Friday, November 4, 2022

Annulled By Consent

The West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals has annulled an attorney's license, imposing a three-year suspension in one matter and accepting license annulment in a second

This matter involves two lawyer disciplinary actions brought against Respondent David R. Tyson (hereinafter “Mr. Tyson”), a member of the West Virginia State Bar. In Case No. 20-1027, the Office of Lawyer Disciplinary Counsel (hereinafter “ODC”) filed formal charges against Mr. Tyson regarding alleged overbilling of the Public Defender Services Corporation (hereinafter “PDS”) as well as complaints from Mr. Tyson’s former clients. As a result of stipulations entered into in Case No. 20-1027, the parties agreed to certain proposed sanctions including a two (2) year suspension. The Hearing Panel Subcommittee (hereinafter “HPS”) adopted most of the recommended sanctions but increased the length of Mr. Tyson’s recommended suspension. The HPS recommended that Mr. Tyson’s law license be suspended for a period of three (3) years. A few months following the issuance of the HPS’s recommendations in Case No. 20-1027, the Office of Lawyer Disciplinary Counsel filed a petition, Case No. 22-0342, requesting that this Court accept, with the voluntary consent of Mr. Tyson, the annulment of Mr. Tyson’s license to practice law in the State of West Virginia pursuant to Rule 3.25 of the Rules of Lawyer Disciplinary Procedure.

Upon careful review of the briefs, the appendix record, the arguments of the parties, and the applicable legal authority, we adopt the recommendations of the HPS in Case No. 20-1027. In addition, we grant the Petition for Disbarment in Case No. 22-0342 and order that Mr. Tyson’s license to practice law in the State of West Virginia is annulled by voluntary consent.

Overbilling

Pursuant to the stipulations entered into with the ODC, Mr. Tyson admitted that by charging over 24 hours on each of four different days along with charging 15 hours or more each day on an additional eleven days, he violated Rule 1.5(a)  of the Rules of Professional Conduct.  Mr. Tyson also admitted that he violated Rule 3.3(a)(1) of the Rules of Professional Conduct  by submitting billing vouchers which misrepresented the time expended for services performed before circuit judges and/or appointing tribunals, which resulted in overpayments of fees from the PDS. Mr. Tyson also admitted that because he engaged in improper and/or unsubstantiated billing with regard to cases in which he was appointed to represent indigent clients on behalf of the PDS, he violated Rule 8.4(c) and (d) of the Rules of Professional Conduct.

(Mike Frisch)

https://lawprofessors.typepad.com/legal_profession/2022/11/the-west-virginia-supreme-court-of-appeals-this-matter-involves-two-lawyer-disciplinary-actions-brought-against-respondent-d.html

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