December 7, 2009
Lacking In Execution
The Delaware Supreme Court has imposed a public reprimand and probation for two years in a matter that came to the attention of the Bar as a result of an audit by the Lawyers' Fund for Client Protection. The attorney was admitted in 1967 and had retired from an inhouse counsel position with Dupont in 1990. He then opened a solo ERISA practice working 25 hours a week with 5-6 clients at a time. He had no support staff.
A disciplinary panel found that he had violated record keeping and trust account balance obligations:
...Respondent was consiously aware of his obligations to properly manage a law office and accurately report to the Court in his annual Certificate of Compliance [with trust accounting obligations], and yet he took a "head in the sand" approach to these obligations without any particular objective or purpose to accomplish a particular result other than to provide services to his clients. While the Panel finds that his objective of serving clients is clearly proper, [his] execution of his obligations to the Court was woefully lacking.
The panel further found a "sustained and systematic disregard" of the proper operation of a law office. (Mike Frisch)
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