IN THE MATTER OF )
) VSB Docket No. 00-033-2917
LAWRENCE DOUGLAS WILDER, JR. )
Having been certified by the Third District Committee, Section III, this matter came on for hearing on March 2, 2001, before a duly convened panel of the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board consisting of Chester J. Cahoon, Jr., D. Stan Barnhill, Richard J. Colten, Robert L. Freed and John A. Dezio, presiding.
At the hearing, the Virginia State Bar, by Bar Counsel Barbara Ann Williams, and the respondent, by his counsel Thomas E. Spahn, presented the board an Agreed Disposition endorsed by the respondent, his counsel and Bar Counsel.
Having considered the Certification and the Agreed Disposition, it is this board's decision to accept the Agreed Disposition, and the board finds by clear and convincing evidence as follows:
I. Findings of Fact
7. On August 23, 2000, Mr. Wilder entered into a Rehabilitation/Monitoring Agreement with Lawyers Helping Lawyers.
II. Disciplinary Rule Violations
The facts presented above, to which the respondent and Bar Counsel have stipulated, give rise to a finding of violation of the following Disciplinary Rule:
DR 1-102. Misconduct.
(A) A lawyer shall not:
* * *
(3) Commit a crime or other deliberately wrongful act that reflects adversely on the lawyer's fitness to practice law.
III. Disciplinary Sanctions
The Disciplinary Board finds that the sanctions imposed in attorney discipline cases involving the use or possession of illegal drugs is largely dependent upon evidence of mitigating or aggravating circumstances. Based upon evidence of mitigating circumstances presented in this case, and the lack of evidence of aggravating circumstances, the Disciplinary Board finds that a Public Reprimand with Terms is more appropriate than a Suspension.
Upon consideration whereof, it is ORDERED that the respondent shall receive a Public Reprimand with Terms as follows:
1. Mr. Wilder shall comply fully with the terms of the Plea Agreement that he entered into on May 5, 2000, in United States of America v. Lawrence D. Wilder, Jr., Criminal No. 3:00M160 (E.D. Va., Richmond Div).
2. Mr. Wilder shall comply fully with the terms of the probation imposed by the
United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, Richmond
Division, in connection with United States v. Wilder.
3. Mr. Wilder shall comply fully with the terms of the Rehabilitation/Monitoring
Agreement that he entered into with Lawyers Helping Lawyers on August 23, 2000.
4. Mr. Wilder will execute whatever releases are necessary for Lawyers Helping
Lawyers to communicate with the Virginia State Bar on a quarterly basis through August 23, 2003, and for any therapists, counselors or medical providers with whom he consults or by whom he is treated to, upon request, produce his records and communicate with the Virginia State Bar.
5. On or before August 23, 2003, representatives of Lawyers Helping Lawyers, in consultation with any therapists, counselors or medical providers with whom Mr. Wilder consults or by who he is treated, shall determine whether Mr. Wilder's Rehabilitation/Monitoring Agreement should end on August 23, 2003, or be extended through August 23, 2005.
Upon satisfactory proof that all terms and conditions of the Agreed Disposition have been met, this matter shall be closed. Mr. Wilder's failure to comply with any one or more of the agreed terms and conditions will result in the imposition of the alternative sanction of a two year suspension. The imposition of the alternative sanction shall not require any hearing on the underlying charges of Misconduct, if the Virginia State Bar discovers that Mr. Wilder has failed to comply with any of the agreed terms or conditions. In that event, the Virginia State Bar shall issue and serve upon Mr. Wilder a Notice of Hearing to Show Cause why the alternative sanction should not be imposed. The sole factual issue will be whether the Mr. Wilder has violated one or more of the terms of the Public Reprimand without legal justification or excuse. The imposition of the alternative sanction shall be in addition to any other sanction imposed for misconduct during the probationary period.
Pursuant to the Part Six, ß IV, ß13.K.(10) of the Rules of the Supreme Court of Virginia, the Clerk of the Disciplinary System shall assess costs.
The court reporter for the hearing on the Agreed Disposition was Valerie L. Schmit, Chandler and Halasz, Inc., Post Office Box 9349, Richmond, Virginia 23227.
It is ORDERED that a copy teste of this Order shall be mailed by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the respondent at his last address of record with the Virginia State Bar, and by regular mail to his counsel, Thomas E. Spahn, McGuire Woods, One James Center, 901 East Cary Street, Richmond, Virginia 23219.
Enter this Order this ______ of March 2001.
VIRGINIA STATE BAR DISCIPLINARY BOARD
John A. Dezio, Second Vice Chair