New Mexico attorney disbarred over handling of client money

New Mexico

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The New Mexico Supreme Court has revoked an Albuquerque attorney’s law license, saying she mishandled client money and had a “dishonest and selfish motive.”

The court’s ruling Monday said Jennie Deden Behles violated attorney professional conduct rules by spending client money she’d been ordered to hold in trust and by failing to maintain complete records of her client trust account.

The court said Behles also failed to keep client money separate from her own and unreasonably charged a contingent fee on the return of her client’s court bond.

The ruling says disbarment was appropriate because Behles had a prior discipline record, a pattern of misconduct involving multiple offenses and failed to acknowledge her conduct was wrongful.

Behles has been licensed to practice law in New Mexico for nearly 50 years.

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