VIRGINIA:

VIRGINIA STATE BAR DISCIPLINARY BOARD


IN THE MATTER OF TURMAN CURTIS BOBBITT
VSB Docket # 00-000-2167


ORDER AND OPINION OF SUSPENSION

This matter came to be heard on April 28, 2000 in the matter of Turman Curtis Bobbitt, VSB Docket No. 00-000-2167 before a panel of the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board convened in Hearing Room A of the Virginia Supreme Court, 100 N. Street, Richmond, VA 23219 and composed of Carl Eason, Chair, Donna A. DeCorleto, John A. Dezio, Janipher W. Robinson and Anthony J. Trenga. There was no appearance by the Respondent, Turman Curtis Bobbitt, or counsel on his behalf. Harry Hirsch, Esq., Assistant Bar Counsel, appeared as counsel to the Virginia State Bar. Based on the evidence presented, the Board suspended the license of Respondent for one year and one day, effective April 28, 2000 and in support of the suspension issues the following opinion and findings:
1. Respondent was licensed to practice law within the Commonwealth of Virginia on September 26, 1980, and in Colorado in 1983.
2. In response to a disciplinary action taken against him in Colorado, Respondent executed a Stipulation Agreement for conditional admission of misconduct with respect to his representation of a certain criminal defendant and his deficiencies in connection therewith, all as set forth in the En Banc opinion of the Supreme Court of the State of Colorado, No. 99SA58, issued May 10, 1999, a copy of which is attached.
3. As a result of the cited conduct and his past disciplinary record, Respondent was suspended from the practice of law in the State of Colorado for a period of one year and a day effective June 9, 1999.
4. The disciplinary action of the Supreme Court of Colorado constituted a final decision.
5. By Show Cause Order and Order of Suspension and Hearing dated March 30, 2000, a copy of which is attached, Respondent's license to practice law in Virginia was immediately suspended pursuant to Rules of Conduct, Part Six, Section IV, Paragraph 13(A) and Respondent was ordered to appear before the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board at 9:00 a.m. on April 28, 2000 to show cause why his license to practice law within the Commonwealth of Virginia should not be further suspended or revoked. He was further ordered pursuant to the provisions of Part Six, Section IV, Paragraph 13(K)(1) of the Rules of the Supreme Court of Virginia, to give notice by certified mail, return receipt requested, of the 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 and to make appropriate arrangements for the disposition of matters then in his care in conformity with the wishes of clients and to give notice within fourteen (14) days of the effective date of that suspension order and make such arrangements as required within forty-five (45) days of the effective date of the suspension order. He was further ordered to provide proof to the Bar within sixty (60) days of the effective date of the suspension order that such notices and arrangements had been given and made.
6. On April 3, 2000, pursuant to this Board's Show Cause Order and Order of Suspension and Hearing, Respondent was provided with notice of the hearing on April 28, 2000, by certified mail, return receipt requested, at his address of record with the Virginia State Bar, 2227 Delwood Avenue, Durango, CO 81301. The Clerk of the Disciplinary System received on April 7, 2000 the return receipt showing receipt of the notice at Respondent's address of record.
7. Part Six, Section IV, Paragraph 13(G) of the Rules of this Court provide:
Disbarment or Suspension in Another Jurisdiction:

Whenever there shall be filed with the Clerk of the Disciplinary System evidence that an Attorney admitted to practice in this State has been disbarred or suspended from practice in another jurisdiction and that such disciplinary action has become final, the Board shall forthwith enter an order suspending the license of the Attorney and directing the Attorney to show cause why the same sanction that was imposed in the other jurisdiction should not be imposed by the Board. The Board shall forthwith serve upon the Respondent by certified mail (a) a copy of such certificate, (b) a copy of such order, and (c) a notice fixing the time and place of a hearing to determine what action should be taken by the Board. The hearing shall be set not less than twenty-one nor more than thirty days after the date of the order. Within fourteen days of the date of mailing, the Respondent shall file a written response, which shall be confined to allegations that:

(1) the record of the proceeding in the other jurisdiction would clearly show that such proceeding was so lacking in notice or opportunity to be heard as to constitute a denial of due process; or

(2) the imposition by the Board of the same discipline upon the same proof would result in a grave injustice; or

(3) the same conduct would not be ground for disciplinary action or for the same discipline in this State.

The Respondent shall have the burden of producing the record upon which he relies to support allegations (1), (2), or (3) above, and he shall be limited at the hearing to reliance upon the allegations of his written response. Except to the extent the allegations of the Respondent's written response are established, the findings in the other jurisdiction shall be conclusive of all matters for purposes of the proceeding before the Board.

If at the time fixed for hearing the Respondent has not filed a written response or shall not appear or if the Board, after hearing, shall determine that the Respondent has failed to establish the allegations of his written response, the Board shall impose the same discipline that was imposed in the other jurisdiction. If the Board shall determine that the Respondent has established the allegations of his written response, it shall, in its discretion, dismiss the proceeding or impose a lesser discipline than was imposed in the other jurisdiction. A copy of any order imposing a sanction shall be served upon the Respondent by certified mail. Any such order shall be final and binding subject only to appeal as hereinafter provided.

8. On April 28, 2000, a panel of the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board was duly convened in accordance with the Show Cause Order and Order of Suspension and Hearing entered on March 30, 2000 and the notice given to Respondent. Respondent failed to appear and otherwise respond as required. He provided no evidence or other reason not to suspend his license and based on the certification of the disciplinary action in Colorado, the license for Thurman Curtis Bobbitt is required to be suspended. Accordingly, by Order dated April 28, 2000, his license to practice law within the Commonwealth of Virginia was suspended for a period of one year and one day, effective April 28, 2000. Respondent was further ordered pursuant to the provisions of Part Six, Section IV, Paragraph 13 (K)(1) of the Rules of the Supreme Court of Virginia, to give notice by certified mail of the suspension to all clients for whom he is currently handling matters and all opposing attorneys and presiding judges in pending litigation and make appropriate arrangements for the disposition of matters then in his care in conformity with the wishes of the client. Such notice was to be given within fourteen (14) days of the effective date of the Suspension Order and such arrangements within forty-five (45) days from the effective date of the Suspension Order and to provide proof to the Bar within sixty (60) days that such notices and arrangements had been made and given. A copy of the Order is attached hereto.
9. On June 22, 2000, the Clerk of the Disciplinary System received an affidavit dated June 16, 2000, by the Respondent providing proof that the notice and client arrangements previously ordered have been effected.
Whereupon it is:
ORDERED pursuant to Part Six, Section IV, Paragraph 13 (G) of the Rules of the Virginia Supreme Court that the license of Respondent, Thurman Curtis Bobbitt to practice law in Virginia be, and the same hereby is, suspended for a period of one year and one day, effective April 28, 2000, as set forth in the Board's Order dated and entered April 28, 2000, attached hereto; it is
FURTHER ORDERED that the Clerk of the Disciplinary System send an attested and true copy of this Order and Opinion of Suspension to Respondent, Thurman Curtis Bobbitt, by Certified Mail, Return Receipt Requested at his address of record with the Virginia State Bar, 2227 Delwood Avenue, Durango, CO 81301.
Donna Chandler, Chandler & Halaz, Inc., P.O. Box 9349, Richmond, VA 23227, (804) 730-1222, was the reporter for the hearing and transcribed the proceedings.
The Clerk of the Disciplinary System shall assess costs pursuant to Part Six, Section IV, Paragraph 13(K)(10) of the Rules of the Virginia Supreme Court.

ENTER THIS ORDER THIS ____ DAY OF

____________________________, 2001

VIRGINIA STATE BAR DISCIPLINARY BOARD

By ________________________________________



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