patrick layng

Bankruptcy lawyer urged clients to spread COVID-19, judge says

(Reuters) – A Colorado bankruptcy judge has sanctioned an Edgewater, Colorado lawyer for “blatant misconduct,” including advice he gave former clients to try to infect the trustee overseeing their case with COVID-19 or another illness.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Thomas McNamara on Tuesday suspended attorney Devon Barclay from practicing in Colorado bankruptcy court for three years over his conduct while representing Matthew and Nicole Mennona, a Littleton, Colorado couple who sought Chapter 7 relief during the pandemic.

Barclay forged his clients’ signatures on their Chapter 7 petition, tried to get the bankruptcy case dismissed multiple times under “false assertions of fact,” and ignored a trustee’s discovery efforts, leading to his clients getting hit with a $2,783.50 sanction, McNamara found.

McNamara also cited a Sept. 9, 2021, email from Barclay to his clients about a letter that was intended to be sent to another lawyer. “If either of you have COVID or some other highly infectious, nasty disease — or if you know someone who does — please make sure they lick the envelope and handle it as much as possible,” Barclay said in the email.

It is unclear from the court record whether the comment was meant as a joke. Barclay

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