VIRGINIA:



BEFORE THE THIRD DISTRICT COMMITTEE, SECTION III,

OF THE VIRGINIA STATE BAR



IN THE MATTERS OF

ALEXANDRA DIVINE BOWEN VSB Docket Nos. 01-033-0480 and 01-033-2297



DISTRICT COMMITTEE DETERMINATION

(PUBLIC REPRIMAND WITH TERMS)



On April 9, 2002, a hearing in the above-styled matters was held before a duly convened panel of the Third District Committee, Section III, consisting of Daniel A. Carrell, Esquire; Cynthia A. S. Cecil, Esquire; John Tracy Walker, Esquire; George C. Hutter, lay member; and Edwin A. Bischoff, Esquire, presiding.

The respondent Alexandra Divine Bowen, Esquire, appeared in person, with her counsel, Andrew W. Wood, Esquire. Barbara Ann Williams, Bar Counsel, appeared as counsel for the Virginia State Bar. The court reporter was Tracy J. Stroh, Chandler & Halasz, P.O. Box 9349, Richmond, Virginia 23227; (804) 730-1222.

Pursuant to Part Six, Section IV, Paragraph 13 of the Rules of Court, the Third District Committee, Section III, hereby serves upon the respondent the following Public Reprimand with Terms:



1. The respondent, Alexandra Divine Bowen, was admitted to the practice of law in the Commonwealth of Virginia on May 2, 1980.

2. At all times relevant to these proceedings, Ms. Bowen was an attorney in good standing to practice law in the Commonwealth of Virginia.



Complainant: Diane G. Hahn

A. Findings of Fact

1. In February 2000, Diane G. Hahn retained Alexandra Divine Bowen to handle Ms. Hahn's divorce from her husband Gary D. Hahn.

2. On or about February 15, 2000, Ms. Hahn gave Ms. Bowen a check for $1000.00 made payable to Bowen, Bryant, Champlin & Carr as a retainer.

3. Initially, Ms. Bowen accepted and returned Ms. Hahn's telephone calls, but as time passed, Ms. Bowen became increasingly unresponsive to her client's inquiries, failing to return phone calls, to respond to voice messages and fax messages, and to schedule follow-up in-person conferences.

B. Findings of Misconduct

The Third District Committee finds that there is clear and convincing evidence in VSB Docket No. 01-033-0480 that the respondent violated the following rules of Professional Responsibility:


RULE 1.4 Communication

(a) A lawyer shall keep a client reasonably informed about the status of a matter and promptly comply with reasonable requests for information.



RULE 5.3 Responsibilities Regarding Nonlawyer Assistants

With respect to a nonlawyer employed or retained by or associated with a lawyer:

* * *

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III. VSB Docket No. 01-033-2297

Complainant: Reginald A. Freeman

A. Findings of Fact

1. At all times relevant to this proceeding, Mr. Freeman was a sergeant in the United States Air Force stationed in at the Incirlik Air Base, Turkey.

2. Sgt. Freeman's ex-wife appealed from a general district court decision granting him custody of their daughter.

3. In the summer of 2000, Ms. Bowen undertook to represent Sgt. Freeman on the appeal after Elizabeth Muncy, his former counsel, accepted a position with the Chesterfield County Commonwealth Attorney's office.

B. Findings of Misconduct

The Third District Committee finds that there is clear and convincing evidence in VSB Docket No. 01-033-2297 that the respondent violated the following rules of Professional Responsibility:



RULE 1.3 Diligence

(a) A lawyer shall act with reasonable diligence and promptness in representing a client.

* * *


RULE 1.4 Communication

(a) A lawyer shall keep a client reasonably informed about the status of a matter and promptly comply with reasonable requests for information.

* * *


IV. Imposition of Public Reprimand with Terms

Accordingly, based upon the clear and convincing evidence of ethical misconduct presented in VSB Docket Nos. 01-033-0480 and 01-033-2297, and respondent's prior disciplinary record, it is the Third District Committee's decision to impose a Public Reprimand with Terms in these matters, compliance with which by October 22, 2002, shall be a predicate for the disposition of these matters by imposition of a Public Reprimand. The terms and conditions that shall be met by October 22, 2002, are as follows:

1. Respondent shall complete a mentoring program of 20 hours duration with a mentor who has at least 25 years of law practice experience and who shall be approved by Bar Counsel. The mentoring program shall focus on client communications and personnel management. Respondent, respondent's counsel and Bar Counsel shall coordinate selection of a mentor. Respondent shall submit to Bar Counsel in writing, no later than October 22, 2002, a certification signed by her mentor and by respondent that she has completed a 20 hour mentoring program.

2. The respondent shall complete 80 hours of supervised pro bono service through the Domestic Violence Program, subject to the approval of the program coordinator, and if such approval is not given, through another pro bono program approved by Bar Counsel. Respondent shall submit to Bar Counsel in writing, no later than October 22, 2002, a certification signed by the coordinator of the pro bono program that she has completed 80 hours of supervised pro bono service.

Upon satisfactory proof that these terms and conditions have been met, a Public Reprimand with Terms shall be imposed, and these matters shall be closed. If, however, the Third District Committee finds that these terms and conditions are not met by October 22, 2002, or such later date as the Committee may approve, in writing, for good cause, these matters shall be certified to the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board.

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

THIRD DISTRICT COMMITTEE, SECTION III,

OF THE VIRGINIA STATE BAR





Date: / / _______________________________________________

Edwin A. Bischoff, Esquire, Chair



CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE



I hereby certify that a copy of the foregoing District Committee Determination (Public Reprimand with Terms) was mailed on the ________ day of ________, 2002, by certified mail, return receipt requested to Alexandra Divine Bowen, Esquire, Bowen, Bryant, Champlin and Carr, Suite 300, 1919 Huguenot Road, Richmond, Virginia 23235-4321, respondent's last address of record with the Virginia State Bar, and mailed by first class mail, postage prepaid, to her counsel, Andrew W. Wood, Esquire, Wood and Wood, P.C., P.O. Box 8265, Richmond, VA 23226.







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