BEFORE THE VIRGINIA STATE BAR DISCIPLINARY BOARD
IN THE MATTER OF
ROGER JEFFREY MCDONALD
VSB DOCKET NO. 01-000-0634
This matter came on for hearing on
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,
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.
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
8. In response to correspondence from the bar, McDonald sent a letter
to the bar dated
9. During the time period from
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,
IT IS ORDERED that the Respondent,
Roger Jeffrey McDonald, shall remit to the Virginia State Bar, c/o
the Clerk of the Disciplinary System,
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,
ENTERED THIS_____DAY OF FEBRUARY, 2004
VIRGINIA STATE BAR DISCIPLINARY BOARD