OF THE VIRGINIA STATE BAR
VSB Docket No. 02-051-0699
Pursuant to Part Six, §IV, ¶13(G)(1)(c) of the Rules of Virginia Supreme Court, the Virginia State Bar, by Senior Assistant Bar Counsel Noel D. Sengel, and the Respondent, John Robert Sandin, Esq., hereby enter into an Agreed Disposition arising out of the above-referenced matter.
Both parties affirm that the proposed Subcommittee Determination of a Public Reprimand, a true copy of which is attached hereto and incorporated herein by reference, reflects the stipulated facts, violations, and disposition for the above-referenced matter.
Respondent understands that should
the Subcommittee accept this agreed disposition by unanimous vote, the Subcommittee
Determination will be signed by the Chair or Chair Designate and thereafter
mailed without the necessity of any hearing or further notice to the parties.
Further, it is understood and agreed by the parties hereto that should the Subcommittee
refuse the agreed disposition neither party shall be bound by the stipulations
or findings contained herein and this matter shall be forthwith scheduled for
a hearing by the full Committee.
SEEN AND AGREED TO:
THE VIRGINIA STATE BAR
Noel D. Sengel
Assistant Bar Counsel
John Robert Sandin
Pursuant to Part Six, §IV,
¶13(G)(1)(c) of the Rules of Virginia Supreme Court, the duly
convened subcommittee of the Fifth District Committee Section I of the Virginia
State Bar hereby accepts the Agreed Disposition in this matter.
IN THE MATTER OF JOHN ROBERT SANDIN,
VSB Docket No. 02-051-0699
On the 21st day of March, 2003, a meeting in this matter was held before a duly convened a subcommittee of the Fifth District Committee Section I consisting of Carol Thomas Stone, Esq., Esther J. Nance, and David J. Gogal, Esq., presiding.
Pursuant to Part 6, §IV, ¶13(G)(1)(c) of the Rules of Virginia Supreme Court, a subcommittee of the Fifth District Committee Section I of the Virginia State Bar hereby serves upon the Respondent the following Public Reprimand:
I. FINDINGS OF FACT1. At all times relevant hereto the Respondent, John Robert Sandin, Esq. (hereinafter the Respondent), has been an attorney licensed to practice law in the Commonwealth of Virginia. 2. On January 28, 1998, the Complainant, Joy Y. Kent, was injured in an automobile accident. On June 4, 1998, she hired the Respondent to represent her in filing suit for damages.
3. On January 13, 2000, the Respondent filed a motion for judgment in the Complainant's case, but never served the defendant. By letter dated December 12, 2000, the court informed the Respondent that it would hold a hearing on January 26, 2001 to determine whether or not the case should be dismissed for failure to effect service within one year after commencement of the action.4. On January 22, 2001, after many unsuccessful attempts to contact the Respondent, the Complainant sent the Respondent a certified letter inquiring about the status of her case and asking for a copy of her file. On January 23, 2001, the Respondent called the Complainant and told her that her case was "over" and there was nothing he could do for her. He did not respond to her requests for her file. The Complainant wrote the Respondent again requesting her file, and it was not until August of 2001 that the Respondent provided the Complainant with her file.
5. On January 26, 2001, the Respondent non-suited the Complainant's case without the Complainant's permission or knowledge.
6. The Complainant sued the Respondent for malpractice and a consent judgment was entered against the Respondent. Liability may have been an issue in the Complainant's personal injury case. The other driver was not cited at the scene of the accident. There was an allegation that "black ice" caused the accident.
7. The Respondent has been licensed since 1968, is 70 years old, and has no prior disciplinary record.
II. NATURE OF MISCONDUCT
The Subcommittee finds that the following Disciplinary Rules have been violated:
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.
RULE 1.3 Diligence
(a) A lawyer shall keep a client
reasonably informed about the status of a matter and promptly comply with reasonable
requests for information.
(b) A lawyer shall explain a matter to the extent reasonably necessary to permit the client to make informed decisions regarding the representation. (c) A lawyer shall inform the client of facts pertinent to the matter and of communications from another party that may significantly affect settlement or resolution of the matter.
III. PUBLIC REPRIMAND
Accordingly, it is the decision of the Subcommittee that a Public Reprimand shall be imposed, and this matter shall be closed.
FIFTH DISTRICT SECTION I SUBCOMMITTEE
OF THE VIRGINIA STATE BAR
By David J. Gogal