A local lawyer who left his client in the lurch in the middle of her divorce case has been disciplined by the State Bar of Arizona for the second time in less than a year.
Thomas C. McDaniel III of Tucson neglected to complete the required documentation when a divorce settlement was reached and skipped out on two review hearings before the client was forced to change lawyers in 2016, the regulatory body said in a news release Friday.
McDaniel did not respond to the state bar complaint and did not offer a defense, the news release said.
His license to practice was suspended for one year in the latest case, for which final judgment was entered on Jan. 2.
In the other case, the state bar suspended McDaniel’s license for two years in April after finding “clear and convincing evidence” that he failed to adequately represent a client seeking visitation rights for her children.
After filing an initial court application that lacked key information, McDaniel neglected to file necessary amendments and didn’t respond when the opposing party moved to dismiss the case, state bar records show.
As a result, the case was thrown out and the client was ordered to pay $1,200 to cover the opposing party’s legal costs.
Bar association spokesman Alberto Rodriguez said the two suspensions will be served consecutively, meaning McDaniel will not be eligible to resume practice until 2020.
He would have to go through a formal reinstatement process before he could return to practice, Rodriguez said.
McDaniel was also ordered to pay the state bar a total of $5,000 to cover the cost of the two disciplinary proceedings.
McDaniel, whose law office was at 5425 E. Broadway according to state bar records, could not be reached for comment Friday. His office phone number was no longer in service.