Court Opinions: Colorado Presiding Disciplinary Judge Opinions for January 2023

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

Stacy B. Spurlock v. People 

The Presiding Disciplinary Judge reinstated Stacy Spurlock to the practice of law, effective Jan. 3. The parties agreed Spurlock has been rehabilitated, complied with disciplinary orders and rules and is fit to practice law. No opinion was issued. 

Terrence Thomas McGannon v. People

Following a reinstatement hearing, a hearing board reinstated Terrence McGannon to the practice of law, effective Jan. 10.

In 2007, McGannon was suspended from the practice of law for two years. He was suspended because of his criminal conviction for a class-four felony of possession of methamphetamine, a schedule II controlled substance. The hearing board reinstated McGannon, finding he proved by clear and convincing evidence he’s been rehabilitated and is fit to practice law. The hearing board also found McGannon’s failure to comply with all disciplinary rules and orders shouldn’t prevent his reinstatement.

People v. Stephanie Ellena Grewe

Beginning in December 2019, Stephanie Grewe assisted a married couple with their immigration matter, which included applying for adjustment of status and I-131 travel documents. In January 2020, Grewe’s clients paid her $575 for the form I-131 filing fee. Grewe deposited the funds, including the government filing fees, directly into her operating account instead of her trust account. According to Grewe, she submitted the I-131 form to immigration authorities in December 2019 or January 2020. But no evidence showed immigration authorities received the filing at that time.

Under the benchmarks set forth in Grewe’s flat fee agreement with her clients, Grewe was to earn 50% of her fee upon applying for the I-131 documents. In September 2020, Grewe sent her clients an invoice that showed a balance due of $2,000 of the $4,000 flat fee.

Two months later, the clients contacted immigration authorities and learned their I-131 application had not been received. The clients informed Grewe, who told them she would seek to address the matter by filing a petition for writ of mandamus in federal court. But Grewe never filed the writ.

In December 2020, Grewe submitted the I-131 form to immigration authorities. The next month, Grewe’s clients twice requested an update but received no response. Grewe also failed to respond to the clients’ requests for updates in late January and February 2021.

The Presiding Disciplinary Judge approved Grewe’s stipulation to discipline and publicly suspended her for six months, with 30 days to be served and the remainder to be stayed upon Grewe’s successful completion of a two-year period of probation, with conditions. The suspension takes effect Jan. 31.

People v. Alexander Scott Braden

On the night of Feb. 20, 2021, Alexander Braden and his girlfriend drank heavily before returning to Braden’s apartment. Once there, Braden pulled out a pistol. When Braden’s girlfriend went to the bathroom to get ready for bed, she heard a gunshot, which was extremely loud and made her ears ring. A bullet hole was later found two feet from where she had been standing.

Braden walked toward his girlfriend holding the gun. Scared and crying, she asked him why he discharged the firearm in her direction. Braden threatened to blame her for firing the gun. Because she didn’t feel safe in the apartment, she packed her belongings and called Denver police. While waiting for officers to arrive, Braden texted her with the message, “just kill me.”

Based on that text and Braden’s extreme intoxication, officers transported Braden to a medical detox center. In early April 2021, Braden signed an extreme risk protection order, relinquishing his firearms and his concealed carry permit for 364 days.

On April 29, 2021, Braden was arrested for harassing female patrons at a Denver bar and physically assaulting other patrons. He punched one person in the face and gouged another person’s eye. When a security guard demanded Braden leave the bar, Braden struck him in the throat and fled. Braden later returned to the bar wearing a different shirt, and officers were able to apprehend him. Following a jury trial, Braden was convicted of assault, disturbing the peace and interference with a police officer. He was sentenced to five days in jail with credit for two days served and a one-year period of probation.

The Presiding Disciplinary Judge approved Braden’s stipulation to discipline and suspended him for one year and one day. To be reinstated to the practice of law in Colorado, Braden must petition the Presiding Disciplinary Judge for reinstatement and prove by clear and convincing evidence he has been rehabilitated from his misconduct, has complied with all disciplinary orders and rules and is fit to practice law. The suspension takes effect Feb. 14.

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