A longtime Telluride attorney maintained a sexual and financial relationship with one of his clients and violated a dozen professional ethics rules between 2016 and 2020, according to a disciplinary complaint filed by Colorado’s Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel.
Attorney George Allen, who is in his late 70s, is accused of representing the 49-year-old woman pro bono in multiple cases despite their relationship and without obtaining her written consent acknowledging the conflict of interest as required by the state’s rules of professional conduct.
At times when Allen didn’t personally represent the woman, he paid for another attorney to do so, according to the 26-page complaint. He bonded the woman out of jail and filed baseless and frivolous appeals, lawsuits and other actions on her behalf, according to the complaint.
“The client was not comfortable with the situation but felt (Allen) had power over her,” the complaint reads.
Allen initially hired the woman as a lifestyle coach and massage therapist in 2016, according to the complaint, then within two months agreed to pay her $12,000 a year to perform the duties of a personal assistant. In addition to that amount, he gifted her between $50,000 and $100,000, the complaint alleges.
The woman carried out menial duties and conducted legal research for Allen. She traveled with him for work, sometimes sharing a bed on trips. The pair had sex on “one or more occasions,” according to the complaint.
During the years in which this went on, Allen represented the woman in several minor criminal cases. In October 2019, Allen filed for a permanent restraining order for the woman against her ex-boyfriend — but a Denver judge refused to let Allen continue representing the woman after she testified on cross-examination about her sexual relationship with the attorney.
“Honestly, you should have known ahead of time as a lawyer — you’ve been a lawyer a really long time,” Denver County Court Judge Andrea Eddy told Allen, who was licensed in 1967. “You should have known ahead of time this was not an appropriate case for you to be representing her on. But you are.”
The woman then continued the hearing by representing herself, and lost, according to the complaint, which also detailed Allen’s alleged misconduct in an unrelated case.
In a 35-page response Allen filed in late October, he addressed at length and denied the allegations in the unrelated case — in which he is accused of failing to disclose key factual information, among other claims — but he did not respond to the allegations concerning his relationship with the woman.
“My understanding is that the filing of this Answer will become public record,” Allen wrote. “Much damage has already been done by (the Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel) that has compounded unforgivable damage already done by multiple other lawyers. I respectfully decline to respond to the remainder of the Complaint until I can take such steps as are reasonably needed to seal the files of this case.”
Allen, who also wrote that he’d recently moved to California, declined to comment when reached by phone Tuesday.
The case has not yet been scheduled for a hearing before Presiding Disciplinary Judge William Lucero and the hearing board, which will determine whether the accusations are legitimate and whether discipline is warranted.
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