Hilo attorney’s license
Brenda Carreira did not respond
to Office of Disciplinary Counsel
The Hawaii Supreme Court has suspended a Hilo attorney for failing to cooperate with an Office of Disciplinary Counsel investigation of her representation of clients in three separate criminal cases.
Brenda Carreira, 45, who worked as a Hawaii deputy prosecuting attorney for 14 years and made an unsuccessful run in 2000 against Jay Kimura for the office of prosecutor, will remain suspended until further order or reinstatement from the Supreme Court, according to a statement issued yesterday from the Office of Disciplinary Counsel.
Carreira could not be reached for comment.
According to court documents, three clients in separate criminal cases complained in 2003 and 2004 to the Office of Disciplinary Counsel about not being able to communicate with Carreira or get her to respond to letters and telephone calls so that she could represent them.
Disciplinary counsel letters indicate that Carreira also did not respond to their inquiries about their complaints. When she did respond, it was "in an untimely manner," according to court documents.
Each disciplinary counsel letter informed Carreira, "Please be aware that attorneys have a duty to cooperate in ethics investigations."
The investigation into the alleged ethics violations are ongoing.
A graduate of William S. Richardson School of Law, Carreira was admitted to the Hawaii bar in 1984. After serving as a deputy prosecutor, she started her own criminal defense practice in 1999.
Until her license is reinstated, Carreira cannot accept any new retainers, clients or legal matters. According to the disciplinary counsel, she must also return to her existing clients any papers, property or unearned advance payments.