Attorney Thomas C. McDaniel, III of Tucson was suspended for two years after filing a deficient petition for parenting time on behalf of his client and failing to respond to the State Bar’s investigation.
On April 12, 2017, an aggravation/mitigation hearing was held before the Presiding Disciplinary Judge of the Arizona Supreme Court and a hearing panel, where McDaniel did not appear.
The hearing panel found clear and convincing evidence that McDaniel violated ethical rules after reviewing 15 exhibits that were deemed admitted by default.
McDaniel was retained by his client to assist her in obtaining visitation rights of her two daughters who were adopted by the clients father and stepmother. He filed a petition for parenting time on behalf of his client, but failed to list his client’s stepmother as an adoptive parent, leading her father to file a motion to dismiss the petition.
His client’s father requested the petition be amended to include her stepmother or be dismissed, as well as requested payment for his attorney fees. McDaniel failed to respond to the motion to dismiss, failed to file an amended petition for parenting time as directed by the court, and failed to file an objection to the father’s request for attorney fees. The court entered a judgment against his client for attorney fees and costs in the amount of $1,221.80.
McDaniel failed to respond the Bar’s screening letters, voice messages, and emails.
Thomas C. McDaniel’s two-year suspension was effective on April 21, 2017. He was ordered to pay $3,000 in restitution to his client and must pay all costs and expensed incurred by the State Bar of Arizona.