St. Louis Record

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Jefferson City attorney completes probation after alleged misconduct in bankruptcy case

By Karen Kidd | Nov 16, 2017


Jefferson City attorney Noel Bisges is not longer on probation following a Nov. 14 Missouri Supreme Court order after the state high court found Bisges had successfully completed his probation imposed last year for alleged dishonest conduct in a bankruptcy case.

The high court also ordered Bisges to pay costs in the matter, according to the court's brief order.

Noel Bisges was admitted to the bar in Missouri on Oct. 24, 1991, according to his profile at the Missouri State Bar's website.

Allegations against Bisges that lead to his probation following an October 2016 Missouri Supreme Court order arose from a bankruptcy case from which Bisges' client was discharged in October 2010, according to the office of disciplinary counsel informant's brief filed with the court. The following February, a federal bankruptcy trustee reopened case after Bisges' client had been found to own property that not previously been disclosed, according to the brief.

Bisges allegedly advised his client not to disclose a transfer of $3,000 his client had made to her mother immediately before filing for bankruptcy. Bisges also allegedly permitted a colleague to file amended pleadings on his client's behalf without requiring his client's signature.

The federal trustee filed a motion against Bisges seeking disgorgement of fees and sanctions. Following a trial, the bankruptcy court ordered Bisges to disgorge certain fees paid to him and to pay sanctions, according to the brief. Bisges twice appealed and both times the bankruptcy court's decision was affirmed.

In August 2015, the U.S. District Court for Western Missouri handed down a public censure against Bisges, after which the state bar's chief disciplinary counsel asked the Missouri Supreme Court to discipline Bisges, according to the brief. "Bisges violated duties he owed the general public by engaging in dishonesty," the brief said.

"The same conduct violated his duty to the legal system inasmuch as he advised his client to omit material information from her bankruptcy filings."

In its order the following year, the Missouri high court handed down a stayed suspension of  Bisges' law license and placed Bisges on a year of probation.

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Missouri Supreme Court U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri