High Court finds Leawood attorney’s discipline too lenient, orders new actions

Attorney found to have incompetently represented clients
Published: Aug. 5, 2022 at 12:55 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - After a Leawood attorney was found to have overcharged his clients for a case that went on for more than 10 years, the Kansas Supreme Court found his punishment too lenient and ordered stricter actions.

The Kansas Supreme Court says in regard to Case No. 124,867: In the Matter of Joseph R. Borich III, that Borich - an attorney who lives in Leawood - represented a couple in prosecuting claims against their homebuilder for alleged defects in the construction of their new home.

Court records indicate that litigation, including mediation, arbitration, actions in both federal and state district courts, and attempted appeals in the Kansas Court of Appeals, lasted for over a decade - and the defendant eventually prevailed in all cases.

After a complaint from the District Administrator, the Court noted that a disciplinary hearing panel found - among other violations - that Borich failed to represent the plaintiffs competently, charged them unreasonable fees, failed to account for how the fees were generated, and engaged in dishonest communication with his clients.

The panel recommended a 90-day suspension and $21,900 reimbursement of fees for Borich to which he filed no exceptions.

However, the Supreme Court said it disagreed with the hearing panel’s recommended discipline and imposed a 1-year suspension for Borich and ordered him to refund $47,000 in attorney fees.

The Court did provide a stay of the suspension if Borich repays the fees within its first 90 days.

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