Court Opinion: Presiding Disciplinary Judge Opinion for May 10

Editor’s Note: Law Week Colorado edits court opinion summaries for style and, when necessary, length.

People v. Jeffrey Steven Vail

In 2018, a client hired a law firm to file a lawsuit related to the client’s purchase of a jet aircraft, which the client claimed was not airworthy. At the time, Jeffrey Vail worked for the firm. The firm filed a complaint in 2019. Vail left the law firm in August 2020, and the client followed Vail to Vail’s own law practice. 

In January 2021, Vail emailed the client a link to the case file and informed the client that due to medical reasons, he was no longer able to practice law and would no longer be licensed to practice law. The email also noted Vail’s firm was permanently closed and different counsel would need to handle the client’s case. After that, disciplinary authorities found Vail failed to take the required steps when terminating the representation, failed to respond to and comply with court orders to withdraw from the case and failed to respond to reasonable requests for information from the disciplinary authorities.

Because the client couldn’t find another lawyer to take his case, he was forced to drop his lawsuit and stipulate to a motion to dismiss the matter with prejudice.

Following a sanctions hearing, the Presiding Disciplinary Judge disbarred Jeffrey Steven Vail, effective June 14.

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