THE SUPREME COURT OF THE
FEDERATED STATES OF MICRONESIA
Cite as In re Suspension of Chipen ,
7 FSM Intrm. 268 (Chk. S. Ct. Tr. 1995)
IN THE MATTER OF THE SUSPENSION OF
ANTER CHIPEN FROM THE PRACTICE
OF LAW IN THE TRIAL DIVISION.
BAR DISCIPLINE 2-95
ORDER OF SUSPENSION
Decided: March 25, 1995
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Attorney, Trial Counselor and Client ) Attorney Discipline and Sanctions
An attorney who takes a fee for representation and fails to provide any services to his client and whose client has to sue him for the return of the fee has violated the bar's ethical rules and his oath, and no longer has the good moral character required of a member of the Chuuk State Bar and will be suspended from the practice of law. In re Suspension of Chipen, 7 FSM Intrm. 268, 268-69 (Chk. S. Ct. Tr. 1995).
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SOUKICHI FRITZ, Chief Justice:
It has come to my attention that trial counselor, Anter Chipen, a member of the Chuuk State Supreme Court Bar has admitted in CA 219-94 [Sain v. Chipen] that he took money in the sum of $1070.00 from Mr. Kati Sain as a fee for representation in a civil matter in this court. The same member of this bar admitted that he failed to provide any legal services on behalf of this client. Although the member of the bar has agreed to return all funds to Mr. Sain, it is clear to the court that Mr. Chipen has violated numerous provisions of the Rules of Professional Conduct. Adherence to these rules is made mandatory by the Rules of the State Bar of Chuuk, Rule 13(a). In particular Mr. Chipen by taking money and failing to provide legal service has violated Rule 8.4(c) which prohibits any member of this bar from engaging "in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation." Mr. Chipen has also violated Rule 1.3 which requires a member of the bar to "act with reasonable diligence and promptness in representing a client." Further he has violated Rule 1.4(a) which requires members of the bar to "keep a client reasonably informed about the status of a matter . . . ." Mr. Sain was forced to sue Mr. Chipen to return the money Mr. Sain paid to be represented. It appears to this court that Mr. Chipen no longer possesses the "Good Moral Character" required to be a member of the Bar as required by Rule 5 of the Rules of the State Bar of Chuuk. The court also notes Mr. Chipen's numerous contempt citations. Mr. Chipen took an oath as a member of this bar to abide by the Rules of Professional Conduct and to conduct himself in a manner to uphold the dignity of the court and the legal profession. He has violated this oath.
This type of behavior by a member of the bar will not be tolerated. Accordingly, pursuant to
Rule 13(b), it is therefore
Ordered that Mr. Anter Chipen is hereby suspended from the practice of law for a period of five (5) years, and it is
Further ordered that he will withdraw from any case that is now pending in this court and will refund any fees for work not done, including the balance owed Mr. Sain from CA 219-94, and it is
Further ordered that after the five (5) year period of suspension has ended he may reapply for admission provided he has taken and passed an examination in Ethics.
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