In the Matter of the Application for Disciplinary Action Against Jesse D. Matson, a Person Admitted to the Bar of the State of North Dakota
Jesse D. Matson, Respondent Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court of the State of North Dakota, Petitioner
1] The Court has before it findings of fact, conclusions of
law and recommendations of a hearing panel recommending Jesse
D. Matson be disbarred from the practice of law for violation
of N.D.R. Prof. Conduct N.D.R. Prof. Conduct 1.3, 1.4, and
1.16. We disbar Matson, and we order him to pay the costs and
expenses of the disciplinary proceeding in the amount of
$250, to reimburse clients, and to reimburse the North Dakota
Client Protection Fund for any payments made to clients on
2] Matson was admitted to practice law in North Dakota on
October 10, 2011. Effective September 15, 2015, Matson was
suspended for six months and one day. See Disciplinary
Board v. Matson, 2015 ND 222, 869 N.W.2d 128. On June
19, 2017, Matson was disbarred. See Disciplinary Board v.
Matson, 2017 ND 149, 897 N.W.2d 11. On September 18,
2017, Matson was disbarred based on reciprocal discipline.
See Disciplinary Board v. Matson, 2017 ND 222, 897
3] Two formal matters form the basis of the petition for
discipline in these matters. Disciplinary Counsel filed an
affidavit outlining efforts to serve Matson in prior
disciplinary matters, which were unsuccessful. Therefore, all
service in these matters was made on the Clerk of the Supreme
Court under Admission to Practice R. 1.
4] Matson failed to answer the amended petition, and
Disciplinary Counsel moved for default. Matson is in default
and the charges in the amended petition for discipline are
deemed admitted under N.D.R. Lawyer Discipl. 3.1(E)(2).
5] The hearing panel made the following findings of fact and
conclusions. In both matters, Matson represented clients in
family law matters. In the first matter, the client paid
Matson $4, 000 to represent him in 2014. Matson failed to
communicate with the client. He failed to perform the agreed
upon services, abandoned the client without notice, and
failed to return any unearned funds or the client's file.
6] In the second matter, the client paid Matson $3, 000.
Matson communicated intermittently with the client. He later
requested an additional $1, 000 to complete the
representation. After the $1, 000 payment was made, Matson
failed to communicate with the client. He failed to perform
the agreed upon services, abandoned the client without
notice, and failed to return any unearned funds. Matson told
the client a number of times documents were filed with the
district court, which was untrue.
7] The hearing panel concluded Matson's conduct violated
N.D.R. Prof. Conduct 1.3, Diligence, by failing to act with
reasonable diligence and promptness in representing his
clients; 1.4, Communication, by failing to keep his clients
adequately informed about their matters, ceasing
communication with his clients, and by lying to one client;
1.16, Declining or Terminating Representation, by failing to
protect his clients' interests after he improperly
terminated representation, failing to return unearned funds,
and failing to return the file of one client.
8] The hearing panel concluded aggravating factors under N.D.
Stds. Imposing Lawyer Sanctions 9.22 of a prior discipline
history, dishonest and selfish motive, a pattern of
misconduct, and multiple offenses. The hearing panel
concluded disbarment was the appropriate sanction.
9] The findings of fact, conclusions of law, and
recommendations were served and forwarded to this Court.
Objections were due within 20 days of service of the findings
of fact, conclusions of law, and recommendations. No
objections were received, and the matter was submitted to the
Court for consideration.
10] ORDERED, that the findings of fact, conclusions of law,
and recommendations by the hearing panel are accepted.
11] IT IS FURTHER ORDERED, that Jesse D. Matson is DISBARRED
from the practice of law in North Dakota effective
12] IT IS FURTHER ORDERED, that within 90 days of entry of
judgment, Matson pay $4, 000 restitution to Eric Hurt and ...