Monday, October 15, 2012
The Delaware Supreme Court has imposed a one-year suspension of an attorney who "began experiencing personal and emotional problems because of deaths in his family." The court did not find a causal link between his depression and the misconduct.
The attorney was employed as an associate at a law firm from 2000 to 2005, when he became a partner. He was dismissed from the firm in October 2011.
After his pay at the firm was cut, the attorney misappropriated consultation and flat fees from the firm on eight occasions. The firm discovered the thefts and confronted him. He confessed, was fired and reported himself to bar authorities only after he was caught.
He reimbursed the firm the $1,780 that he had taken.
The court rejected the reprimand with probation sought by the attorney and the Board on Professional Responsibility. The court found that he had intentionally committed a criminal act and that the sanction of reprimand would be "unduly lenient."