Seattle lawyer receives suspension, probation for allegedly mishandling client's immigration matters

By Karen Kidd | May 13, 2019

SAN FRANCISCO (Northern California Record) — Seattle attorney Sharon Arlene Healey faces suspension and probation following an April 26 California Supreme Court order for allegedly mishandling a client's immigration matters, according to a recent report issued by the State Bar of California and court documents.

The court handed down a stayed one-year suspension and a year of conditional probation, with the first 30 days spent on suspension. The court also ordered Healy to pay costs.

Healey's discipline will be effective May 26, according to an announcement recently posted on the state bar's website. Healey was admitted to the bar in California on Dec. 7, 1988, according to his profile at the state bar website.

Allegations against Healey stem from her immigration case. She was hired in September 2015 to submit an application for a provisional unlawful presence waiver, according to a stipulation filed with the California State Bar Court January.

Through October 2017, Healey performed "substantial and valuable legal services" for her client, including drafting multiple versions a proposed declaration to be submitted with the application and attempting to obtain information required for a waiver, the stipulation said.

From October 2017 through February 2018, however, Healey suffered "multiple family issues," during part of which Healey informed her client that she anticipated being unavailable, the stipulation said. In late October 2017, "due to a breakdown in the attorney-client relationship," the client terminated her services and hired new counsel but Healey continued to encounter difficulties, according to the stipulation.

Healey allegedly failed to deposit $1,020 in funds received for the benefit of her client into a trust account, failed to promptly release the client's papers and property after her employment was terminated and to failed comply with conditions of a previous discipline. The prefiling of the stipulation was considered a mitigating factor in the matter.

In a previous discipline, Healey received a fully stayed one-year suspension, effective May 2015, after she stipulated to failures to perform legal services competently, communicate, return a file and refund unearned advanced fees. Healey also was alleged to have improperly withdrawn from employments.

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