Friday, June 11, 2010
The District of Columbia Court of Appeals disbarred an attorney convicted of theft and fraud offenses. The attorney rented an apartment, tendering an initial payment and security deposit with a dishonored check. She eventually paid a total of two months rent and security deposit while she occupied the premises for ten months.
She sublet the apartment to a person who paid her three months of rent for less than two months of occupancy. The subtenant vacated the apartment when he learned that the attorney was not in fact the landlord. The attorney then sued the real landlords "regarding the premises" and they countersued seeking to evict her. A court order was entered prohibiting the attorney from advertising, renting or collecting rent on the premises. The attorney violated the court order, rented the premises and received a rent check. The convictions involved theft from the landlords and first subtenant and fraud on the second subtenant as well as contempt.
The court found that the crimes involved moral turpitude, which requires disbarment in the District. (Mike Frisch)