IN THE MATTER OF
BERNICE MARIE STAFFORD TURNER
VSB Docket No. 01-032-1113
On November 8, 2002, a hearing in this matter was held before a duly convened Third District Committee panel consisting of William S. Francis, Jr., Esquire, Richard K. Newman, Esquire, Virginia S. Duvall, Esquire, J. Tracy Walker, IV, Esquire, William J. Viverette, Esquire, John B. Daly, Lay Member, and Cary A. Ralston, Esquire, Chair, presiding.
The Respondent appeared in person and with her counsel, Thomas H. Roberts, Esquire. Edward L. Davis, Assistant Bar Counsel, appeared for the Virginia State Bar.
Pursuant to Part 6, Section IV, Paragraph 13.H.2.n of the Rules of the Virginia Supreme Court, the Third District Committee of the Virginia State Bar hereby serves upon the Respondent the following Public Reprimand:
1. At all times relevant hereto
the Respondent, Bernice Marie Stafford Turner [Turner], has been an attorney
licensed to practice law in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
2. Turner represented the wife in
an ongoing divorce matter that was settled on March 17, 1997 at the Circuit
Court of Henrico County. A significant part of the settlement was the husband's
deed of gift to the wife of his interest in the marital home. The husband and
wife signed the deed of gift at the courthouse before the hearing on March 17,
1997, and had their signatures notarized. After the deed had been executed,
Turner advised counsel that she would immediately record the deed of gift. Likewise,
when the Court called the case, at some time during the hearing, Turner held
up the deed of gift and advised the Court that she would immediately record
3. Thereafter, Turner did not record the deed of gift. In 2000, because the deed had not been recorded, the husband received a delinquent tax notice relating to his share in the marital home. His attorney was able to resolve the matter. To date, however, the deed of gift remains unrecorded.
DR 1-102. Misconduct.
(A) A lawyer shall not:
(4) Engage in conduct involving
dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation which
reflects adversely on a lawyer's fitness to practice law.
The Committee finds that the evidence does not support violations of the following Rules, and they are dismissed accordingly: DR 6-101(B), DR 7-101(A), Rule 1.3(a), Rule 1.3(b), Rule 8.1(c), and Rule 8.1(d).
Pursuant to Part Six, Section IV, Paragraph 13.B.8.c.(1) of the Rules of the Virginia Supreme Court, the Clerk of the Disciplinary System shall assess costs.
THIRD DISTRICT COMMITTEE, SECTION II
OF THE VIRGINIA STATE BAR
Cary A. Ralston, Chair
I certify that on __________, I
mailed by Certified Mail, Return Receipt Requested, a true copy of the foregoing
District Committee Determination (Public Reprimand) to the Respondent, Bernice
Marie Stafford Turner, at P.O. Box 83, Richmond, Virginia 23218, her address
of record with the Virginia State Bar and by regular mail to Thomas H. Roberts,
Esquire, the Respondent's counsel, at 105 South First Street, Richmond, Virginia
23219, his address of record with the Virginia State Bar.
___________________________________ Edward L. Davis, Assistant Bar Counsel