November 11, 2009
Disbarment Rather Than Disability
The South Carolina Supreme Court disbarred an attorney who is presently incarcerated on charges of mortgage fraud. The court concluded that the attorney failed to establish a basis to remain suspended based on a claim of incapacity:
In November 2006, the Court placed Respondent on incapacity inactive status pursuant to Rule 28(b), RLDE, Rule 413, SCACR, after he submitted a letter from his doctor stating he was treating Respondent for bipolar disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and he felt Respondent was incapable of testifying in a deposition. Respondent requested two specific attorneys to be appointed as counsel and as guardian ad litem, but both attorneys declined.
On June 1, 2007, a hearing was held before the Panel on the issue of Respondent’s incapacity. Respondent appeared by telephone, but after he was informed the proceeding would continue without the appointment of counsel, he terminated the call. The Panel found that Respondent waived his right to present additional medical evidence regarding his incapacity and that the letter from his doctor simply stating Respondent could not testify was insufficient to show he was unable to assist in his own defense. Therefore, the Panel ordered ODC to schedule a final hearing on the merits.
Despite receiving notice of the merits hearing, Respondent failed to appear. ODC presented testimony from four witnesses as well as substantial evidence showing Respondent failed to properly maintain his trust, escrow, and operating accounts. The Panel recommended that Respondent be disbarred.
Respondent is currently incarcerated as a result of federal mortgage fraud charges, which are unrelated to this disciplinary matter. After receiving notice that oral arguments before this Court were scheduled, Respondent sought a continuance due to his mental and physical incapacity and requested that the Court appoint counsel. We denied this request. This matter has been pending since 2000. ODC has afforded Respondent more than sufficient time to seek counsel as well as numerous opportunities to submit any medical records showing he is unable to assist in his own defense. Respondent has repeatedly failed to show any good-faith or genuine effort in asserting his rights or cooperating with ODC. Accordingly, this matter need not be further delayed.
The bar charges involved misappropriation and related misconduct. The attorney had a record of prior bar discipline. (Mike Frisch)
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What happened in S. C. would never happen in NC. The State Bar allows attorneys to get by with any and everything unless large sums of money are involved. I filed a complaint against a local attorney when I learned he had represented me in a real estate issue, while his license to practice were suspended. There were other complaints filed also. He was allowed to go on Disability and never answer for his actions. He was re-instated, and when I asked if I could appear for the hearing it was rescheduled and it was over with his being reinstated with no hearing. Our local judges knew he was on suspension, yet no one ever told us anything. I asked the Bar to advertise in the paper in the area of the attorney practiced, which would allow the public to know the necessary information. You can bet that never happened. We have lawyer's, judges, DA's etc that need to be charged with their corruption, but no one in our state will take action, everyone here has too many political ties "Good Ole Boys Club" and control everything that happens from DWI's to Felonies, with certain judges being a big part of it..even signing fraudulent orders for specific attorneys, without any statute being quoted in the Motion or Order. One attorney filed for Annulment and got it when none of the reasons under NC law applied or were stated, after hearing his client admit to Bigamy under oath during discovery. He then filed for full custody of the child, thinking it would keep his illegal client in the US, that's when I had the illegal picked up by 7 agents (2 FBI, 2 NCIS, 2 SBI & 1 ICE), which he has written in a filing was fraudulent deportation. He then filed for 1/2 the equity after a foreclosure, lying to the Clerk that the statute I provided stating the individual committing bigamy had no rights, he told the clerk it only applied to Estates, which was a bald face lie, and got 1/2 the $.He was ordered to withdraw as counsel if he failed to have his client at the next hearing, a year has gone by and he's never withdrawn, and has refused to give the court the contact info on his client, saying "NO" and walking out of the courtroom. His client was ordered to leave the US, was given a VD, which was his second one, when only 1 is allowed under Fed Law, he's been seen here by several. Has 3 atty's, one our x DA who represents him on the Bigamy charge which was on the calendar for 32 months with no indictment. The DA's office has everything in hand to indict and prosecute, yet will do nothing because of his 3 attorneys. His business continues to operate 7 days a week, after the Fed. Judge ordered him to dispose of his businesses. His g/friend lied to ICE telling them she took him to Canada and dropped him off, which was why his car was in the driveway...he would never let anyone drop him off. He and his brother were a big part of the cig. smuggling out of Charlotte, NC., his own handwritten ledger shows how every dime was laundered, with large sums going to the leader of the cell who was sentenced to 155yrs. He signed a deed as an unmarried individual when he had two wives, yet no one will do anything. Where do we turn for help?
Posted by: H. E. DAVIS | Nov 11, 2009 4:26:17 PM
H.E. Davis: excellent points and a cogent argument. Wait, what?
Posted by: me | Dec 27, 2009 9:19:10 AM