Las Vegas attorney Stanley Walton is not having a good month.
One week after he was arrested for contempt of court in a probate case involving millions of reportedly missing dollars he was supposed to safeguard, Walton failed to file a formal answer to a Nevada State Bar complaint alleging he misappropriated $20,000 given to him by a client in an unrelated case.
Along the way, Walton is alleged to have violated several rules of professional conduct that Nevada lawyers are required to follow, particularly as they relate to relationships with clients.
The complaint, signed by State Bar of Nevada General Counsel Rob Bare, details Walton's relationship with Xiao Ping Wang, which began in 2003 when Walton was appointed a special prosecutor in a domestic violence case in which Wang was the victim.
A month later he was her divorce attorney, and for a brief period, they were intimate. Walton continued to represent Wang in a variety of legal matters and, according to the Bar, she considered him her "general practitioner" lawyer.
According to the Bar, Walton might have offered Wang a deal that sounded too good to be true: A $20,000 investment that just 22 days later would yield $100,000.
Because Walton failed to file a written answer to the Bar complaint within the required 20 days, his law license is imperiled. The Nevada Supreme Court has final control over law licenses.
Potential disciplinary measures range from a private reprimand to permanent disbarment. It is also possible the Bar could file a second complaint regarding the probate case.
In its four allegations of rule violations, two claim Walton had a conflict of interest with Wang, one accused him of failing to protect her property, and the fourth -- and arguably the most serious -- charges him with misconduct for engaging in conduct "involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation."
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State Bar of Nevada Acts to Discipline Las Vegas Lawyer