JEFFERSON CITY — The Missouri Supreme Court released Kansas City attorney Randall Dean Crawford from probation a year after the high court found him guilty of violating professional conduct rules.
In its most recent order, the high court found Crawford had successfully completed the probationary period and ordered his probation terminated. Crawford also was ordered to pay costs in the matter.
In its previous order, the court handed down a year of probation after finding Crawford had commingled client funds with personal funds and failed to maintain client funds in interest bearing account. Allegations against Crawford stemmed from errors with his trust account, according to the Chief Disciplinary Counsel's brief filed prior to the court's decision.
Crawford was admitted to the bar in Missouri on Sept. 19, 1981, according to his profile at The Missouri Bar's website. Crawford had no prior disciplinary history in Missouri, according to the brief.
Crawford "did not always promptly remove earned fees from the trust account," the brief said. "Specifically, the panel noted nine instances where [Crawford] failed to promptly distribute earned fees from the trust account to his operating account."
On three occasions, Crawford deposited earned legal fees into the trust account "due to poor trust account management or poor office practices," the brief said.
After the chief disciplinary counsel's investigation began, Crawford voluntarily attended ethics school, which included webinar and in-person sessions, and established a new trust account, according to the brief.
In his own brief, also filed prior to the court's decision to place him on probation, Crawford, speaking in third person, acknowledged "on a few occasions" he deposited earned fees into his trust account.
"This was not his standard practice," Crawford said in his brief. "It occurred because, on those occasions, [Crawford] picked up the wrong deposit slip because he had the deposit slips for both accounts in the same drawer. He has separated them now."
Crawford also acknowledged in his brief "that he did not always promptly remove earned fees from the trust account" and that he'd been unaware he was required to do so.