Plymouth lawyer Dean R. Bruza has received a 179-day suspension from the practice of law in Michigan, the State of Michigan Attorney Discipline Board (ADB) reported Friday. The suspension went into effect on March 19, 2014.
Bruza and the Grievance Administrator filed a stipulation for a consent order of discipline, which the Attorney Grievance Commission approved and ADB Tri-County Hearing Panel #8 accepted.
Based on his admissions and plea of no contest, the panel found that Bruza held funds other than client or third person funds in an client trust account; failed to hold property of clients or third persons in connection with a representation separate from his own property; and deposited his own funds into a client trust account in an amount more than reasonably necessary to pay financial institution charges or fees.
In entering a finding of misconduct, the panel acknowledged the statement of the parties in paragraph one of the stipulation, which states:
The parties agree that Respondent has not improperly used, converted, or misappropriated client funds, but that Respondent knowingly kept fees in his client trust account after they had been earned and should have been withdrawn from the account. At that time, Respondent had an outstanding financial obligation.
In accordance with the stipulation of the parties, the hearing panel ordered Bruza’s suspension from the practice of law in Michigan for 179 days, effective March 19, 2014, and directed him to pay costs of $791.59.