BEFORE THE DISCIPLINARY BOARD
VIRGINIA STATE BAR
IN THE MATTER OF MARGARET L. McLEOD CAIN, ESQUIRE
VSB Docket No. 04-070-0740
AFFIDAVIT DECLARING CONSENT TO REVOCATION
MARGARET L. McLEOD CAIN, after being duly sworn, states as follows:
1. That she was licensed to practice law in the Commonwealth of Virginia on September 25, 1986;
2. That, pursuant to Part 6, § IV, ¶ 13(L) of the Rules of the Supreme Court of Virginia:
a. her consent to revocation is freely and voluntarily rendered, that she is not being subjected to coercion or duress, and that she is fully aware of the implications of consenting to a revocation of her license to practice law in the Commonwealth of Virginia;
b. she is aware that there are proceedings against her involving allegations of misconduct, the docket number for one such proceeding is set forth above, and the specific nature of which is set forth in the Summary of Complaint attached to this affidavit, the contents of which are incorporated herein by reference;
c. she acknowledges that the material facts upon which the allegations of misconduct, set forth in the attached Summary of Complaint, are predicated are true; and
d. she submits this Affidavit and consents to the revocation of her license to practice law in the Commonwealth of Virginia because she knows that if the disciplinary proceeding based on the alleged misconduct detailed in the attached Summary of Complaint were prosecuted to a conclusion, she could not successfully defend it.
she acknowledges that there are
other open complaint files at the Virginia State Bar, the nature of which are
not detailed in the attachment to this Affidavit. She specifically hereby acknowledges
that Bar Counsel's acceptance of this Affidavit and any dismissal, without prejudice,
of complaints pending on the date of execution of this Affidavit, shall not
prevent the Virginia State Bar from presenting evidence related to pending complaints
or other matters not specifically herein identified in opposing any Petition
for Reinstatement of her license to practice law in Virginia that may hereafter
Executed and dated this _____ day of October, 2003.
MARGARET L. McLEOD CAIN
STATE OF VIRGINIA
AT LARGE, to wit:
a Notary Public in the state aforesaid, do hereby certify that Margaret L. McLeod
Cain appeared in person before me in the City/County of __________________,
Virginia, on this ____ day of ______________________, 2003, and was by me duly
sworn and thereupon executed in my presence and acknowledged to me the truth
of the contents and the voluntariness of execution of the foregoing Affidavit.
GIVEN under my hand this _____ day of _____________________________, 2003.
My Commission expires: ___________________.
SEEN AND APPROVED:
SETH M. GUGGENHEIM, ESQUIRE
Assistant Bar Counsel
Virginia State Bar
Respondent, Margaret L. McLeod Cain,
was retained by Wilhilmenia Dickerson to handle a personal injury claim resulting
from a motor vehicle accident which occurred in March of 1997. During the representation,
Ms. Cain settled the case without the knowledge and consent of Ms. Dickerson
for the sum of $13,500.00. Ms. Cain received a check in the sum of $13,500.00
drawn on the account of an insurance carrier, dated March 21, 2002, and made
payable to "Wilhilmenia Dickerson and Margaret Cain, Her Atty." Without Ms.
Dickerson's knowledge that Ms. Cain had received such check, and without Ms.
Dickerson having endorsed such check, Ms. Cain in late March or early April,
2002, deposited the check, bearing both her own and Ms. Dickerson's purported
endorsement, into a bank account controlled by Ms. Cain. Ms. Cain at no time
thereafter advised Ms. Dickerson of the $13,500.00 settlement, and at no time
thereafter gave Ms. Dickerson any portion of the proceeds of the $13,500.00
Following Ms. Cain's receipt and deposit of the settlement check set forth above, Ms. Cain took active steps to perpetuate in the mind of Ms. Dickerson the belief that Ms. Dickerson's claim remained active as a pending lawsuit. Ms. Cain scheduled a deposition of Ms. Dickerson's treating chiropractor in the chiropractor's office for December 19, 2002. On the date of the scheduled deposition, Ms. Dickerson went to her chiropractor's office to attend the scheduled deposition, only to be told by Ms. Cain, who was also present, that she had just received a phone call informing her that the defendant's attorney's father had died. The deposition was thereupon canceled by Ms. Cain due to Ms. Cain's claim to Ms. Dickerson that defense counsel's father had died.
Thereafter, Ms. Cain claimed to have been able to settle Ms. Dickerson's personal injury claim for the sum of $23,500.00. On or about August 27, 2003, Ms. Cain had Ms. Dickerson appear in a law office that Ms. Cain was utilizing, and endorse the reverse side of what Ms. Cain claimed was the settlement check. Ms. Dickerson presented a document, dated August 28, 2003, which both Ms. Cain and Ms. Dickerson signed, in the presence of a notary, stating:
Wilhilmenia Dickerson has signed check #260575 in the amount of $23,500 as payment from a lawsuit involving Mr. Thomas Lamont. Of this $23,500 check, $6000 is due to Ms. Margaret Cain, Attorney at Law.
Upon Ms. Cain depositing this check into a trust fund and said check clearing her bank, $17,500 will be awarded to Mrs. Dickerson for injuries regarding this car accident which involved Mr. Thomas Lamont.
At Ms. Cain's request, Ms. Dickerson and her husband thereafter drove Ms. Cain to Wachovia Bank for the purpose of depositing what was identified by Ms. Cain as the $23,500.00 settlement check. Ms. Cain entered the bank and thereafter returned, indicating that the check had been deposited. Ms. Dickerson never received any proceeds of the purported settlement, and Ms. Cain avoided meetings with Ms. Dickerson that Ms. Dickerson had attempted to have with her concerning the nonpayment of settlement proceeds.
Ms. Dickerson's and the Virginia State Bar's subsequent investigation of the foregoing matters revealed, among other things, that Ms. Dickerson's claim against Thomas Lamont was dismissed, with prejudice, by the court on November 5, 2002, on motion of defense counsel; that no deposit of $23,500.00 was made, as and when alleged by Ms. Cain, at Wachovia Bank; that
the settlement check referred to above in the sum of $13,500.00 was negotiated and paid by the insurance carrier's bank on or about April 2, 2002; and that the defense counsel's father had not died.