Judge suspends Phoenix attorney for client abandonment

The presiding disciplinary judge of the Arizona Supreme Court has ordered that Phoenix attorney Christopher S. Short be suspended for two years after abandoning clients and failing to comply with a State Bar of Arizona investigation, according to a release.

Mr. Short was paid a flat fee by a client to resolve an informal probate of an estate, the release stated.

During representation, he told his client to find another attorney. After his client requested a partial refund, Mr. Short stopped all communication, according to the release from the State Bar of Arizona.

“In a second matter, Short represented a wife in divorce proceedings. Both parties entered into an agreement that resolved all issues and placed the agreement on the record,” the release stated. “Despite many requests, Short failed to sign the document that was ultimately submitted by opposing counsel. He also failed to withdraw as counsel.”

Bar officials also stated that Mr. Short represented a client in a civil action. The court found that a judgment was entered against his client due to his failure to respond to basic disclosures and discovery.

“Short had abandoned his client,” the release stated.

In all three matters, Short failed to respond to requests for information during the State Bar of Arizona’s investigation.

Mr. Short’s two-year suspension was ordered effective Dec. 21. He also was ordered to pay for the costs and expenses incurred by the State Bar of Arizona, according to the release.

Consumers may report attorney misconduct by calling the State Bar of Arizona Attorney/Consumer Assistance Program hotline at 602-340-7280.

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