Hilo attorney suspended


The state Supreme Court on Friday suspended a Hilo attorney from the practice of law for one year and one day.

According to a written statement from the Office of Disciplinary Counsel, Chris Bertelmann neglected a client, failed to respond to reasonable requests for information regarding the status of the case and misappropriated more than $6,200 in advance fees and costs by converting the funds to cash immediately rather than depositing them in his client trust account, and improperly withdrew from representation of the client without notice and without returning the client’s files.

The 60-year-old Bertelmann, who was admitted to the Hawaii Bar on Oct. 21, 1983, was also ordered to make restitution to the client within 90 days.

The high court noted, as a mitigating circumstance, that Bertelmann suffered from a serious medical condition during the period of his misconduct.

 

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