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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Friday, July 25, 2003

Maui attorney accused of neglecting clients

Advertiser Staff

WAILUKU, Maui — The Office of Disciplinary Counsel is investigating at least 26 complaints against a Maui attorney who was suspended last month from practicing law.

The Hawai'i Supreme Court suspended attorney Herman Ling after the office reported that he failed to cooperate with its investigation into the complaints, most of which allege neglect, failure to communicate with clients, failure to account for legal fees and failure to return unearned fees.

Ling yesterday said he wants to see the complaints resolved and that he had talked to investigators and turned over records. He said serious health and family problems kept him from properly responding to the complaints, some of which date to 1999, and affected his handling of some of his clients' cases.

Ling was not present for a court hearing Wednesday in which a Maui Circuit Court judge granted a motion for summary judgment in favor of a former client who filed a lawsuit against the attorney. The lawsuit, filed in October by Wailuku attorney Richard Rost, claims Ling wrongfully withheld $8,200 from a workers' compensation settlement awarded to Stephen McKuhen.

Rost filed a separate lawsuit July 11 seeking the return of a $2,500 deposit Marilyn Brott paid Ling for legal services the complaint alleges were not performed. The lawsuit also seeks the return of $50,000 Brott gave Ling after he enlisted her in a real estate investment.