JEFFERSON CITY – Longtime Marshall attorney James P. Barton Jr. has been reinstated following an April 30 Missouri Supreme Court decision following his suspension in 2012.
The Supreme Court reinstated Barton after sustaining his petition for reinstatement, according to the high court's order.
The court also ordered Barton to pay costs.
Barton, now 57, was admitted to the bar in Missouri on Oct. 9, 1987, according to his profile at The Missouri Bar's website.
Barton was suspended following a March 2012 Supreme Court order with no petition for reinstatement to be entertained for two years from the date of the court's order after being found in violation of multiple professional conduct rules. Barton was alleged to have violated rules related to competence, communication, trust accounts and property of others and unauthorized practice of law.
Barton had no history of discipline prior to his suspension, according to the informant's brief filed by the Missouri Office of Chief Disciplinary Counsel prior to Barton's suspension.
Allegations against Barton stemmed from two client matters - a marriage dissolution and a personal injury case - according to the informant's brief.
In the personal injury case, Barton was alleged to have, among other things, allowed the statute of limitations to extinguish his client's cause of action and to have practiced law in North Carolina where he was not licensed.
In the marriage dissolution case, Barton was alleged to have, among other things, failed to adequately explain his fees, failed to deposit multiple payments into his client trust account and later asked his client to withdraw her complaint.
After a hearing before a disciplinary panel in May 2011, the office of chief disciplinary counsel recommended suspension, according to the informant's brief. Barton was against actual suspension, "instead offering to undertake any remedial measures, e.g., CLEs or probationary terms, the panel thought appropriate," the informant's brief said.
The panel issued its decision the following August recommending Barton be suspended with no leave to apply for reinstatement for one year.
"Respondent Barton admitted all charged rule violations in his answer to the information," the informant's brief said. "He did not deny his misconduct at the hearing."