Friday, July 26, 2013
The District of Columbia Court of Appeals has disbarred an attorney who engaged in misconduct in four matters.
The Court followed the recommendation of the Board on Professional Responsibility.
The misconduct that resulted in the ultimate sanction was a finding of reckless misappropriation.
The attorney had received checks in connection with a real estate/tax matter and deposited the checks into his trust account.
He "either thought the funds belonged to someone else or simply did not know to whom they belonged."
The attorney nonetheless used the proceeds as his own, writing at least 31 checks to himself or cash and overdrawing the account six times.
In another matter, he was dismissed as counsel in a probate matter but did not withdraw his appearance as counsel for two years. While dismissed but still as counsel of record, he sued his current client.
In the District of Columbia, the presumptive sanction for intentional or reckless misappropriation is disbarment. (Mike Frisch)