Wednesday, December 24, 2008
An attorney was disbarred by the District of Columbia Court of Appeals for serious dishonesty and related misconduct in his dealings with a business partner with whom he had a romantic relationship. The attorney was found to have drafted legal documents that listed only his name on joint ventures and made a series of false statements about the situation, including testimony under oath in an arbitration and the disciplinary hearing. After losing the arbitration, he filed a meritless appeal that caused the California Court of Appeal "to verbally chastise him for 'blatant misrepresentation' of one of the court's rulings..." ("If a reputation for honesty is the coin of the judicial realm, [the attorney] has squandered his riches on such positions most unwisely").
His criminal conduct (proven without a conviction) was found to amount to theft. He also engaged in "unconscionable actions in the courts, especially the California courts." Disbarment was appropriate even though he had no prior disciplinary history, as he had engaged in "persistent, protracted,and extremely serious and flagrant acts of dishonesty." Reinstatement is conditioned on full restitution to the Clients' Security Fund with interest and satisfaction of all judgments "against him and in favor of [the partner] or related business entities."
According to the court's opinion, the attorney was admitted in the District of Columbia in 1995 and "[e]ventually,...moved to Virginia and accepted a post as a professor of law at Regent University." (Mike Frisch)