An independent New Richmond lawyer with a lengthy disciplinary history will see his law license suspended for 60 days for mishandling clients’ fees and failing to communicate properly.
Eric L. Crandall, the proprietor of Crandall Law Offices in New Richmond, became the subject of seven counts of misconduct after obtaining $3,500 from a client, who had authorized him to take only $2,500, and then failing to provide legal representation. Among various violations related to communications, Crandall initially failed to return the fees after the client had terminated his representation and failed to respond in a timely manner to a grievance the client submitted to the state’s Office of Lawyer Regulation.
This was the sixth time Crandall has been disciplined by the courts, often for similar violations. His law license, for instance, was suspended for five months in 2011 for failing to hold in trust advance fees paid him by a client, failing to refund unearned fees and failing to cooperate with the OLR’s investigation into these matters. Four years later, he was publicly reprimanded for failing to comply with requirements for attorneys whose license have been suspended and failing to cooperate with another OLR investigation.
In agreeing to suspend Crandall’s law license for 60 days, the Supreme Court justices noted that it has been about 10 years since his last license suspension. They also noted that Crandall’s family obligations – he has been taking care of a father suffering from Alzheimer’s disease – have most likely been distracting him from his legal practice.
Besides having a 60-day license suspension, Crandall will have to cover the $5,824.25 cost of his disciplinary proceeding.