Attorney: Craig Owen Asbill
Bar membership: Member since 2000
Disciplinary action: Suspended from the practice of law for four years on July 14. After two years, Asbill may apply for a stay of the remaining portion of his suspension.
Background: Asbill agreed to represent a client in connection with his personal injury claim. Asbill failed to file a lawsuit before the statute of limitations expired, instead emailing the insurance company on the day of its expiration, requesting that the client’s claim be arbitrated. The insurance company filed a lawsuit against the client asking the court to declare that it had no obligation to pay any claim. Asbill took no steps to defend the client, nor informed the client that he had not done so. After the insurance company obtained a default judgment, Asbill took no steps to set aside the judgment or explain its importance to the client, and Asbill declined to return multiple phone calls from the client. The client filed a grievance against Asbill, which Asbill did not reply to for five months. In his response, Asbill falsely stated that he had left messages for the insurance company’s attorney and that an arbitrator that Asbill had engaged told him that the attorney would not return the arbitrator’s calls. Asbill also failed to respond to a letter from the State Bar requesting further information.
Previous discipline: None