BEFORE THE VIRGINIA STATE BAR DISCIPLINARY BOARD
IN THE MATTER OF
ARCHIBALD F. ROBINSON, JR. VSB DOCKET NO. 02-000-0190
This matter came before the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board for hearing on August 24, 2001, based upon a Show Cause Order and Order of Suspension and Hearing entered on August 1, 2001 and upon an Order entered August 17, 2001. A duly convened panel of the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board consisting of Donna A. Decorleto, Janipher Winkfield Robinson, Theophlise Twitty, H. Taylor Williams, IV, and Randy Bellows, presiding, heard the matter. Charlotte P. Hodges ("Assistant Bar Counsel") appeared as Counsel to the Virginia State Bar ("VSB"). Archibald F. Robinson, Jr. ("Respondent") did not appear.
The court reporter for the proceeding Comiller T. Boyd, 105 St. Claire Lane, Richmond, Virginia 23223, telephone (804) 644-2581, was duly sworn by Mr. Bellows.
All legal notice of the date and place were timely sent by the Clerk of the Disciplinary System, in the manner prescribed by law.
The case was called three times: Respondent neither answered the docket call nor appeared to defend his interest. The Chair opened the hearing by polling the Board members to ascertain whether any member had a conflict of interest that would preclude him or her from serving. There were no conflicts and the hearing proceeded as scheduled.
The Virginia State Bar Exhibits were admitted into evidence, without objection. Respondent did not submit any exhibits.
The evidence adduced at the hearing was that Respondent had been disbarred from the practice of law in the State of New York by the Supreme Court of New York in an order issued July 9, 2001. Respondent had been charged with twelve (12) violations of professional misconduct regarding conduct that reflected on his fitness to practice law. He was accused of failing to maintain a duly-constituted escrow account, converting funds, commingling client funds with personal funds, failing to register with the Office of Court Administration and failing to notify the Office of Court Administration of his change of address. He was found guilty of all charges and disbarred. Supreme Court of the State of New York Order 2000-10745,
The burden of proof was on Respondent in this show cause proceeding. The burden was on Respondent to persuade this Board that reciprocal recognition of the July 9, 2001 Order entered by the Supreme Court of the State of New York should nor be granted. Respondent failed to put on any proof or argument that the New York should not be given reciprocal recognition. The Board adopts the findings of the Supreme Court of New York and finds that the order of July 9, 2001 should be given reciprocal recognition.
All procedural requirements have been complied with in terms of notification of the opportunity to be heard. Subsection (G), governing Disbarment or Suspension in Another Jurisdiction, provides in relevant part that: "[T]he Board shall forthwith serve upon the Respondent by certified mail (a) a copy of such certificate, (b) a copy of such order, and (c) a notice fixing the time and place of a hearing to determine what action should be taken by the Board." The Board finds that the Bar has complied with these requirements by forwarding a certified letter to the Respondent dated August 2, 2001. The Respondent did not file any response as required by subsection (G) within the fourteen-day period challenging the New York disciplinary proceeding.
Subsection (G) provides that, within fourteen days of the date of mailing, Respondent shall file a written response, which shall be confined to allegations that:
(1) the record of the proceeding in the other jurisdiction would clearly show that such proceeding was so lacking notice or opportunity to be heard as to constitute a denial of due process;
(2) the imposition by the Board of the same discipline upon the same proof would
result in a grave injustice; or
(3) the same conduct would not be grounds for disciplinary action or for the same
discipline in this state.
Upon consideration of the matters before this panel of the Disciplinary Board, it is hereby
ORDERED that , pursuant to Part 6, Section IV, paragraph 13c. (3) of the Rules of the Virginia Supreme Court, the license of Respondent, Archibald F. Robertson, Jr. to practice law in the Commonwealth of Virginia be, and the same is hereby revoked, effective August 24, 2001.
Pursuant to the Boards ruling that the Respondents license be revoked, it is FURTHER ORDERED that pursuant to the provisions of Part 6, Section IV, paragraph 13(K)(1) of the Rules of the Supreme Court of Virginia, as applicable, Respondent shall forthwith give notice by certified mail return receipt requested, of the revocation of his license to practice law in the Commonwealth of Virginia to any and all clients for whom he is currently handling matters ant to all opposing counsel and presiding judges in any pending litigation in which he is involved. Respondent shall make appropriate arrangements, as applicable, for the disposition of matters then in his care conforming to the wishes of his clients.
Respondent shall give notice within fourteen days of the effective date of the revocation order, and shall make such arrangements. As are required herein within forty-five days of the effective date of the revocation order that such notices have been timely given and such arrangements for the disposition of matters made; all issues concerning the adequacy of the notice and arrangements required herein shall be determined by the Board; and it is
FURTHER ORDERED that Respondent, Archibald F. Robertson, Jr., shall , as appropriate, furnish true copies of all letters noticing the revocation of this license to practice law, with the original return receipts for said notice letters, to the Clerk of the Disciplinary System, on or before ; and it is
FURTHER ORDERED that the Clerk of the Disciplinary System send an attested and true copy of this opinion and Order to Respondent, Archibald F. Robertson, Jr., by certified mail, return receipt requested, at his address of record with the Virginia State Bar , Apartment 20L, 375 South End Avenue, New York, New York 10280 and Charlotte P. Hodges, Assistant Bar Counsel, 707 East Main Street, Suite 1500, Richmond, Virginia 23219-2800.
Comiller T. Boyd was the reporter for the August 24, 2001 hearing and transcribed the proceedings. Her address and telephone number is: 105 St. Clair Lane, Richmond, Virginia 23223, (804) 644-2581.
The Clerk of the Disciplinary System shall assess costs pursuant to Part 6, Section IV, paragraph 13(K)(10) of the Rules of the Virginia Supreme Court.
ENTER THIS ORDER THIS______DAY OF ___________,2001
VIRGINIA STATE BAR DISCIPLINARY BOARD
Randy Bellows, Vice Chair