VIRGINIA:

BEFORE THE VIRGINIA STATE BAR DISCIPLINARY BOARD



IN THE MATTER OF

KHALIL WALI LATIF

VSB Docket No. 02-031-3489

ORDER


These matters came before the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board on May 21, 2003,

to be heard on an Agreed Disposition between the Virginia State Bar and the respondent Khali Wali Latif..

The Agreed Disposition was considered via teleconference by a duly convened panel of the Disciplinary Board consisting of Thaddeus T. Crump, lay member, and attorneys James L. Banks, Jr., Bruce T. Clark, Richard J. Colten and Roscoe B. Stephenson, Vice Chair, presiding. Mr. Latif and his counsel Andrew W. Wood participated in the teleconference. Bar Counsel Barbara Ann Williams represented the Virginia State Bar.

Having considered the Agreed Disposition and the representations of the parties, the Disciplinary Board accepts the Agreed Disposition and finds by clear and convincing evidence as follows:

 

I. Findings of Fact

1. Alan Eugene Barnett, Sr., now known as Khalil Wali Latif or Khalil Abdal Latif, was admitted to the practice of law in the Commonwealth of Virginia on April 25, 1991.

2. At all times relevant to these proceedings, Mr. Latif was an attorney licensed and in good standing to practice law in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

3. In 1995, Mr. Latif was appointed to represent the complainant for possession of illegal drugs.

4. The complainant was convicted following a jury trial and sentenced to serve 2 years.

5. The complainant requested Mr. Latif to appeal the conviction.

6. Mr. Latif noted an appeal but did not perfect the appeal by filing a petition for appeal in a timely manner.

7. The appeal was dismissed by order entered on October 23, 1995.

8. Mr. Latif did not tell the complainant that the appeal had been dismissed.

9. Instead, on November 21, 1995, Mr. Latif wrote the complainant, indicating that in Mr. Latif's professional judgment there were no appealable issues but suggesting that the complainant might want to pursue a habeas petition for ineffective assistance of counsel or a sentence reduction motion.

10. The complainant wrote Mr. Latif on or about January 15, 1996, indicating that he wanted to explore obtaining a sentencing reduction.

11. The complainant wrote Mr. Latif on May 27, 1997, requesting a copy of his file.

12. Mr. Latif did not correspond further with the complainant or take any action on his behalf.

13. The complainant learned from the Court of Appeals by letters dated February 7, and April 24, 2002, that his appeal had been dismissed.

14. The complainant filed a bar complaint against Mr. Latif on or about May 9, 2002.

 

II. Findings of Misconduct

The foregoing findings of fact give rise to the following findings of misconduct under the Code of Professional Responsibility:

DR 6-101. Competence and Promptness.

* * *

(B) A lawyer shall attend promptly to matters undertaken for a client until completed or until the lawyer has properly and completely withdrawn from representing the client.

(C) A lawyer shall keep a client reasonably informed about matters in which the lawyer's services are being rendered.

(D) A lawyer shall inform his client of facts pertinent to the matter and of communications from another party that may significantly affect settlement or resolution of the matter.


III. Disposition

Accordingly, the Disciplinary Board, Khalil Wali Latif, his counsel, and Bar Counsel agree that a Public Reprimand effective upon entry of this order represents an appropriate sanction as if this matter were to be resolved via an evidentiary hearing before the Disciplinary Board, taking into consideration the Respondent's disciplinary record, which includes a dismissal with terms arising from Mr. Latif's failure to file another criminal appeal.

The court reporter for the hearing on the Agreed Disposition was Donna Chandler of Chandler and Halasz Court Reporters, P.O. Box 9349, Richmond, Virginia 23227, (804) 730-1222.

The Clerk of the Disciplinary System shall assess costs pursuant to Part Six, Section IV, Paragraph 13.B.8.c. of the Rules of the Virginia Supreme Court.

It is ORDERED that a copy teste of this Order shall be mailed by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the respondent, Khalil Wali Latif, 110 North Main Street, P.O. Box 593, Farmville, Virginia 23901, his last address of record with the Virginia State Bar; sent by regular mail to his counsel, Andrew W. Wood, Esquire, P.O. Box 8265, Richmond Virginia 23226; and delivered by hand to Bar Counsel Barbara Ann Williams, Virginia State Bar, 707 E. Main Street, Suite 1500, Richmond, Virginia 23219.



Enter this Order this _____ day of ______________, 2003.

VIRGINIA STATE BAR DISCIPLINARY BOARD





By:____________________________________________

Roscoe B. Stephenson, Presiding Chair