BEFORE THE VIRGINIA STATE BAR DISCIPLINARY BOARD
IN THE MATTER OF GAY LYNN TONELLI,
VSB Docket No. 01-090-3362
AFFIDAVIT DECLARING CONSENT TO REVOCATION
Gay Lynn Tonelli, after being duly sworn, states as follows:
1. That she was licensed to practice law in the Commonwealth of Virginia on ______________________;
2. That, pursuant to Part 6, ( IV, ( 13(L) of the Rules of the Supreme Court of Virginia:
a. her consent to revocation is freely and voluntarily rendered, that she is not being subjected to coercion or duress, and that she is fully aware of the implications of consenting to a revocation of her license to practice law in the Commonwealth of Virginia;
b. she is aware that there is currently pending a a Proceeding involving, allegations of Misconduct, the docket number for which is set forth above, and the specific nature of which is set forth in the attached Certification attached to this affidavit, and incorporated herein by reference; the nature of which shall be specifically set forth in the affidavit;
c. she acknowledges that the material facts upon which the allegations of Misconduct, set forth in the attached Certification is predicated are true; and
d. she submits this Affidavit and consents to the Revocation of her license to practice law in the Commonwealth of Virginia because she knows that if the disciplinary Proceedings based on the said alleged Misconduct were prosecuted to a conclusion, she could not successfully defend them.
Executed and dated this _____ day of ___________________________, 2003.
STATE OF VIRGINIA
AT LARGE, to wit:
a Notary Public in the state aforesaid, do
hereby certify that ________________________ appeared in person before me in the City/County of __________________, Virginia, on this ____ day of ______________________, 2002, and was by me duly sworn and thereupon executed in my presence and acknowledged to me the truth of the contents and the voluntariness of execution of the foregoing Affidavit.
GIVEN under my hand this _____ day
of _____________________________, 2003.
My Commission expires: ___________________.
BEFORE THE NINTH DISTRICT COMMITTEE
OF THE VIRGINIA STATE BAR
IN THE MATTER OF
GAY LYNN TONELLI VSB Docket No. 01-090-3362
On June 20, 2003, a hearing in this matter was held before a duly convened panel from the Ninth District Committee, consisting of Mr. Theodore Bruning, Jr., lay member, Joy Lee Price, Attorney at Law, Paul Joseph Feinman, Esquire, Phillip G. Gardner, Esquire, Phillip Dandridge Payne, IV, Esquire, Mr. John E. Crowder, lay member, and Kimberley Slayton White, Attorney at Law, Chair presiding. The bar appeared by its Assistant Bar Counsel Paul D. Georgiadis. The Respondent, Gay Lynn Tonelli, appeared pro se.
Pursuant to Virginia Supreme Court Rules of Court Part Six, Section IV, Paragraph 13(H)(2)(l)(2)(e), the Ninth District Committee of the Virginia State Bar hereby serves upon the Respondent, Gay Lynn Tonelli, the following Certification.
Such conduct on the part of Respondent constitutes misconduct in violation of the following Rules of the Virginia Rules of Professional Conduct:
RULE 1.5 Fees
(b) The lawyer's fee shall be adequately
explained to the client. When the lawyer has not regularly represented the client,
the amount, basis or rate of the fee shall be communicated to the client, preferably
in writing, before or within a reasonable time after commencing the representation.
RULE 1.15 Safekeeping Property
(e) Record-Keeping Requirements, Required Books and Records. As a minimum requirement every lawyer engaged in the private practice of law in Virginia, hereinafter called "lawyer," shall maintain or cause to be maintained, on a current basis, books and records which establish compliance with Rule 1.15(a) and (c). Whether a lawyer or law firm maintains computerized records or a manual accounting system, such system must produce the records and information required by this Rule.
In the case of funds held in an escrow account subject to this Rule, the required books and records include:
(i) a cash receipts journal or journals
listing all funds received, the sources of the receipts and the date of receipts.
Checkbook entries of receipts and deposits, if adequately detailed and bound,
may constitute a journal for this purpose. If separate cash receipts journals
are not maintained for escrow and non-escrow funds, then the consolidated cash
receipts journal shall contain separate columns for escrow and non-escrow receipts;
(ii) a cash disbursements journal
listing and identifying all disbursements from the escrow account. Checkbook
entries of disbursements, if adequately detailed and bound, may constitute a
journal for this purpose. If separate disbursements journals are not maintained
for escrow and non-escrow disbursements then the consolidated disbursements
journal shall contain separate columns for escrow and non-escrow disbursements;
(iii) subsidiary ledger. A
subsidiary ledger containing a separate account for each client and for every
other person or entity from whom money has been received in escrow shall be
maintained. The ledger account shall by separate columns or otherwise clearly
identify escrow funds disbursed, and escrow funds balance on hand. The ledger
account for a client or a separate subsidiary ledger account for a client shall
clearly indicate all fees paid from trust accounts;
(v) the records required under this paragraph shall be preserved for at least five full calendar years following the termination of the fiduciary relationship.
The bar presented evidence of Respondent's failure to turn over the client's file upon request of the client and his attorney, in breach of Rule 1.16(e). However, the Committee found the bar did not present sufficient evidence to establish that Respondent violated said Rule.
Accordingly, it is the decision of the Committee to certify the charges of misconduct to the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board.
NINTH DISTRICT COMMITTEE
OF THE VIRGINIA STATE BAR
By: Kimberley Slayton White
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 (Certification)
to the Respondent, Gay Lynn Tonelli, Suite B, 145 King Street, P.O. Box 567,
Keysville, Virginia 23947, her last address
of record with the Virginia State Bar.
Paul D. Georgiadis
Assistant Bar Counsel