Two Casper-based attorneys have been publicly censured by the Wyoming Supreme Court for their violations of various rules of professional conduct.
Todd H. Hambrick, who was arrested for DUI twice in 2019, will have to pay $800 in costs to the Wyoming State Bar by the end of August.
John C. Hoard admitted to negligence in failing to timely initiate a bankruptcy proceeding, costing his client $44,000 in payments that would otherwise not have been necessary. Hoard will also have to pay $800 to the state bar.
The high court published the censure orders Wednesday, and those orders were followed by statements from the Wyoming State Bar.
Hambrick was first arrested for DUI June 22, 2019 in Grand Teton National Park. He pleaded guilty to the single misdemeanor charge and was sentenced to a year of unsupervised probation with several conditions.
Late in the afternoon of Sept. 16, Hambrick was reported to law enforcement as a drunken driver after his car was spotted driving the wrong way on East Second Street in Casper. Police arrived and arrested him on a DUI charge.
In each arrest, Hambrick’s blood-alcohol content was over twice the legal limit to drive.
Hambrick’s compliance with substance monitoring was “spotty,” according to a recommendation for censure from the Board of Professional Responsibility. He missed several tests and tested positive for alcohol twice, and his addiction therapist in December recommended that he wear an ankle monitor for continuous monitoring of his sobriety.
For the Casper DUI, Hambrick was sentenced to 15 days in jail.
In Hambrick’s case, the review panel found aggravating factors included a pattern of misconduct, multiple offenses and illegal conduct.
The five mitigating factors listed are no prior disciplinary record, a timely good faith effort by Hambrick to rectify the consequences of his misconduct, fully disclosing the incidents to state bar counsel and cooperating with proceedings, completing a meaningful and sustained period of successful rehabilitation, and the imposition of other penalties and sanctions.
Separately, John Hoard was retained by a client in June 2017 for the purpose of filing a chapter 7 bankruptcy. At first, that filing was delayed because the client was diagnosed with a serious illness that fall and had to undergo several months of medical treatment.
In late April 2018, the client instructed Hoard to proceed with the chapter 7 filing, but Hoard “did not timely comply with the client’s direction.” Roughly 11 months later, the client grew frustrated with the lack of progress and found a different attorney.
That new attorney told the client that, based on her income, she had become ineligible for a chapter 7 bankruptcy petition in January 2019. Instead, they had to pursue a chapter 13 petition, which required the client to make over $44,000 in payments to creditors.
The review panel says Hoard conditionally admitted to violating one of the Wyoming Rules of Professional Conduct, specifically regarding diligence. The panel found Hoard was negligent and says Hoard conceded that his failure to timely file the chapter 7 petition resulted in financial harm to the client.
In Hoard’s case, the aggravating factors included his substantial experience in the practice of law and the client’s vulnerability. Mitigating factors included the absence of any prior disciplinary record, absence of a dishonest or selfish motive and Hoard’s full disclosure to bar counsel as well as his cooperative attitude regarding the disciplinary proceedings.
Hoard maintains an active legal practice in Casper and has been licensed to practice law since 1982.
Hambrick is an active member of the Wyoming State Bar and was admitted to practice law in 1993.