Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Beware Of Perfect Diction

The Georgia Supreme Court has concluded that disbarment is the appropriate sanction for an attorney's submission of a fabricated email in response to the bar complaint of a longtime client

After consideration of the record in this matter, we conclude that disbarment is the appropriate sanction for David-Vega’s violations of the GRPC. We conclude that this sanction is consistent with prior disciplinary matters in which we have disbarred attorneys who have made false statements to a tribunal and in connection with disciplinary proceedings and have fabricated evidence.

The client had suffered severe brain injuries in an accident and had also sued the attorney for malpractice

Although David-Vega failed to timely respond to the grievance— or the subsequent formal complaint—David-Vega did respond to the State Bar’s Notice of Investigation against her, providing a sworn response stating that on March 18, 2018, she received an email from Milan dated March 9, 2018, in which he advised her that he would no longer need her services and that she had emailed Milan his entire accident file. Per the State Bar’s request, David-Vega sent several email exchanges purporting to be between her and Milan. However, the March 9 email terminating David-Vega’s representation supposedly sent from Milan was in a different format and font than the others and, unlike in the other emails, Milan appeared to use perfect diction, capitalization, and punctuation. Milan denied having sent this email, and the State Bar determined that the email was likely falsified by David-Vega.


On October 5, 2022, after issuing his first Report and Recommendation, the Special Master held a hearing on aggravating and mitigating circumstances. At the hearing, David-Vega admitted to fabricating the email allegedly sent by Milan dated March 9, 2018, terminating her representation, and also to fabricating a text message to make it appear as though Milan had terminated her representation prior to the statute of limitation expiring. She explained that she did not have a “good answer” for why she fabricated the documents and asserted that she “had so much going on” and “probably should have reached out for help.” David-Vega was also unable to provide a reason for failing to timely file Milan’s claim.

(Mike Frisch)


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