BEFORE THE SECOND DISTRICT COMMITTEE ‚ SECTION I
OF THE VIRGINIA STATE BAR
IN THE MATTER OF
GREGORY LANE SANDLER VSB Docket No. 02-021-2478
DISTRICT COMMITTEE DETERMINATION
On May 8, 2002, a hearing in this matter was held before a duly convened panel from the Second District Committee ‚ Section I, consisting of Paul Kevin Campsen, Esquire, Croxton Gordon, Esquire, William Hanes Monroe, Jr., Esquire, Ms. Daun S. Hester, lay member, LaRhonda Jean Carter, Attorney at Law, Mr. Robert W. Carter, lay member, Afshin Farashahi, Esquire, and Ray W. King, Esquire, Chair presiding. The bar appeared by its Assistant Bar Counsel Paul D. Georgiadis. The Respondent, Gregory Lane Sandler, was present and was represented by Michael L. Rigsby, Esquire.
Pursuant to Virginia Supreme Court Rules of Court Part Six, Section IV, Paragraph 13(H)(2)(l)(2)(d), the Second District Committee - Section I of the Virginia State Bar hereby serves upon the Respondent, Gregory Lane Sandler, the following Public Reprimand.
I. FINDINGS OF FACT
1. At all times material to these allegations, the Respondent, Gregory Lane Sandler, hereinafter ěRespondentî, has been an attorney licensed to practice law in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
2. On or around August 31, 2000, Sarah J. Collins was involved in an automobile accident.
3. Based upon a recommendation from her father-in law, James Collins, Sarah J. Collins
retained Respondent on or about October 19, 2000 to represent her for personal injuries suffered in the accident of August 31, 2000.
3. On March 15, 2001, Collins sent Respondent a letter complaining about Respondentís handling of the case, including Respondentís failure to substantively communicate with her about her case since shortly after retaining the Respondent.
4. Although Respondent received Collinsí letter dated March 15, 2001, he failed to respond to it until he wrote Collins on May 17, 2001 to invite her to make an appointment to see him and discuss the case.
The bar charged that Respondentís conduct was in violation of Rule 1.4, regarding communication with a client and Rule 1.6 regarding maintaining client confidences.
The bar presented evidence of an alleged breach of client confidences by the Respondent, in violation of Rule 1.6(a). The Committee finds that the barís evidence failed to rise to clear and convincing evidence of a violation of Rule 1.6(a) and the charge of violation of Rule 1.6 is DISMISSED.
The conduct on the part of Respondent does constitute misconduct in violation of the following Rule of the Virginia Rules of Professional Conduct:
RULE 1.4 Communication
(a) A lawyer shall keep a client reasonably informed about the status of a matter and promptly comply with reasonable requests for information.
Accordingly, it is the decision of the Committee to impose a Public Reprimand on the Respondent, Gregory Lane Sandler, for violating Rule 1.4 for failing to keep a client reasonably informed about the status of the clients matter and promptly responding with a reasonable request for information, and he is so reprimanded.
Pursuant to Virginia Supreme Court Rules of Court Part 6, Section IV, Ź 13(B)(8)(c), the Clerk of the Disciplinary System shall assess costs.
SECOND DISTRICT COMMITTEE - SECTION I
OF THE VIRGINIA STATE BAR
Ray W. King
CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE
I certify I have this the _____ day of _________________, 2003, mailed by CERTIFIED MAIL, RETURN RECEIPT REQUESTED, a true and correct copy of the District Committee Determination (Public Reprimand) to the Respondent, Gregory Lane Sandler, Esquire, 413 West York Street, Norfolk, Virginia 23510, his last address of record with the Virginia State Bar, and to Respondentís counsel, Michael L. Rigsby, Esquire, Carrell, Rice & Rigsby, Forest Plaza II, Suite 309, 7275 Glen Forest Drive, Richmond, Virginia 23226.
Paul D. Georgiadis
Assistant Bar Counsel