VIRGINIA:

BEFORE THE VIRGINIA STATE BAR DISCIPLINARY BOARD

IN THE MATTER OF

ROGER JEFFREY MCDONALD

VSB DOCKET NO. 01-000-0634

ORDER

This matter came on for hearing on February 10, 2004, before the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board upon an Agreed Disposition between the Virginia State Bar and the Respondent, Roger Jeffrey McDonald.

A duly convened panel consisting of Thaddeus T. Crump, Lay Person; William C. Boyce, Jr., Esq.; Peter A. Dingman, Esq.; Glenn M. Hodge, Esq.; and Robert L. Freed, Esq., Vice Chair, presiding, heard the proceeding.

The Respondent, Roger Jeffrey McDonald, Esq., appeared pro se. Deputy Bar Counsel Harry M. Hirsch appeared on behalf of the Virginia State Bar.

Court reporter for the proceeding, Victoria Halasz, Chandler & Halasz, P.O. Box 9349, Richmond, VA 23227, telephone number 804-730-1222, was duly sworn by Mr. Freed. Each member of the hearing panel stated on the record that he had no business, financial or personal interest that would impair his ability to hear the matter impartially and fairly.

Mr. Hirsch presented to the panel the Agreed Disposition with a correction to the factual recitation within the agreement, and the prior record of Mr. McDonald consisting of a 1997 dismissal with terms and a 2000 private reprimand with terms. Mr. McDonald presented argument to the panel and restated his agreement to the disposition.

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

I. FINDINGS OF FACT

1. At all times relevant hereto the Respondent, Roger Jeffrey McDonald [McDonald], has been an attorney licensed to practice law in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

2. At all times relevant hereto, the Virginia State Bar has maintained and continues to maintain a listing of all registered real estate settlement agents including attorney settlement agents pursuant to the Virginia Consumer Real Estate Settlement Protection Act, Sections 6.1-2.19 through 6.1-2.29, Code of Virginia, 1950, as amended [CRESPA] and the Virginia State Bar Regulations issued pursuant to CRESPA [Regulations].

3. In order to act as a settlement agent in the Commonwealth of Virginia, as defined by CRESPA, an attorney must be registered with the Virginia State Bar pursuant to CRESPA and the Regulations.

4. From September 29, 1997 until February 25, 2000, McDonald was registered with the Virginia State Bar as an attorney settlement agent to perform settlements pursuant to CRESPA and the Regulations.

5. On February 25, 2000, McDonaldís Virginia State Bar CRESPA file was closed based upon the cancellation of McDonaldís surety bond. In order to be registered pursuant to CRESPA and the Regulations, McDonald was and is required to maintain, inter alia, a surety bond. Upon the closing of McDonaldís CRESPA file, McDonald was no longer registered pursuant to CRESPA and the Regulations.

6. By letter dated February 25, 2000 Diana Balch, Director of Membership for the Virginia State Bar, notified McDonald at his address of record of the closing of his CRESPA file and that, if he ìshould start performing escrow, closing, or settlement services, [he] must re-register as a settlement agent under CRESPA.î

7. McDonald re-registered as a settlement agent under CRESPA on August 31, 2000.

8. In response to correspondence from the bar, McDonald sent a letter to the bar dated September 25, 2000, addressed to James M. McCauley, Esq., in which McDonald stated that he did perform real estate closings from February to August of 2000 and the failure to register was an oversight on his part.

9. During the time period from February 25, 2000 until August 31, 2000:

a. McDonald was the only attorney in his law firm, Roger J. McDonald & Associates, and was not authorized to act as a settlement agent pursuant to CRESPA or the Regulations;

b. Without authority, McDonald acted as a settlement agent, as defined by the CRESPA, in 158 residential real estate transactions involving the purchase of or lending on the security of real estate located in the Commonwealth of Virginia containing not more than four residential dwelling units [transactions];

c. McDonald, or his law firm employees acting as his agents, prepared settlement statements, as defined by CRESPA, with respect to each of said transactions [HUD-1ís];

II. NATURE OF MISCONDUCT

The Disciplinary Board finds by clear and convincing evidence that such conduct by Roger Jeffrey McDonald constituted violations of the following:

a. Va Code Section 6.1-2.21. Licensing requirements, standards and financial responsibility, Consumer Real Estate Settlement and Protection Act [CRESPA],

b. 15 VAC 5-80-30. Registration; Re-registration; Required Fee, Virginia State Bar Regulation Issued Pursuant to CRESPA , and

c. 15 VAC 5-80-50. Attorney Settlement Agent Compliance, Virginia State Bar Regulations Issued Pursuant to CRESPA

III. DISPOSITION

IT IS ORDERED that the Respondent, Roger Jeffrey McDonald, shall remit to the Virginia State Bar, c/o the Clerk of the Disciplinary System, Suite 1500, 707 East Main Street, Richmond, VA 23219, the penalty of Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000.00) no later than February 15, 2004.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the Clerk of the Disciplinary System shall assess costs in accordance with 15 VAC 5-80-50. D.6., Virginia State Bar Regulations Issued Pursuant to CRESPA, and Rules of Court, Part Six, Section IV, Paragraph 13.B.8.c.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that an attested copy of this Order shall be mailed by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the Respondent at his last address of record with the Virginia State Bar, 4335 Cox Road, Glen Allen, VA 23060, and a copy shall be hand-delivered to Deputy Bar Counsel.

ENTERED THIS_____DAY OF FEBRUARY, 2004

VIRGINIA STATE BAR DISCIPLINARY BOARD

By: ___________________________________________

Robert L. Freed, 2nd Vice Chair