Thursday, January 7, 2021
The District of Columbia Court of Appeals got the new year off to an excellent start by approving four (count em four) petitions for negotiated discipline.
The most interesting of the quartet involves a cautionary tale of an associate attorney who spoke to a reporter about a client's confidential information
Respondent acknowledged that she intentionally prejudiced or damaged her client during the course of the professional relationship, knowingly revealed a confidence or secret of her client, and engaged in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation. As a result, Respondent violated D.C. Rules of Professional Conduct 1.3(b), 1.6(a), and 8.4(c). The proposed discipline is a suspension for eighteen months with reinstatement conditioned upon proof of fitness.
The facts are set forth in the hearing committee report
The stipulated facts support Respondent’s admission that she violated this Rule. Respondent initiated contact with News Media and then revealed client confidences to News Media on multiple occasions. Using information she disclosed, News Media published a detailed account of Law Firm’s investigation. The disclosure of this information brought unfavorable publicity to Company.
This consent approved a stayed 30-day suspension with probation for neglect.
This one a stayed 90-day suspension and probation for neglect and trust account violations.
And last but not least a 90-day suspension with all but 30 days stayed and probation for neglect.
Note that "neglect" is a term that encompasses incompetence, lack of diligence and failure to communicate.
A good day in D.C.
We need one. (Mike Frisch)