VIRGINIA:



VIRGINIA STATE BAR DISCIPLINARY BOARD





IN THE MATTER OF GEORGE ALBERT BATES

VSB Docket # 98-070-2706





ORDER



This matter came on December13, 2001, to be heard on the Agreed Disposition of the Virginia State Bar and the Respondent, based upon the Certification of the Fifth District Committee. The Agreed Disposition was considered by a duly convened panel of the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board consisting of J. Rudy Austin, Esquire, Robert L. Freed, Esquire, Joseph R. Lassiter, Jr., Esquire, Werner H. Quasebarth, Lay Member, and William M. Moffet, Esquire, presiding.

Claude V. Worrell, II, Esquire, representing the Bar, and the Respondent, George Albert Bates, appearing pro se, presented an endorsed Agreed Disposition, dated December 13, 2001, reflecting the terms of the Agreed Disposition.

Having considered the Certification and the Agreed Disposition, it is the decision of the Board that the Agreed Disposition be accepted, and the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board finds by clear and convincing evidence as follows:

1. At all times relevant hereto, George Albert Bates, Esquire (hereinafter the Respondent), has been an attorney licensed to practice law in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

2. Since October of 1996, the Respondent has been administratively suspended for failure to pay Virginia State Bar dues.

3. In 1998, the Respondent was representing Alice E. Lewis in her claim before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission against the National Ground Intelligence Center. Mrs. Lewis' case was still at the administrative level. Mr. Bates informed Mrs. Lewis that he was not in good standing with the Virginia State Bar and did not state or imply to her that he was a licensed Attorney.

4. On May 19, 1998, the Respondent wrote a letter to the Complainant, who was opposing counsel in Ms. Lewis' case, on letterhead which stated "Dr. George A. Bates, Attorney at Law." The letter included a post-script which stated "Please do not carbon copy Mrs. Lewis on your future correspondence to the court for such a routine violates the attorney-client relationship!"

5. The Respondent agrees that he sent the May 19, 1998 letter to Mr. Bathen.

6. The Respondent would also testify that he sent the letter in error on the wrong letterhead after he dictated the letter and had it typed by another person.

7. Mitigating factors recognized by the ABA include the following:

8. Aggravating factors recognized by the ABA include the following:

a.) Prior disciplinary offenses

The Board finds by clear and convincing evidence that such conduct on the part of Mr. Bates constitutes a violation of the following Rule(s) of the Virginia Code of Professional Responsibility:

DR 1-102. Misconduct.



(A) A lawyer shall not:



(3) Commit a crime or other deliberately wrongful act that reflects adversely on the lawyer's fitness to practice law.



(4) Engage in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation which reflects adversely on a lawyer's fitness to practice law.



DR 2-102. Professional Notices, Letterheads, Offices, and Law Lists.



(A) A lawyer or law firm may use or participate in the use of a professional card, professional announcement card, office sign, letterheads, telephone directory listing, law list, legal directory listing, or a similar professional notice or device unless it includes a statement or claim that is false, fraudulent, misleading, or deceptive.



Upon consideration whereof, it is ORDERED that the Respondent shall receive effective upon entry of this order a ninety (90) day suspension of his law license.

It is ORDERED pursuant to the provisions of Part Six, Section IV, Paragraph 13(K)(1) of the Rules of the Supreme Court of Virginia, that the Respondent shall forthwith give notice by certified mail, return receipt requested, of his suspension of his license to practice law in the Commonwealth of Virginia, to all clients for whom he is currently handling matters and to all opposing attorneys and presiding judges in pending litigation. The Attorney shall also make appropriate arrangements for the disposition of matters then in his care in conformity with the wishes of his client. The Attorney shall give such notice within fourteen (14) days of the effective date of the suspension order, and make such arrangements as are required herein within forty-five (45) days of the effective date of the suspension order. The Attorney shall furnish proof to the bar within sixty (60) days of the effective date of the suspension order that such notices have been timely given and such arrangement for the disposition of matters made. Issues concerning the adequacy of the notice and arrangements required herein shall be determined by the Disciplinary Board, which may impose a sanction of revocation or suspension for failure to comply with the requirements of this subparagraph.

It is further ORDERED that George Albert Bates shall furnish true copies of all of the notice letters sent to all persons notified of the suspension, with the original return receipts for said notice letters, to the Clerk of the Disciplinary System, on or before .

Pursuant to Part Six, IV, 13(K)(10) of the Rules of the Supreme Court, the Clerk of the Disciplinary System shall assess costs.

The Court Reporter for this hearing was Donna T. Chandler, Chandler and Halasz, P.O. Box 9349, Richmond, Virginia 23227, telephone (804)730-1222.

It is further ORDERED that a copy teste of this Order shall be mailed by Certified Mail, Return Receipt Requested, to the Respondent, at his last address of record with the Virginia State Bar, P.O. Box 562, Keswick, Virginia 22947, and mailed to Claude V. Worrell, Assistant Bar Counsel, Virginia State Bar, Suite 310, 100 North Pitt Street, Alexandria, Virginia 22314-3133.

Enter this Order this ________________________________.

VIRGINIA STATE BAR DISCIPLINARY BOARD



By:_________________________________________

William M. Moffet, Chairman