Turner's clients can call lawyer for help

The state has appointed a Steamboat Springs lawyer to review the cases of troubled local attorney Heather Turner, whose law license was suspended.

The Colorado Supreme Court's Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel announced Friday that Turner's license to practice law had been suspended.

The suspension came three weeks after the office filed a formal complaint alleging that Turner violated state rules when she didn't show up to a client's trial.

The Office of Attorney Regul--ation Counsel investigates cases of attorney misconduct. The office has the authority to permanently disbar attorneys for serious violations.

Following Turner's suspension, 14th Judicial District Chief Judge Michael O'Hara appointed Ralph Cantafio, a Steamboat Springs lawyer, as inventory counsel for the case.

As inventory counsel, Cantafio will work to find and inventory all the files belonging to Turner's clients, said Nancy Cohen, an official at the Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel.

Cantafio has volunteered to handle the cases at the state's request, Cohen said.

Turner's clients who haven't yet received their case files or papers should contact Cantafio after Jan. 3 at his Steamboat Springs office, 879-4567.

Turner, who has more than 70 clients in Moffat, Routt and Grand counties, has been in trouble with the law personally and professionally in the past year.

Last month, Hayden Police arrested the 44-year-old attorney on a warrant from Park County that alleged Turner bounced a check in Fairplay.

Turner was evicted from her Craig home last month for bouncing checks to her landlord.

Also last month, Judge O'Hara ruled that Turner had abandoned all her clients when she failed to return their phone calls and didn't show up for court.

Turner tried to surrender her law license in November, citing a legal system she said is corrupt, but the state wouldn't let her. Under Colorado law, attorneys can't surrender their licenses to avoid disciplinary action or if they are under investigation for misconduct.

Turner did not return calls for comment.

Brandon Johansson can be reached at 824-7031, ext. 213, or bjohansson@craigdailypress.com.

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