged with domestic battery, child endangerment and reckless endangerment. However, another attorney has represented Holbrook, too, according to court records.