Client’s Unpaid Medical Liens Lead to Reprimand of Phoenix Attorney

Attorney Barry S. Wagner of Phoenix was reprimanded after failing to manage trust account and client settlement funds.

The Presiding Disciplinary Judge of the Arizona Supreme Court accepted an agreement for discipline by consent between Wagner and the State Bar of Arizona that resulted in a reprimand and probation for two years.

Wagner represented two clients in a personal injury matter. He settled the matter and deposited the funds into his trust account, but failed to satisfy all lienholders until January of 2016 despite the clients asking him about the status of the liens in mid-2015. He believed he settled all the liens, but two remained outstanding.

Wagner also over-disbursed settlement funds to these clients, which resulted in the conversion of other clients’ funds. His records showed thirty five instances where he over-disbursed to clients or third parties. In an effort to remedy the circumstances, he deposited administrative funds to make the IOLTA account whole.

Wagner’s two-year probation was effective on April 14, 2017. He was ordered to pay $1,200 to the State Bar of Arizona for costs and expenses incurred during all proceedings.