Disbarred attorney owes client some money

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OKLAHOMA CITY - Our In Your Corner team tracks down a former Oklahoma attorney accused of turning his back on his clients.

The Oklahoma Supreme Court disbarred Jay Trenary in January for "neglecting" several of his clients, including Bill Foster. 

“I don't think he deserves to be a lawyer, period,” he said.

Foster and his sister hired Trenary to represent them on a fraud suit they filed in Logan County in 2013.

They say it took the former attorney six months to even write their petition, and not only did he cost them precious time and money, he almost cost them the case.

“Our opponents in the lawsuit filed a summary judgment that we didn't know anything about,” he said.

Trenary denies doing sloppy work and claims he didn’t withhold information or try to defraud anyone.

“I think there's a reasonable dispute as to how much money I earned,” he said.

Trenary’s troubles have been well documented on NewsChannel 4.

The former attorney was a budding-star prosecutor but, in 2011, he went from defender to defendant, on trial for assaulting his girlfriend - a crime he was later acquitted of.

There were more arrests and misdemeanor convictions and client complaints.

Earlier this year at the request of The Oklahoma Bar Association, the scales of justice tipped against Trenary when The Oklahoma Supreme Court yanked his license, disbarring him for at least five years.   

Loraine Farabow, First Assistant General Counsel for the OBA, said, “That's sending a strong message from our court that they found Mr. Trenary was not able to practice and was not fit to practice and that this type of conduct was not going to be tolerated.”

The former attorney told Scott Hines he didn't feel like he was given a fair shake.

He said, “Absolutely does not fit the crime.”

Trenary blames his miscues and missteps on family and health issues and demons from his past, including a sexual assault as a child.

“You finally start dealing with that, it causes some issues to happen,” Trenary said. “Putting rapists in prison was really good therapy.”

He’s goes on to say, “I'm a rescuer personality [and], if I see someone needing help, I jump in. I jumped into situations I had no idea I was jumping into.”

Trenary says he's jumping head first into his healing and recovery.

He owns up to owing Bill Foster a partial refund. The thing is he's broke.

“I got literally a drawer full of envelopes from debt collectors and medical bills,” he said.

Foster could still recoup his cash!

The Oklahoma Bar Association has a fund set up for people who lose money to suspended or disbarred attorneys.

It is a fund that was created to try to compensate victims. A lot of times, the attorneys who are abusing misappropriating client funds are in dire circumstances themselves,” Farabow said.

While Foster waits for reimbursement, his case in Logan County drags on. 

“Whether it's win or lose, I don't know,” he said. “That's up to the judge.”

The attorney he initially hired to represent him is now disbarred and out of work.