IN THE MATTER OF
MARGARET ELLEN HYLAND
VSB DOCKET NOS. 01-060-2781, 01-060-2847,
01-060-2851, 03-060-0701, 03-060-1148,
All required notices were sent by the Clerk of the Disciplinary System. The Virginia State Bar was represented by Harry M. Hirsch, Deputy Bar Counsel. The Respondent, Margaret Ellen Hyland, appeared pro se. Donna T. Chandler, Chandler and Halasz, P.O. Box 9349, Richmond, Virginia 23227, (804) 730-1222, having been duly sworn, reported the hearing. The panel was polled as to whether any member had any conflict of interest or other reason why any member should not participate in the hearing. Each member, including the chair, answered in the negative.
This matter arises out of a Notice of Noncompliance and Request for Interim Suspension, in which the Bar alleges as follows:
1. The Sixth District Committee of the Virginia State Bar [the committee or district committee] issued a Subpoena Duces Tecum [first subpoena] on December 11, 2002, summoning Margaret Ellen Hyland [Hyland] to produce to the Virginia State Bar on January 3, 2003, that which is indicated in the subpoena. The first subpoena was personally served upon Hyland on December 18, 2002. The first subpoena was issued as part of the investigation of pending bar complaints referenced in the first subpoena.
2. The Sixth District Committee of the Virginia State Bar [the committee or district committee] issued a Subpoena Duces Tecum [second subpoena] on December 12, 2002, summoning Margaret Ellen Hyland [Hyland] to produce to the Virginia State Bar on January 3, 2003, that which is indicated in the subpoena. The second subpoena was personally served upon Hyland on December 18, 2002. The second subpoena was issued as part of the investigation of the pending bar complaints referenced in the second subpoena.
3. Both subpoenas were identical except as to the addresses for service.
4. The subpoenas arise from bar complaints filed with the Virginia State Bar which make various allegations all of which appear to be related to the circumstance that Hyland ended her private practice of law and joined the office of the public defender in Fredericksburg, Virginia; that Hyland failed to complete a number of pieces of representation or otherwise make arrangements for the continued protection of the interests of her pending clients upon the closure of her private practice.
5. During the investigation of the complaints, Investigator Oren M. Powell attempted to contact Hyland about the subpoenas by leaving her voice mail messages on January 15, 2003 and January 22, 2003. Hyland made no response to those efforts.
6. In order to obtain compliance with the subpoenas, Bar counsel sent Hyland a letter dated January 24, 2003, seeking compliance by Hyland to the subpoenas by 9:00 a.m. on February 7, 2003.
7. Hyland made no response to the subpoenas or to Investigator Powell.
The Board, after hearing oral argument and reviewing the exhibits entered as evidence in this matter, as well as the testimony of Investigator Powell, finds that the Bar has furnished uncontroverted evidence to substantiate the allegations set forth in its Request for Interim Suspension and the Board further finds that Respondent has failed to present any justifiable evidence or reason the Board should not honor the Bar's request.
Accordingly, and pursuant to Paragraph 13.B.5.b(3) of the Rules of the Supreme Court of Virginia, the license of Margaret Ellen Hyland is hereby suspended, effective March 28, 2003. Such suspension shall continue without interruption, until such time as Respondent has fully and completely complied with the first and second subpoenas previously issued by the Bar. The Board will enter an order removing the interim suspension when the Board has been notified by the Bar that the respondent has fully and completely complied with this order.
It is further ORDERED that the Respondent give notice, by certified mail, return receipt requested, of this suspension, to all clients for whom she is currently handling any matters, all judges and the Clerk of the Court before which Respondent may have any pending cases and to opposing counsel in all such cases. Respondent shall also make appropriate arrangements for the disposition of matters now in her care, in conformity with the wishes of her clients.
It is further ORDERED that the Clerk of the Disciplinary System forward a copy of this order to the Respondent, by certified mail, return receipt requested, to her address of record and to the address given to the Board and Bar Counsel at the March 28, 2003 hearing, which address was stated by the Respondent to be her current mailing address, but which was not on file with the Bar, as required by the Rules of the Supreme Court. Additionally, a copy of this order shall be hand-delivered to Harry M. Hirsch, Deputy Bar Counsel, Virginia State Bar, 707 East Main Street, Suite 1500, Richmond, Virginia 23219.
ENTERED THIS __ DAY OF__, 2003
VIRGINIA STATE BAR DISCIPLINARY BOARD
Theophlise L. Twitty, Acting Chair