Weatherford Democrat

February 19, 2013

Attorney disciplined for the third time


Weatherford Democrat

—  

By CHRISTIN COYNE

For the third time in the last five years, a local attorney was disciplined by the Texas State Bar after being found guilty of professional misconduct that spanned a decade.

Attorney Barbara L. Wylie, of Weatherford, was found to have agreed to represent clients in civil and family matters and failed to perform her duties and keep clients updated on the status of their cases. In one case, the state bar found that a man lost custody of his children due to Wylie’s inaction. 

In December, a grievance committee panel found that Wylie failed to file a divorce petition for a client in November 2009 despite being paid a $1,100 fee, according to the order made public this month. 

Wylie received a six-month law practice suspension effective Dec. 1 that was probated by the state bar. In addition to the probated suspension through May 13, Wylie was also ordered to pay $2,000 in attorney costs and fees. 

In 2007, a grievance committee panel also found that Wylie was hired in 2001 to represent a man seeking custody of his two children but neglected her duties, allowing custody to revert back to another parent. 

At one point, the parties in the case reached an agreement and Wylie submitted temporary orders regarding the agreement at that time. However, Wylie was found to have failed to keep the man reasonably informed of the status of his case afterward and failed to respond to his calls and a letter.

The case was ultimately dismissed by the court for lack of prosecution and custody of the children reverted back to the man’s ex-wife, the bar found. Wylie then reportedly failed to notify the man of the dismissal of his case in a timely manner.  

Wylie was suspended from practicing law between Feb. 1, 2007, through July 31, 2007, but the suspension was probated. 

Wylie was also disciplined months prior to the latest incident regarding an October 2006 incident when she was hired by a client to provide representation in a civil dispute with a subcontractor. 

Despite being paid $5,000, Wylie was found to have performed no meaningful work on the man’s case and failed to keep him advised of the status of the case. 

After failing to respond in writing to the complaint, Wylie was suspended from practicing law between Jan. 18, 2012 and July 17, 2012, with the option to be placed on probation for another six months if she paid $2,500 in restitution to the victim and $3,655 to the state bar rather than receive a full year suspension.  

The Democrat was unable to reach Wylie for comment as the listed number for Wylie was not in service.