Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Written Agreement Does Not Negate Violation

A subcommittee of the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board accepted an agreed disposition for a 60 day suspension. The attorney had handled a matter while suspended for failure to comply withb mandatory CLE requirements.

Further, the attorney was found to have violated Rule 1.15 by depositing a $500 retainer in an operating account. The violation was found notwithstanding the following language in the retainer agreement: "The client...acknowledges that the funds/flat fee will not be held in a trust account; and the client may not recive a refund of the fees if the client later chooses not to hire the lawyer or chooses to terminate the lawyer's services." In the case, the lawyer had failed to appear in court due to a "bad sinus infection." (Mike Frisch)


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