Saturday, November 14, 2020

Reciprocal Discipline Under Consideration

The Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board has suspended an attorney based on his South Carolina disbarment and directed him to show cause why that sanction should not be imposed as reciprocal discipline.

The misconduct found in South Carolina is discussed in our prior post quoting the court 's order

On June 5, 2018, Respondent was arrested and charged with indecent exposure, in violation of S.C. Code Ann. ยง 16-15-130, after he was observed exposing his genitals and masturbating. Respondent self-reported the arrest to ODC on June 19, 2018. On December 9, 2019, Respondent entered a plea pursuant to North Carolina v. Alford, 400 U.S. 25 (1970), and was sentenced to three years' imprisonment, suspended to twelve months' probation and payment of $168.75 in court costs.

Respondent's previous disciplinary history includes two matters involving similar behavior. In 1997, Respondent received a four-month suspension citing the equivalent of Rules 8.4(b) (committing a criminal act that reflects adversely on an attorney's honesty, trustworthiness, or fitness as a lawyer in other respects) and 8.4(c) (committing a criminal act involving moral turpitude), RPC, Rule 407, SCACR. In re Parrott, 325 S.C. 162, 480 S.E.2d 722 (1997). This four-month suspension followed Respondent's entry of an Alford plea to a charge of simple assault and battery he received after pulling down a woman's bathing suit while she was sunbathing at Surfside Beach in May 1994. Id. at 163, 480 S.E.2d at 723 (noting Respondent tried to pull off another woman's bikini bottom while she was sunbathing at North Myrtle Beach in October 1989, but was not prosecuted for this offense; and Respondent had no prior connection with either woman, covered his face during both incidents, and retreated when the women "put up a struggle").

(Mike Frisch)

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