In the Matter of Dennis Robert Kurz

In the Supreme Court of Georgia Decided: August 9, 2022 S22Y0779. IN THE MATTER OF DENNIS ROBERT KURZ. PER CURIAM. This disciplinary matter is before the Court on the report and recommendation of Special Master Daniel Reinhardt, recommending that the Court accept the petition for voluntary discipline of Respondent Dennis Robert Kurz (State Bar No. 430489) and impose a three-month suspension for violations of Rules 1.3, 1.15 (I), and 1.15 (II) (b) of the Georgia Rules of Professional Conduct (“GRPC”) found in Bar Rule 4-102 (d). Kurz filed the petition to resolve a formal complaint filed in State Disciplinary Board Docket (“SDBD”) Nos. 7486 and 7487 and sought a public reprimand, but agreed to a suspension of up to six months. Having reviewed the record, we agree to accept the petition, but impose a public reprimand instead of a suspension. The charges in SDBD No. 7486 arose out of an incident in which Kurz appeared in court after having consumed some alcohol at a luncheon with his fiancée. The charges in SDBD No. 7487 are unrelated to those in SBDB No. 7486 and relate to his failure to abide fully by the rules governing trust accounts in three incidents, none of which caused even potential harm to clients or third parties. As detailed in the Special Master’s report, Kurz was admitted to the State Bar of Georgia in 2003, and his practice initially involved working for firms in civil matters. Since 2013, he has maintained a solo practice concentrating on domestic matters and other civil disputes. With respect to SDBD No. 7486, the Special Master’s report details the following facts. On February 14, 2019, Kurz was scheduled to appear before the Gwinnett County Recorder’s Court at 1:30 p.m. to conclude a pre-negotiated plea in a driving-without- a-license case on behalf of a client. Kurz had failed to note the court date on his schedule, and believing that his schedule ended at noon that day, he had taken his then-fiancée (now wife) to a restaurant 2 for a Valentine’s Day lunch. He had consumed a beer and some of a champagne toast by the time his paralegal called to inform him that she and the client were present in court. Kurz immediately drove to court because he did not think the client would be able to resolve the case in his absence. Upon arriving at the courthouse, Kurz asked the clerk to look up his client’s name through the court’s computerized attorney directory. Kurz admitted to the clerk that he was unsure of his client’s name and was unaware of whether his client would need an interpreter. Kurz took the plea sheets given to him and followed the clerk’s directions to the courtroom, where he spoke with his client and paralegal. He also spoke with the assistant solicitor, who confirmed that the fine would be $705 as previously quoted. After a few moments, the court took a brief recess, and while Kurz had stepped outside the courtroom to make a call, …

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