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Tue, Nov. 12

Prescott attorney disbarred after abandoning practice

Lauren Vanpelt, an attorney who had practiced in Prescott since 1999, has been disbarred. Arizona Supreme Court Presiding Disciplinary Judge William O'Neil issued the order disbarring Vanpelt, 39, who primarily practiced family and criminal law, on March 15.

Vanpelt, who has left the area and could not be reached for comment, agreed to sign a consent document stating she would not contest or defend herself against the charges that she abandoned her practice, failed to appear in court, and used client money that was in her trust account for personal use.

According to the Arizona State Bar Association, Vanpelt must pay more than $33,000 to 13 former clients and her landlord, as well as court costs of $6,000.

Court records state that Vanpelt abandoned her Cortez Street office in late 2010. A court-appointed conservator took over her files and notified nearly 700 clients of the situation.

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