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Hawaii attorney disbarred for dishonesty in handling of apartment deed

By Star Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 11:32 a.m. HST, Oct 23, 2013

The Hawaii Supreme Court issued an order Tuesday disbarring attorney Michael R. Salling from the practice of law.

The high court said Salling, 65, violated Hawaii Rules of Professional Conduct by "dishonestly" trying to gain fee-simple title to his client's apartment against her wishes.

At the time, the apartment was worth about $400,000, according to the court.The court said Salling used a power of attorney he prepared for his client to execute shortly before her death; misrepresented the authenticity of the invalid deed before a notary public; recorded the invalid deed, and misrepresented that the apartment had been given to him as a gift to avoid paying taxes.

The court also said Salling "does not recognize the wrongful nature of his conduct or show remorse and evinces no intention to pay restitution."

In an email statement, Salling said after the woman's death in 2006, her family settled a lawsuit over the Honolulu Tower condominium where they had lived together. He said the family "retaliated by filing an unmerited complaint" with the disciplinary counsel.

The disciplinary counsel's office conducts investigations of unethical complaints against  Hawaii lawyers.

The court said the disbarment order will take effect 30 days from Tuesday.

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Lawyer disbarred over condo dispute

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LMO wrote:
Now he'll have to get an honest job!
on October 23,2013 | 01:54AM
HanabataDays wrote:
Takes some serious bad action to get disbarred on the first go-round without even a prior suspension. Obviously this was no unmerited complaint by someone who merely wanted to stir up trouble.
on October 23,2013 | 02:35AM
none wrote:
"Dishonestly" aren't they all like that.
on October 23,2013 | 05:28AM
RichardCory wrote:
About as much as you and I, I'd assume. We are all equally human. What exactly makes you think you're better?
on October 23,2013 | 06:15AM
beachbum11 wrote:
Sounds like a lawyer
on October 23,2013 | 07:53AM
cojef wrote:
A shyster lawyer finally got his due. No intention to pay restitution? Does it mean he gets to keep the $400,000 HonoluluTower condo? Whew! nasty guy.
on October 23,2013 | 06:02AM
allie wrote:
on October 23,2013 | 07:42AM
medigogo wrote:
I still don't understand what's happened. Can the news report be a little more specific? It surely sounds criminal to me so far. So why is he not charged? And if no criminal action at all, what's the basis of the SC's action to disbar him?
on October 23,2013 | 08:21AM
czt1dave wrote:
"Misrepresented"...you mean lied, right?
on October 23,2013 | 08:47AM
pakepali wrote:
A little bit off topic - does anyone know why this article did not appear in the hard copy print edition?
on October 24,2013 | 05:08PM
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