A Mayflower attorney has been suspended for two years by the Arkansas Supreme Court Committee on Professional Conduct after he failed to represent a client in a criminal trial.
James M. Dendy of Mayflower is not allowed to practice law for 24 months, according to the determination of the committee. He failed to respond to the complaint, and he will not be able to get his law license back until Sept. 21, 2014.
Dendy accepted $6,725 to represent Mark Quattlebaum in a federal criminal case, but he abandoned him mid-case in September 2011. When Dendy did not appear at a hearing in February 2012, the court had to appoint a new lawyer to represent Quattlebaum.
In addition, Dendy was found to have employed the services of a former attorney Kenneth Fuchs, who surrendered his license in 2003 instead of facing disciplinary proceedings alleging serious misconduct.
Quattlebaum stated that he had been told that he was being represented by both Dendy and Fuchs and he had met with both men regularly and made all of his cash fee payments to Fuchs.
Quattlebaum told the committee that when he had trouble contacting Dendy, he would contact Fuchs instead. He also said Fuchs was in court in October 2010 when Quattlebaum entered a not guilty plea in his case.
The committee found seven areas in which Dendy violated conduct procedures for attorneys in Arkansas including prior knowledge of Fuchs’ status as a lawyer, abandoning his client after collecting nearly $7,000, and engaging in “conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice.”
In addition to his suspension, Dendy was fined the minimum case cost of $50. The committee said they considered his lack of a prior disciplinary record and gave him a reprimand for not responding to the initial complaint.
Efforts to contact Dendy were unsuccessful.