Thursday, March 26, 2009
A 30 day suspension of an attorney was imposed by the District of Columbia Court of Appeals in a case where neither the attorney or Bar Counsel had filed an exception to that period of suspension, which had been recommended by the Board on Professional Responsibility. A motions panel of the court had nonetheless directed that briefs on sanction be filed in light of the serious nature of the misconduct.
In the end, the strong presumption in favor of the board's proposed sanction won out. The court here describes the neglect, failure to communicate with the client, lying to the client, and unnecessary work created by the misconduct as "abhorrent actions." On the positive side, there was no prior discipline, a "personal apology" to the client, and return of the retainer fee. (Mike Frisch)