Renee McGawm, Denver Business Journal, March 29, 2010
Well-known Denver lawyer Willie Shepherd has been publicly censured for overstating his former law firm’s diversity in order to attract a client.
Presiding Disciplinary Judge William Lucero fined Shepherd $127.50 and ordered a public censure for Shepherd’s misconduct in 2007, while he was a partner at what was then known as Kamlet Shepherd & Reichert LLP. Lucero’s order was entered on Friday in the Colorado Supreme Court, which regulates state-licensed attorneys.
Shepherd hoped to get KSR qualified for the E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Co. Diverse Legal Supplier Program, according to a stipulation agreement filed on March 18 as part of the disciplinary proceeding. Only law firms with at least 50 percent equity ownership by women or minorities are eligible for the program.
In December 2007, Shepherd sent an email to two people in the DuPont legal department stating that 48.5 percent of KSR’s equity partners were women and/or minorities; in fact, the level was 30.1 percent, according to the court document.
In January 2008, Shepherd wrote again to DuPont, claiming that KSR met the program criteria even though he knew that it did not, according to the court document.