A lawyer was given a public reprimand by the Professional Conduct Board of the Idaho State Bar for violating Rule 7.1 (communications concerning a lawyer’s services and Rule 7.3(a) (solicitation of clients). Essentially the Board found that the lawyer’s communications to a sales representative and to certain homeowners were misleading.
This disciplinary case related to Mr. Winward’s communications with sales representatives of a Boise homebuilder and his communications with two homeowners who had purchased homes from that homebuilder. Mr. Winward falsely indicated to the sales representatives that he was interested in buying a home from the homebuilder. He also falsely indicated to homeowners that he represented another homeowner regarding the homebuilder’s allegedly defective foundations. Although not Respondent’s intent, the homeowners understood from their communications with Respondent that their foundations may be defective and that Respondent was offering to provide legal services to pursue a lawsuit on behalf of homeowners regarding the allegedly defective foundations. Bar Counsel considered as mitigation the fact that Mr. Winward sought the advice of counsel regarding his communications with the homeowners.
Edward X. Clinton, Jr.
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