Olivia Olsen Mar. 5, 2017, 7:14pm


JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — St. Louis attorney Dara M. Strickland was disbarred by the Missouri Supreme Court at the behest of the Missouri Bar’s Chief Disciplinary Counsel on Feb. 28.

Her name will be stricken from the list of attorneys in Missouri, and she will not be allowed to practice law in the state, according to a news release.

Strickland had been investigated for various acts of misconduct and violations of the Missouri Rules of Professional Code.

According to the Supreme Court ruling, Strickland allegedly violated Rule 4-1.3, which states that a lawyer should act with reasonable diligence and promptness when representing a client, and Rule 4-1.4, stating that a lawyer should keep the client reasonably informed on the status of the matter and promptly reply with reasonable requests for information.

Strickland also violated several subsections of Rule 4-1.15, which outlines the proper safekeeping of property practices including failing to properly deposit funds into a client trust account, and separating funds where two or more persons claim interests. Lastly, the attorney violated both Rule 4-5.5 by practicing unauthorized law outside her jurisdiction and Rule 4-8.1 by knowingly providing false claims and information to the Bar or failing to disclose necessary facts or failing to respond to a request for information.

Under Rule 5.13, the Supreme Court was required to send a notice of the disciplinary proceedings to Strickland, who was given 30 days to file a response. After the 30-day period ended with no communication, a default response is entered. The recipient of the notice then has 30 days to file against the default. The news release said that Strickland failed to respond in a timely manner.

Several former clients of Strickland wrote scathing reviews on Avvo.com detailing the alleged misconduct and poor service they encountered upon hiring the attorney. Of the five complaints registered on the site, all of them state that Strickland was not responsive to any requests and essentially disappeared before completion of their cases.

Following the ruling, the attorney must comply with Rule 5.27 of the Missouri Rules of Professional Conduct. Strickland is unable to accept any new retainers for services or act as a lawyer in any new cases and will need to withdraw from any pending litigation and notify all current clients and necessary counselors to her status. The lawyer’s license will need to be submitted to the Supreme Court clerk within 15 days of the ruling. Strickland will also need to return any unearned fees and notify any opposing counsel of the ruling.

Strickland graduated from Washington University’s School of Law in 2007, according to the Bar's website.

The Missouri Supreme Court is located in Jefferson City and was established in 1821 as the highest court in the state. It is presided over by seven justices: Chief Justice Patricia Breckenridge, Laura Denvir Stith, Mary Rhodes Russell, Zei Fischer, George W. Draper III, and Paul C. Wilson.

The seventh seat is currently vacant following the death of Justice Richard Teiteiman.

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Missouri Supreme Court
207 W High St
Jefferson City, MO 65101-1516

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