V I R G I N I A:
BEFORE THE DISCIPLINARY BOARD OF
THE VIRGINIA STATE BAR
IN THE MATTERS OF MARY MEADE, ESQUIRE
VSB Docket Number 02-052-3877
THIS MATTER came to be heard on February 27, 2004, before a duly convened panel of the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board, consisting of Robert L. Freed, Second Vice Chair, Peter A. Dingman, Janipher W. Robinson, Bruce T. Clark and V. Max Beard, Lay Member.
The Respondent, Mary Meade, appeared with her counsel, Daniel M. Gray. Yvonne D. Weight, Special Assistant Bar Counsel, appeared on behalf of the Virginia State Bar. The proceedings were recorded by Donna T. Chandler, a registered court reporter with Chandler&Halasz, Post Office Box 9349, Richmond, Virginia 23227, (804) 780-1222, she having been duly sworn by the Chair.
The chair made inquiry of all Panel
members as to whether they had any personal or financial interest or any bias
that would preclude them from hearing this matter fairly and impartially. Each
member and the Chair answered such inquiry in the negative.
STATEMENT OF FACTS
1. At all times relevant hereto,
Mary Meade, Esquire (hereinafter the Respondent), has been an attorney licensed
to practice law in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
2.. On May 17, 2002, the Respondent was suspended by the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board for thirteen months. On June 3, 2002, the Respondent filed a pleading in Berney, et al. v. Bevan, et al., At Law No. 189711, in the Circuit Court of Fairfax County. The Respondent's pleading informed the Court of her suspension, but after her signature on the pleading, she titled herself "Co-counsel for the Complainant (sic)."
FINDING: The Panel finds the above act to be a technical violation of the following disciplinary rules:
RULE 8.1 Bar Admission And Disciplinary Matters
An applicant for admission to the bar, or a lawyer in connection with a bar admission application, in connection with any certification required to be filed as a condition of maintaining or renewing a license to practice law, in connection with a disciplinary matter, shall not:
(a) knowingly make a false statement of material fact;
RULE 3.3 Candor Toward The Tribunal
(a) A lawyer shall not knowingly:
(1) make a false statement of fact or law to a tribunal.
As reported above, in this matter, it was the opinion of the Panel that the Respondent committed technical violations of DR 8.1 (a) and 3.3 (a) (1) which the Panel is willing to concede may well have occurred due to a mistaken understanding on the part of the Respondent rather than an intention on her part to act in a manner which violated her ethical obligations. However, the Panel is unwilling to ignore her actions in this case as it must be clearly understood by all whose licenses to practice law are suspended that the moment a suspension takes effect, the attorney who has been suspended must terminate any and all activity which is reserved for those holding valid licenses to practice and likewise must in no manner represent himself to others as licensed attorneys. For this reason, the Panel issues the Respondent a PUBLIC REPRIMAND effective upon entry of this order.
It is further ORDERED that the Clerk of the Disciplinary System shall mail an attested copy of this order to the Respondent, Mary Meade, 2010 Corporate Ridge, Suite 700 McLean, Virginia 22102 by certified mail, return receipt requested and by regular mail to Daniel M. Gray, Esquire, 7617 Virginia Avenue, Falls Church, Virginia 22042 and to Yvonne D. Weight, Esquire, Special Bar Counsel 221 South Fayette Street Alexandria, Virginia 22314
It is further ORDERED that pursuant to Part Six, § IV, ¶ 13.B.8.c of the Rules of the Supreme Court of Virginia, the Clerk of the Disciplinary System shall assess all costs against the Respondent.
ENTERED this _____day of March, 2004
VIRGINIA STATE BAR DISCIPLINARY BOARD
Robert L. Freed, Second Vice Chair