Categorized | Featured Stories, Regulation

Attorney Regulators Also Find It Hard To Serve Doug Bruce

By Matt Masich, LAW WEEK COLORADO

DENVER — TABOR-author Douglas Bruce is a hard man to serve, the state’s attorney regulators are finding out.

Bruce famously dodged process servers for two months last year in an administrative case to find out his role in funding anti-tax ballot initiatives.

In a newer case, the Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel says it will engage process servers to serve Bruce, who has failed for two weeks to acknowledge receipt of certified mail announcing injunctive proceedings against him.

Hasn’t picked up letter

The regulation office seeks to have Bruce enjoined from the unauthorized practice of law. The Colorado Supreme Court on May 26 ordered Bruce to show cause why he shouldn’t be enjoined, giving him 20 days after service to respond.

Regulation counsel sent a copy of the order to Bruce on June 1. A letter carrier stuck a note to his door on June 2 that says Bruce can pick up the letter at the post office — which he has yet to do, the regulation office says.

According to the rules governing unauthorized practice of law, “certified mail sent to the respondent’s last known address” is sufficient proof of service. The regulation office takes this to mean that the notice on Bruce’s door is sufficient, whether or not he picks up the letter from the post office. This would make June 22 Bruce’s deadline to respond.

But just to cover all bases, the regulation office will try to serve Bruce personally. If that isn’t successful after a few attempts, and if Bruce still hasn’t responded to the order to show cause, the regulation office will file with the Supreme Court a motion to proceed.

The Supreme Court can then enter an injunction enjoining Bruce and fining him up to $2,000, or it can refer it to the Office of the Presiding Disciplinary Judge, who will serve as a hearing master to find out more information.

State: Bruce drafted documents

The unauthorized practice of law case against Bruce stems from a series of lawsuits Bruce and supporters filed against Colorado Springs. The regulation office claims Bruce drafted documents for two of his supporters, tried to speak in court on their behalf and passed them notes in court.

Bruce was never licensed to practice law in Colorado. He received his law degree in 1973 from the University of Southern California and was a prosecutor in Los Angeles in the 1970s, but he went on inactive status in California in 1981 and officially resigned his law license in 2004.

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