VIRGINIA:


BEFORE THE SEVENTH DISTRICT COMMITTEE

OF THE VIRGINIA STATE BAR



IN THE MATTER OF

JEFFREY FREDERICK BRADLEY, ESQ.

VSB Docket # 02-070-3650



COMMITTEE DETERMINATION

PUBLIC REPRIMAND WITH TERMS


On May 14, 2003, a hearing in this matter was held before the duly convened Seventh District Committee, consisting of Ann K. Crenshaw, Esq., Peter C. Burnett, Esq., Grant A. Richardson, Esq., Douglas K. Baumgardner, Esq., Frederick W. Payne, Esq., Joseph W. Richmond, Jr., Esq., Steven H. Gordon, lay member, Ann C. Hall, lay member, and John G. Berry, Esq., presiding.

Pursuant to Part 6, § IV, ¶ 13(H)(2)(n) of the Rules of Virginia Supreme Court, the Seventh District Committee of the Virginia State Bar hereby serves upon the Respondent, Jeffrey Frederick Bradley, Esq., the following Public Reprimand with Terms:

I. FINDINGS OF FACT


1. At all times relevant hereto the Respondent, Jeffrey Frederick Bradley, Esq. (hereinafter the Respondent), has been an attorney licensed to practice law in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

2. On April 12, 2001, Mary Rexrode (hereinafter the Complainant) hired the Respondent to assist her in asserting an insurance claim after a theft from her business at the Rolling Hills Antique Mall in Harrisonburg, Virginia.

3. The Complainant gave the Respondent a copy of the police report, pictures of the stolen jewelry, an inventory of the stolen jewelry and its cost, and perhaps other documents. The Respondent wrote a letter to the insurance carrier regarding the claim. The Complainant received a copy of the letter to the insurance carrier that the Respondent mailed to her.

4. After the Respondent mailed the letter to the insurance company, the Complainant called the Respondent's office on a number of occasions but was not able to speak to the Respondent. The Respondent failed to return most of her phone calls and did not keep her informed about her case. Finally, after the passage of a number of months, the Complainant went to the Respondent's office and, by chance, found him in. The Respondent met with her, and at some point during, or subsequent to, their conversation, the Complainant requested her file from the Respondent because of the inactivity and his lack of communication with her. The Respondent was unable to locate the Complainant's file, which was apparently lost or misplaced. On September 5, 2002, after the passage of considerably more time, the Respondent wrote to the Complainant and advised her of the status of her file. At the time of the complaint to the Bar, the Respondent had not returned the file to the Complainant. The Respondent eventually contacted an attorney from whom the Complainant had previously sought advice about the claim and obtained copies of relevant documents from that attorney's file which he then provided to the Complainant.

5. The Respondent admitted during the hearing that he did not properly respond to the Complainant's inquiries about her case. The Respondent further admitted during the hearing that he should have told the Complainant about the status of her file once he realized that it had been lost or misplaced, but failed to do so.

6. The Respondent agreed during the hearing that he violated Rules of Professional Conduct 1.3 and 1.4.

II. NATURE OF MISCONDUCT

 

The Committee finds that the following Disciplinary Rules have been violated:


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.



III. PUBLIC REPRIMAND WITH TERMS


Accordingly, it is the decision of the Committee to impose a Public Reprimand with Terms, compliance with which by May 13, 2004, shall be a predicate for the disposition of this complaint by imposition of a Public Reprimand with Terms. The terms and conditions which shall be met by May 13, 2004, are:

1. The Respondent shall complete six (6) hours of continuing legal education credits by attending courses approved by the Virginia State Bar in the area of law office management. His Continuing Legal Education attendance obligation set forth in this paragraph may be applied toward his Mandatory Continuing Legal Education requirement in Virginia or any other jurisdiction in which he may be licensed to practice law. He shall certify his compliance with the terms set forth in this paragraph by delivering a fully and properly executed Virginia MCLE Board Certification of Attendance Forms (Form 2) to Claude V. Worrell, II, Assistant Bar Counsel, at 100 North Pitt Street, Suite 310, Alexandria, VA 22314, promptly following his attendance of such CLE program(s).

2. The Respondent shall maintain his membership in the Harrisonburg-Rockingham County Bar Association for the next year and shall establish a mentor relationship with an active member or members of the Harrisonburg-Rockingham County Bar Association through their mentor program, as directed by the Bar Association President or other authorized representative responsible for the establishment of the mentor relationship. The Respondent shall advise the mentor or mentors of the requirements of this disposition and shall authorize the mentor or mentors to answer such reasonable inquiries from Assistant Bar Counsel as will enable him to monitor compliance with the terms of this Order. The Respondent shall meet with the mentor or mentors at least bimonthly for a period of twelve (12) months after establishment of the relationship and shall seek the direction and advice of the mentor or mentors in good law office management practices. He shall submit the name of his proposed mentor or mentors to the Assistant Bar Counsel handling these case by May 28, 2003, and shall provide satisfactory evidence of his ongoing relationship with such mentor or mentors for the twelve-month period. The Respondent shall submit a monthly report, either by direct telephone conversation with Assistant Bar Counsel, or by suppling said report in writing to Assistant Bar Counsel's address, confirming his compliance with the recommendations of the mentor or mentors related to the management of his law office. It shall be the responsibility of the Respondent to initiate the providing of the required reports to Assistant Bar Counsel.

3. The Respondent shall contact Lawyers Helping Lawyers by May 24, 2003, and avail himself of the services of this organization, including entering into a contract for services. The Respondent shall comply with the provisions of the contract.

Upon satisfactory proof that the above noted terms and conditions have been met, a Public Reprimand with Terms shall then be imposed. If, however, the terms and conditions have not been met by May 13, 2004, the matter shall be returned to the Committee for such further proceedings as may be warranted.

Pursuant to Part Six, § IV, ¶ 13(B)(8)(c)(1) of the Rules of Virginia Supreme Court, the Clerk of the Disciplinary System shall assess costs.

SEVENTH DISTRICT COMMITTEE

OF THE VIRGINIA STATE BAR



By __________________________________

John G. Berry, Chair



CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE



I certify that I have this _____ day of ___________________________, 2003, mailed a true and correct copy of the Committee Determination of a Public Reprimand with Terms by CERTIFIED MAIL, RETURN RECEIPT REQUESTED, to the Respondent, Jeffrey Frederick Bradley, Esq., his last address of record with the Virginia State Bar.



_______________________________________

Claude V. Worrell, II