Tuesday, July 8, 2008
A subcommittee of the Virginia State Bar imposed an agreed-upon reprimand of an attorney retained through a pre-paid legal services plan to handle a divorce and custody case. The client was unable to attend a hearing but told the lawyer he would accept "shared custody and liberal visitation." The lawyer then signed an agreement that limited visitation to two hours on Sundays. The client objected to the agreed order and the lawyer was granted leave to withdraw. The lawyer also neglected or failed to communicate with several other clients referred by the plan.
The agreed sanction is somewhat creative. The attorney must engage the services of a designated law office management consultant who will review his office procedures. If the consultant deems his procedures deficient, he has 60 days to institute any measures that the consultant recommends. The matter will be closed "[u]pon satisfactory proof that such terms and conditions have been met..." If the terms are not met, the matter of sanction will be reconsidered. (Mike Frisch)