BEFORE THE VIRGINIA STATE BAR DISCIPLINARY BOARD
IN THE MATTER OF JESSE EDGAR DEMPS
VSB DOCKET NO. 00-000-3409
On November 18, 2002, this matter came on for consideration pursuant to the Consumer Real Estate Settlement Protection Act, the Virginia State Bar Regulations under said Act, and upon the Agreed Disposition between the Virginia State Bar and the Respondent, Jesse Edgar Demps.
A duly convened panel of the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board consisting of Bruce T. Clark, Esq., William M. Moffet, Esq., Larry B. Kirksey, Esq., W. Jefferson O'Flaherty, Lay Member, and Karen A. Gould, Esq., 2nd Vice Chair, presiding, considered the matter by telephone conference. The Respondent, Jesse Edgar Demps, and Edward L. Davis, Assistant Bar Counsel, participated in the conference call.
Upon due deliberation, it is the decision of the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board to accept the Agreed Disposition. The Stipulations of Fact, Disciplinary Violations, and Disposition agreed to by the Virginia State Bar and the Respondent are incorporated herein as follows:
in good standing to practice law in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Mr. Demps' real estate trust account. A routine inquiry by bar staff revealed that Mr. Demps was not registered under the Virginia Consumer Real Estate Settlement Protection Act (CRESPA) to conduct real estate closings.
Virginia Real Estate Attorney Financial Responsibility Certification and proof of the required surety bond with the bar. The bar then issued a Certificate of Registration to Mr. Demps, indicating that he was registered under CRESPA from July 9, 1999 through the last day of July 2001.
block 4a, indicating that he had a blanket fidelity bond or employee dishonesty insurance policy
providing limits of at least $100,000, covering his employees or the legal entity in which he practiced. Mr. Demps, however, never had any such fidelity bond or employee dishonesty insurance policy. He explained to the Virginia State Bar investigator that he thought that the surety bond covered everything required under CRESPA.
was delinquent in the payment of the $500 premium. The premium was due on March 20, 1999. By letter dated February 18, 1999, Welton, Duke and Hawks, the broker for the surety bond, reminded Mr. Demps that the $500 premium was due on March 20, 1999. According to Mr. Demps, he did not recall seeing the letter. Mr. Demps did not send the payment.
of Maryland cancelled Mr. Demps' surety bond, effective September 3, 1999. It provided him with written notice of the cancellation, dated June 30, 1999. According to Mr. Demps, he did not recall seeing the notice.
Fidelity and Deposit Company. The bar never received any proof of Mr. Demps restoring the surety bond, and revoked his CRESPA registration accordingly.
Demps acknowledged that he had conducted at least four real estate closings since September 3, 1999, the effective date of the cancellation of his surety bond. (Mr. Demps would say now that upon checking his records, he determined that he conducted only one real estate settlement during that time.) Mr. Demps never restored his CRESPA registration, and has closed his real estate trust account and practice.
The parties agree that the aforementioned facts give rise to violations of the following statutes and regulations:
which requires a blanket fidelity bond or employee dishonesty insurance policy providing a minimum of $100,000 in coverage; and ß 6,1-2.21.D.3, which requires a surety bond of not less than $100,000.
pursuant to CRESPA, specifically Section 15 VAC 5-80-50.A.2, which requires a blanket fidelity bond or employee dishonesty insurance policy providing limits or at least $100,000; and Section 15 VAC 5-80-50.A.3, which requires a surety bond providing limits of at least $100,000.
Upon consideration of the Stipulations of Fact, Disciplinary violations, and the comments of counsel, the Board accepts the agreed upon sanction of an Admonition and a $500 (five-hundred dollar) fine. Accordingly, the Respondent is hereby admonished and ordered to pay a fine of $500 (five-hundred dollars) to the Virginia State Bar upon entry of this Order.
The court reporter who transcribed this proceeding is Donna Chandler, Chandler & Halasz, P.O. Box 9349, Richmond, Virginia 23227, (804) 730-1222.
A copy teste of this Order shall be served upon the Respondent, Jesse Edgar Demps, Esquire, by Certified Mail, Return Receipt Requested, at Suite 400, 430 Crawford Street, Post Office Box 1392, Portsmouth, Virginia , 23704, his address of record with the Virginia State Bar, and by hand to Edward L. Davis, Assistant Bar Counsel, at the Virginia State Bar.
ENTERED THIS _________ DAY OF ___________, 2002
THE VIRGINIA STATE BAR DISCIPLINARY BOARD
KAREN A. GOULD, SECOND VICE CHAIR