Thursday, November 3, 2011
The West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals agreed with "all but one" recommendation of a Hearing Panel subcommittee in a bar discipline case. The single disagreement was a significant one - the court rejected a proposed public reprimand in favor of a one year suspension.
The court found that the conduct justified a stiffer sanction:
If [the attorney's] actions were truly negligent and not intentional or knowing, the same misconduct would not have been repeated on numerous occasions. Instead, [he] continued to charge clients money for work which he never performed; he lied to the clients about the status of their cases; and, when his actions were discovered, he failed to immediately refund their money or to respond to information requests from the [Office of Disciplinary Counsel]...we do not agree that [his] actions were merely negligent.