The state Supreme Court has temporarily suspended two Southern Nevada lawyers pending formal disciplinary proceedings.
James Sitter, who lives in Arizona but practiced law in Las Vegas, is accused of misappropriating an unspecified amount of money from his attorney-client trust account.
The State Bar of Nevada claims Henderson attorney Jennifer Wensink has “caused great harm through a pattern of deceptive conduct, including providing clients with fictitious pleadings to obscure her neglect of their underlying cases.”
According to a petition requesting Sitter’s temporary suspension, the lawyer “has been very cooperative and forthcoming with the State Bar.”
“Nevertheless, the public must be protected from (Sitter) because he has committed the cardinal sin for lawyers by misappropriating money that he was entrusted for safekeeping,” the petition states.
Sitter, 63, has been licensed to practice law in Nevada since 1977. Wensink, 33, has been licensed in the state since 2004.
The Supreme Court issued orders on March 27 that immediately suspended both Sitter and Wensink. Attempts to reach both lawyers Thursday were unsuccessful.
According to a State Bar petition seeking Wensink’s suspension, her former employer, attorney Jeffrey Posin, recently provided sworn testimony that Wensink had “failed to properly manage numerous cases, hid the fact from him by creating false time entries and lying to him during status meetings.”
The petition claims Wensink has demonstrated a “persistent pattern of failure to respond to the State Bar in two pending formal disciplinary matters.”
“Despite seriousness of the allegations contained in the pending complaints, including charges that she created and subsequently provided fictitious pleadings to a client and forged a ‘receipt of copy’ signed by a non-existent State Bar employee, (Wensink) has refused to cooperate with the State Bar’s investigations,” according to the petition.
The document claims Wensink provided at least three clients with fictitious pleadings. It also claims she filed a bankruptcy petition using another lawyer’s electronic filing account and submitted the petition using Posin’s bar number, “without either attorney’s knowledge or consent,” before abandoning the bankruptcy matter.
According to the bar’s petition, Posin fired Wensink in late December.
Contact reporter Carri Geer Thevenot at email@example.com or 702-380-8135.