May 30, 2012
DOJ Sanction Leads To Virginia Suspension
The Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board has accepted an agreed disposition and imposed a 3 1/2 year suspension of an attorney-advisor with the federal Bureau of Prisons. He was advanced to the position of Senior Litigation Counsel in 2006.
The attorney was admitted in Virginia in 1988 and is not licensed in any other jurisdiction. He was suspended for failure to pay bar dues on five separate occasions for a total of 128 months.
The suspension issue came to light in 2008 and was reported to the Department of Justice's Office of Professional Responsibility ("OPR"). The attorney admitted that he made a series of six false statements to OPR in a March 2007 interview.
OPR concluded that the attorney violated his obligation to maintain an active law license as a condition of employment. OPR further found he violated his duty of candor. DOJ thereafter suspended him for two 25-day increments --a total of 50 days.
This misconduct drew a more severe internal DOJ sanction than the misconduct in the Ted Stevens prosecution, which takes over 600 pages for OPR to describe.
Does that say anything about the nature of internal regulation? Clearly, the Virginia bar authorities took the matter far more seriously than did OPR. (Mike Frisch)
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