An attorney from Kalispell was publicly censured by the Montana Supreme Court on Tuesday in response to reported violations in his debt collection practices.
David G. Tennant was found to have put a lien on a client’s property for nonpayment of fees, pursued foreclosure and then anonymously bought the property for well below market value at a sheriff’s auction, the Montana Supreme Court’s Office of Disciplinary Counsel said.
The office filed seven counts of professional misconduct against Tennant, alleging that Tennant continued to represent his client in a divorce case even after filing the lien in February 2012, creating a conflict of interest.
Federal law defines an attorney’s lien as a lawyer’s right to hold a client’s property or money until payment has been made for legal aid.
Tennant’s censure was ordered as a result of a March 21 Order and Opinion by Supreme Court Justice Beth Baker.
In addition to his public censure, Tennant must also recoup the losses suffered by his former clients as a result of his actions. Tennant was ordered to provide all future and former clients with copies of any attorney’s liens filed against them.
Reporter Mary Cloud Taylor can be reached at 758-4459 or firstname.lastname@example.org.