VIRGINIA:

IN THE CIRCUIT COURT OF HENRICO COUNTY

 

 

VIRGINIA STATE BAR, ex rel,

THIRD DISTRICT COMMITTEE, SECTION II

 

v.                                                                                            Case No. CL 03-764

 

HARRISON BENJAMIN WILSON, III

 

ORDER OF SUSPENSION

 

            CAME ON THIS MATTER FOR TRIAL on October 8 and 9, 2003, pursuant to Va. Code Section 54.1-3935, as amended, before a Three Judge panel consisting of The Honorable N. Wescott Jacob, The Honorable Joseph E. Spruill, Jr. and The Honorable Charles E. Poston, designated Chief Judge.

            The Respondent, Harrison Benjamin Wilson, III, appeared in person represented by his attorney, Murray J. Janus. Deputy Bar Counsel Harry M. Hirsch represented the Virginia State Bar.

            UPON the pleadings filed, evidence presented and arguments of counsel, the Court made the following findings with respect to each of the six Virginia State Bar complaints which were incorporated into this proceeding:

            1. The Court found by clear and convincing evidence that the Respondent, Harrison Benjamin Wilson, III, was an attorney licensed to practice law in the Commonwealth of Virginia at all times relevant to the instant complaints.

VSB Docket No. 01-032-2209 [Grady]:

            The Court determined that the bar proved the following facts by clear and convincing evidence:

I. Findings of Fact:

2. In or about April of 1999, Complainant Felicia Gradyís [Felicia] minor daughter allegedly swallowed metal while eating at a pizza restaurant. Felicia met with Wilson on August 3, 1999 and reached an agreement with Wilson that he would represent the daughter for a one-third contingency fee with respect to the pizza case and he would represent Felicia in a divorce case for a fee of $500.00. It was also understood that Wilson would represent Felicia in a custody matter pending in the City of Richmond Juvenile & Domestic Relations District Court for no additional fees.

            3.  Wilson wrote Felicia by letter dated August 8, 1999 and enclosed a retainer agreement which recited a one-third contingency fee to represent the daughter in a products liability case and a $500.00 fee to represent Felicia in a divorce. A retainer agreement was executed on August 17, 1999.

            4.  Felicia paid Wilson a total of $500.00 by payments as follows: $200.00 cash on August 25, 1999; $200.00 by check; and $100.00 by check on October 26, 1999.

            5. Wilson appeared on behalf of Felicia in the Richmond Juvenile & Domestic Relations General District Court [J & D Court] on October 15, 1999.

            6. In a November 22, 1999 letter addressed to the Honorable Ann Holton at the J & D Court, Wilson asked for a continuance of the custody matter and stated, inter alia, that he was ì...serving as a mediator of sorts with the parties, although I officially represent Ms. Grady.î

            7. By letter dated December 16, 1999, Wilson sent Judge Holton an unsigned document entitled ìConsent Agreementî which Wilson indicated he hoped the parties would sign at the hearing later that day. Wilson appeared in the hearing and the case was continued to February 23, 2000.

            8. On February 23, 2000, just hours before the custody case was scheduled for hearing, Wilson contacted Felicia and informed her he could not appear in court on that date due to another case commitment. Wilson had scheduled himself to be in court on three different cases in more than one jurisdiction on the same date. One case settled before the court date. In a second case in another jurisdiction, although Wilson reached an agreement with the Commonwealthís Attorney, the client refused to accept the agreement. Faced with two cases in two jurisdictions on the same date, Wilson decided he would not appear at Feliciaís hearing.

            9. Wilson failed to inform the J & D Court that he would not appear at the February 23, 2000 hearing. Feliciaís case was continued to May 17, 2000 on a telephone request from Feliciaís husband who also could not appear.

            10. Wilsonís file contains a March 24, 2000 letter addressed to Judge Holton explaining his whereabouts on February 23, 2000, in which Wilson stated, inter alia, that he had ìinadvertently triple-bookedî his cases for that date. The court file does not contain this letter.

            11. Wilson appeared in the custody matter on May 17, 2000; August 30, 2000; and September 13, 2000. Felicia obtained custody of her daughter.

            12. Wilsonís file contains a document entitled Agreement to Employ Legal Counsel for the pizza restaurant representation as well as an authorization for medical information. Felicia signed the medical information authorization form. The Agreement to Employ Legal Counsel calls for a 40% attorneyís fee if the case is tried by a jury.

            13. Wilsonís file contains a letter dated November 1, 2000, from a claims adjustor acknowledging receipt of Wilsonís letter of representation of Feliciaís daughter.

            14. Wilsonís file contains an unsigned separation agreement dated April 27, 2001, which, inter alia, states that Wilson represents Feliciaís husband and that Felicia is unrepresented; states that both parties relinquish spousal support and waive claims for employment, retirement, profit sharing, insurance and stock option benefits; but does not state any provision for support for either Felicia or her husband; states that the agreement was not to be incorporated into a final decree of divorce; and states that if any portion of the agreement is adjudged to be void or unenforceable, such adjudication would affect the validity and enforcement of the remainder of the agreement.

            15. During Wilsonís representation of Felicia and her daughter, Felicia tried to communicate with Wilson frequently. Many of her phone calls went unreturned although she left messages for Wilson to call her. When on one occasion Felicia received a message indicating that Wilsonís phone was disconnected Felicia determined to file a bar complaint in March of 2001.

            16. In May of 2001, Felicia retained new counsel.

            17. In a December 20, 2001 memo to Virginia State Bar Investigator Cam Moffatt, Wilson stated that he had worked diligently for Felicia and was still representing Felicia on the divorce and Feliciaís daughter on the personal injury matter. In a blind post script to Felicia, Wilson asked Felicia to provide him with her address.

            18. Wilson never filed suit in the divorce for Felicia and never filed suit in the personal injury case for Feliciaís daughter.       

            19. Wilson maintained no trust account subsidiary ledgers and deposited all funds received into his operating account whether or not said funds constituted earned fees upon payment. 

II. Nature of Misconduct:

            The Court found that the bar proved by clear and convincing evidence that such conduct on the part of Harrison Benjamin Wilson, III, constituted misconduct in violation of the following provisions of the Virginia Rules of Professional Conduct: Rule 1.1, Rule 1.3(a), Rule 1.3(b), Rule 1.4(a), Rule 1.16(a)(2).

The Court found that the bar failed to prove by clear and convincing evidence violations of the following provisions of the Virginia Rules of Professional Conduct: Rule 1.3(c), Rule 1.16(a)(1), Rule 2.10(c).

            The Court dismissed all alleged violations of the Virginia Code of Professional Responsibility in all of these matters.

 

 

VSB Docket No. 01-032-2410 [Asjodi]:

 

            The Court determined that the bar proved the following by clear and convincing evidence:

I. Findings of Fact:

20. On or about July 6, 1998, Complainant Mike M. Asjodi [Asjodi] was terminated from his employment by the Halifax County Department of Social Services. Asjodi met with Wilson on September 30, 1998. Wilson wrote a letter to Asjodi dated October 5, 1998 in which he enclosed a retainer agreement for Asjodiís signature and return. In the letter Wilson indicated that he will request the file of Asjodiís former attorney.

            21. Asjodi and Wilson signed a retainer agreement dated October 5, 1998 for representation in a federal discrimination civil case for a fee of $1,500.00 plus 1/4th of any recovery. The agreement shows that $750.00 had already been paid and the balance was due November 16, 1998 plus a filing fee of $150.00.

            22. Asjodi paid Wilson the total amount due of $900.00 by check number 1971 dated November 2, 1998. Asjodi noted in the memo portion of the check, ìattorney fee, federal court filing fee.î

            23. Asjodi was issued a right to sue letter by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission [EEOC] on September 30, 1999. Wilson wrote to the EEOC on January 5, 2000 and asked for a ìright to sue dateî and an estimate of the cost to obtain a copy of Asjodiís EEOC file. Asjodi paid Wilson $41.50 for the copying costs of the EEOC file.

            24. On or about January 14, 2000, Wilson filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Virginia, Richmond Division, styled Mike M. Asjodi v. Halifax County Department of Social Services [case].  The complaint contained three counts: employment discrimination alleging disparate treatment and retaliatory firing in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. Section 2000 et. seq. [Title VII] and a violation of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, 29 U.S.C. Section 621, et. seq. [ADEA].

            25. By an agreed order dated March 14, 2000, the case was transferred to the Western District of Virginia, Danville Division because the case had been filed in the wrong venue. Wilson notified Asjodi of the transfer of the case to Danville by letter dated March 28, 2000.

            26. On April 3, 2000, opposing counsel Ronald N. Regnery [Regnery] sent Wilson the defendantís first set of interrogatories and a request for production of documents.

            27. A pretrial order was entered by the court on April 5, 2000.  The order required, inter alia, that both written and oral discovery be completed 45 days prior to trial; and, except for good cause shown, if briefs in opposition to motions are not filed, it will be deemed that the motion is well taken.

            28. The due date for plaintiffís responses to defendantís discovery was May 8, 2000.

            29. On May 26, 2000, Regnery sent Wilson a letter with a copy of a subpoena duces tecum issued to Halifax Regional Hospital for documents relating to Asjodiís claims.

            30. On May 31, 2000, Regnery wrote to Wilson referring to a recent discussion which they had and reiterating that discovery responses were due on May 8, 2000, that no responses had been received. Regnery stated that if the plaintiffís response to defendantís discovery was not received by June 7, 2000, Regnery would have to file a motion to compel.  Regnery also gave Wilson alternative dates on one of which Regnery wished to depose the plaintiff.

            31. On June 5, 2000, Regnery wrote Wilson confirming Wilsonís agreement to respond to defendantís discovery on or before June 8, 2000. In the letter Regnery asked Wilson to have Asjodi stop contacting employees of Halifax County Department of Social Services and Regnery reminded Wilson to make information requests through the discovery process.

            32. On or about June 16, 2000, Wilson left a telephone message with Regneryís secretary that a fire in his building had prevented him from making a response to the defendantís discovery, that he was in the process of responding and would call Regnery about the matter.

            33. On or about June 20, 2000, Regnery wrote Wilson indicating that discovery responses were a month and a half overdue, that the responses must be made immediately, that if responses to discovery were not received by June 22, 2000, Regnery would file a motion to compel. Regnery also indicated that he had not received Wilsonís available dates for depositions and his prior letters and telephone calls went unanswered.

            34. On or about June 23, 2000, Regnery filed a motion to compel with an accompanying memorandum of law in support of the motion.

            35. On July 7, 2000, Regnery noticed Wilson for the deposition of Asjodi on July 27, 2000 and July 28, 2000.

            36. On July 24, 2000, the motion to compel of the defendant was granted and Asjodi was ordered to respond to all outstanding discovery on or before close of business on July 25, 2000. The defendantís motion for sanctions was denied but the court stated it could be renewed if Asjodi failed to respond to discovery as ordered.

            37. By letter dated July 25, 2000, Wilson provided Regnery with Asjodiís responses to defendantís first set of interrogatories and request for production of documents.

            38. By letter to Regnery dated August 22, 2000, Wilson made settlement demands as follows: a firm demand of $30,000.00 or alternatively a settlement of $20,000.00 if Asjodi was returned to his job at Halifax County Department of Social Services with seniority. Wilson stated that any settlement required a neutral reference and needed to ìallow Mr. Asjodi to resign effective on the same date he was terminated.î Wilson asked Regnery to respond as soon as possible and stated:

                        If we cannot reach a meeting of the minds, we will need

                        to begin to prepare for trial with the ìrocket docketî we

                        have in federal court in Virginia. 

 

The case was set for trial on November 30, 2000.

 

            39. Asjodi received a copy of Wilsonís August 22, 2000 letter to Regnery. The letter was the last communication which Asjodi had from Wilson.

            40. Regnery responded to Wilson by his letter dated August 24, 2000, in which he rejected the settlement offer. Regnery also stated he would not provide Wilson with documents Wilson had requested at Asjodiís deposition because Wilson had not made the requests by written interrogatory or request for production of documents. As of the date of the letter, Regnery had not received written discovery from Wilson.

            41. Regnery filed a motion for summary judgment on September 15, 2000. A copy of the motion had been hand delivered to Wilsonís office the day before.

            42. By his letter to Wilson dated September 19, 2000, Regnery enclosed for endorsement a sketch order permitting attachments of the defendantís memorandum of law in support of the motion for summary judgment to be placed under seal. Regnery also indicated that the court was holding October 10, 2000 as a date for oral argument on the defendantís motion for summary judgment.

            43. By his letter to Wilson dated September 22, 2000, Regnery sent a notice of hearing for oral argument on the motion for summary judgment. On Wilsonís request for an extension of time to file a brief in opposition to the motion for summary judgment, Regnery granted an extension until the close of business on October 2, 2000 if Wilson hand delivered the brief that date. Regnery also noted that Wilson had not endorsed the sketch order sealing the attachments to defendantís memorandum of law in support of the motion for summary judgment.

            44. On October 10, 2000, oral argument was heard on the defendantís motion for summary judgment. Wilson failed to appear for the argument and failed to contact the court or Regnery about his nonappearance.

            45. On October 13, 2000, Wilson filed a motion to rehear. In said motion Wilson,  inter alia:

-stated that a response to the defendantís motion for summary judgment was due September 29, 2000;

-stated that Wilson was admitted to a hospital on September 18, 2000 and September 19, 2000;

-stated that Wilson was unaware of a filing extension granted by Regnery to October 2, 2000;

-stated that Wilson did not contact either the court or Regnery about any inability to prosecute his clientís case;

-stated that Wilson had made ìscheduling and administrative mistakesî in the last four weeks;

-referred to Wilsonís ìpoor performanceî and ìnegligence;î

-asked for a ten day extension to respond to the motion.

 

            46. On October 26, 2000, a memorandum in opposition to the motion to rehear was filed. In the memorandum it was noted, inter alia, that Wilson had filed no written discovery, had taken no depositions and had issued no subpoenas. It was also noted that Wilson had failed to comply with the pretrial order because he had not filed a brief in support of the motion to rehear.

            47. On November 2, 2000, the court granted the defendantís motion for summary judgment and denied Wilsonís motion to rehear. In denying the motion to rehear, the court found no excusable neglect or good cause to grant the motion, indicating that at the very least Wilson should have notified the defendant and the court of his inability to presently prosecute Asjodiís case.

            48. On November 17, 2000, costs were taxed in the case in the amount of $3,143.30 which became part of the judgment against Asjodi.

            49. By his certified letter sent to Wilson on January 31, 2001, Asjodi asked Wilson about the status of his case and specifically whether the case had settled or whether there was a need to go to court again.

            50. Wilson maintained no subsidiary ledgers for his trust account and deposited all funds received into his operating account whether or not said funds constituted earned fees upon payment.

II. Nature of Misconduct:

            The Court determined that the bar proved by clear and convincing evidence that such conduct on the part of Harrison Benjamin Wilson, III, constituted misconduct in violation of the following provisions of the Virginia Rules of Professional Conduct: Rule 1.1, Rule 1.3(a), Rule 1.3(b), Rule 1.4(a), Rule 1.16(a)(2), Rule 3.4(e).

 The Court found that the bar failed to prove by clear and convincing evidence violations of the following provisions of the Virginia Rules of Professional Conduct: Rule 1.3(c), Rule 1.16(a)(1).

VSB Docket No. 01-032-3201 [Wilkins]:

The Court found that the bar had failed to meet its burden of proof by clear and convincing evidence with respect to all allegations of violations of provisions of the Virginia Rules of Professional Conduct and the Court dismissed the Wilkins complaint.

VSB Docket No. 02-032-0612 [Conyers]:

The Court determined that the bar proved the following facts by clear and convincing evidence:

I. Findings of Fact:

51. The minor daughter of Complainant Conyers [Conyers][daughter] was allegedly assaulted in  1994 on the premises of a private church affiliated school. Upon learning of the assault in July of 1994, Conyers subsequently hired Wilson to represent Conyers and her daughter with respect to the incident [case]. Conyers maintains that she paid Wilson the sum of $250.00 at some point during the representation.

52. Wilson maintains that he was retained by Conyers to pursue the case in 1999 on a 25% contingency fee basis without a written fee agreement.

53. Wilson sent a letter dated September 28, 1999 to the director of the school indicating a desire to resolve the case ìfrom a civil versus criminal standpointî and short of expensive and lengthy litigation.

54. By letter dated October 29, 1999, Lauri E. Cleary, Esq.[Cleary] identified herself and her firm as counsel for the school and church and indicated that in a prior phone call Wilson had agreed to respond with details of the claim.

            55. By his letter to Cleary dated November 4, 1999, Wilson stated, inter alia, that he was anxious to hear from Cleary, that a demand of $150,000.00 was reasonable, that he had reduced his fee from 1/3 to 1/4 and further stated that, ìWe would like to quietly resolve this matter.î

            56. During the period from approximately November 4, 1999 until about June 26, 2001, Wilson took no action on behalf of Conyers or her daughter with respect to the case.

            57. On or about June 26, 2001, Conyers spoke with Wilson. Wilson indicated that he would file the case within 7 to 10 days.

            58. Conyersí bar complaint, dated June 18, 2001, was received by the bar on August 30, 2001.

            59. Wilsonís file contains a letter dated August 31, 2001 addressed to the clerk of the circuit court which states that it enclosed a motion for judgment in the case and a check in the amount of $150.00 for a filing fee. The letter reflects that Conyers and Cleary were copied.

            60.   Wilsonís file contains a letter dated September 26, 2001, addressed to the clerk of the circuit court which states that it encloses a motion for judgment in the case and a check in the amount of $150.00 for a filing fee. The letter also reflects that Conyers and Cleary were copied.

            61. According to Conyers, Wilson asked her for funds to pay court filing fees and she went to Wilsonís office and gave him a check for the filing fees payable to the clerk of the circuit court.

            62. A suit was filed in the case against the school and church on or about September 28, 2001, by Wilson in the Circuit Court of the City of Richmond, Case No. CL01M02373-00, seeking $500,000.00 for sexual assault and battery. At Wilsonís direction the suit was not served. The clerkís office receipt for filing fees indicates that Wilson paid the filing fees in the form of a money order of $150.00 plus $34.00 in cash.

            63. By his letter to Wilson dated November 12, 2001, defense co-counsel Peter M. Rosenberg [Rosenberg] indicated that he had a copy of the motion for judgment and wished to meet with Wilson at his office in Bethesda, Maryland to discuss the case. Wilson wrote to Rosenberg by letter dated November 19, 2001 accepting the offer to meet in Bethesda to discuss an amicable resolution of the case.

            64. On December 14, 2001, Wilson faxed a letter to Cleary with a proposal for a structured settlement costing $150,000.00. In the letter Wilson stated that, ìWe are anxious to come away from Bethesda with a firm settlement.î

            65. On December 18, 2001, Wilson and Conyers met with defense counsel in Bethesda, Maryland.

            66. By letter dated December 21, 2001, Rosenberg renewed an offer of settlement of $22,000.00 composed of a $10,000.00 lump sum payment plus a tax free annuity totaling $12,000.00 payable in 4 annual payments of $3,000.00 each beginning on daughterís nineteenth birthday.

            67. Wilson sent Rosenbergís $22,000.00 settlement offer to Conyers by letter dated December 27, 2001 indicating that he wished to meet with Conyers and others, that he believed the defendants would settle for $50,000.00, that his reduced fee would be $15,000.00 and he would be willing to further reduce his fee to $10,000.00. A $15,000.00 fee on a $50,000.00 settlement would have amounted to a 30% attorneyís fee.

            68. On January 2, 2002, Wilson sent Conyers a letter confirming a January 5, 2002 Saturday meeting on the case stating, inter alia, that he hoped those who attend would do so ìwith the thought of closing [daughterís] case to allow her to move forward with her life.î The letter shows that it was copied to Investigator Moffatt and to Wilsonís attorney representing him in the bar complaint. Conyers was unable to attend the meeting and left Wilson a voice mail message to that effect.

            69. Wilson sent Conyers a letter dated January 9, 2002 seeking Conyersí permission to make a counter offer and explaining the posture of the case including the concepts of negligence, contributory negligence and damages. Wilson indicated in the letter that he needed Conyersí strong support for a proposal of a $50,000.00 counter offer in order to maintain ìthe momentum of negotiations.î

            70. By letter dated January 21, 2002 to Conyers, copied to Investigator Moffatt and Wilsonís attorney, Wilson indicated that he had tried to reach Conyers and was asking her for authority to settle the case for $30,000.00 to $50,000.00.

            71. Wilsonís file contains a memo to the file dated January 21, 2002 indicating that he would attempt to contact Conyers over the weekend, would move forward with litigation if Conyers rejects settlement discussions, and would need to serve papers ASAP and move forward with discovery.

            72. By letter dated February 8, 2002 to Cleary, copied to Conyers and Conyersí niece, Wilson made an attempt to resume settlement discussions and made a counter offer including a $50,000.00 cash payment plus twelve annual payments of $10,000.00 each. Wilson noted the basis for the twelve year payment period was ì4 years of college and 8 years of medical school.î

            73. Wilson sent a facsimile transmission to Cleary and Rosenberg dated February 14, 2002 indicating that he was anxious to discuss the possibility of settling the case amicably and asking for a return telephone call.

            74. Cleary wrote to Wilson on February 19, 2002, responding to Wilsonís $170,000.00 demand which she had discussed by phone with Wilson. In the letter Cleary reviewed the negotiations, made a full and final offer of $20,000.00, indicated that Wilson need not respond unless he did so to accept the offer or make a counter offer which was realistically related to the value of the case; otherwise, Cleary suggested the motion for judgment should be served so litigation could proceed.

            75. Wilson wrote to Conyers on February 20, 2002 enclosing the $20,000.00 offer letter from Cleary. Wilson recommended that a counter offer be made of $50,000.00 and he copied the letter to Conyersí niece. 

            76. Wilson sent Conyersí niece a facsimile transmission dated February 21, 2002 with a copy of the $20,000.00 offer letter and his February 20, 2002 letter to Conyers about the offer. Wilson did so in order to obtain the nieceís help in persuading Conyers to authorize a settlement between $20,000.00 and $50,000.00. The facsimile transmission was copied to Investigator Moffatt and Wilsonís attorney.

            77. During the representation, Conyers attempted to telephone Wilson on many occasions. Wilson only returned a few of the telephone calls.

            78. Wilson took little or no action in the court case. Daughter became 18 years of age on February 12, 2002. The court case was settled by successor counsel for the plaintiff in the amount of $26,000.00.

II. Nature of Misconduct:

            The Court found that the bar proved by clear and convincing evidence that such conduct on the part of Harrison Benjamin Wilson, III, constituted misconduct in violation of the following provisions of the Virginia Rules of Professional Conduct: Rule 1.1, Rule 1.3(a), Rule 1.4(a), Rule 1.5(c).

            The Court found that the bar failed to prove by clear and convincing evidence violations of the following provisions of the Virginia Rules of Professional Conduct: Rule 1.3(b), Rule 1.3(c), Rule 1.5(a)(1) through (8), Rule 1.6(a)(1), Rule 1.6(a)(2), Rule 8.4(a).

VSB Docket No. 02-032-1345 [Epes]:

The Court determined that the bar proved the following by clear and convincing evidence:

I. Findings of Fact:

            79. On or about January 27, 2000, Complainant Lewanda Epes [Epes] was terminated from employment with Wachovia Bank, N.A. [Wachovia] as a bank teller. Epes had executed personal transactions while on duty as a teller.

            80. Epes filed, pro se, a motion for judgment in the City of Richmond Circuit Court in July of 2000 and Wachovia had the case removed to federal court [first case]. On September 25, 2000, Epes filed a charge of discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission [EEOC], charge number 121A00756.

            81. In October of 2000, Epes hired Wilson to represent her in her claim against Wachovia. No written fee agreement was executed; however, the agreed upon attorneyís fee for the representation was $2,500.00.

            82. On October 24, 2000, the first case was dismissed without prejudice by agreement because Epes had not received a right to sue letter from the EEOC and the court was without jurisdiction. On November 1, 2000, Epes filed an amended charge of discrimination with the EEOC, amended charge number 121A00756. On December 26, 2000, the EEOC issued a right to sue letter at the request of Wilson before the applicable 180 day investigative time period had elapsed. On March 20, 2001, Wilson filed a federal complaint against Wachovia and F & M National Corporation alleging discriminatory discharge of Epes and seeking $300,000.00 in compensatory damages and $400,000.00 in punitive damages [second case].

            83. On April 13, 2001, the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Virginia, Richmond Division [court] entered an order reciting that the defendantsí motions to strike because the federal complaint was unsigned were withdrawn upon agreement of the plaintiff to cure the defect.

            84. Wilson had visited Epes at her Blackstone, Virginia home twice  before an April 2001 appointment date at his office in Richmond. Epes appeared for the appointment but Wilson failed to appear.

            85. Wachovia filed a motion to dismiss the second case on April 23, 2001. On April 24, 2001, the federal complaint was dismissed with prejudice as to defendant F & M National Corp. by agreement of counsel.

            86. On May 16, 2001, Wilsonís motion for enlargement of time to respond to Wachoviaís motion to dismiss was granted giving Wilson until May 18, 2001 to file a response. Wilson filed a response on May 18, 2001.

            87. On June 11, 2001, a hearing was held on the motion to dismiss of Wachovia. The court withheld judgment on the motion and directed Wilson to file an amended complaint.

            88. On June 13, 2001, a pretrial order was entered which, inter alia, set a trial date of November 19, 2001.

            89. By letter to Epes dated June 28, 2001, Wilson reminded Epes of the November trial date. The letter made no mention of the pending motion to dismiss or court directive to file an amended complaint.

            90. By July 2, 2001, Wilson had not filed an amended complaint. On July 2, 2001, the court entered an order directing Wilson to file an amended complaint no later than July 11, 2001.

            91. On July 23, 2001, the court dismissed the second case based upon Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Wilson had failed to file an amended complaint.

            92. By July 23, 2001, Epes had paid at least $300.00 to Wilson as attorneyís fees and Wilson had lowered his attorneyís fee in the case to $1,500.00.

            93. Epes received an August 1, 2001 notice of foreclosure sale on her property. On August 9, 2001, Epes and Wilson had a telephone conversation. That day Epes wrote a letter to Wilson after the call indicating that her house was being foreclosed upon, the lender had accepted partial payments, enclosing copies of loan payment receipts and reciting names and telephone numbers for Wilson to contact. The foreclosure sale date was August 21, 2001.

            94.  On August 21, 2001, Wilson filed a notice of appeal in the second case and paid cash for the $105.00 filing fee. The appeal was dismissed on October 10, 2001 by an order of the Clerk, Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, for failure to prosecute.

            95. On October 31, 2001, Wilson wrote Epes a letter in which he stated, inter alia:

 

This letter serves to inform you that I could not keep the Federal Court from dismissing your case. Due to the fact that other than several $20 payments, you have been unable to pay anything towards your fee. This did not enable me to continue to do any substantial work to preserve your case.

 

            96. Wilson informed Investigator Cam Moffatt that he did not file an amended complaint because Epes had not paid him and he noted an appeal in order ìto protectî himself. Wilson also stated that no depositions were ever taken in the case.

            97. Wilson never initiated any discovery in the second case.

            98. By her letter to Wilson dated November 14, 2001, Epes requested the return of her papers in the case. As of January 7, 2002, Epes had not received her papers.

            99. Wilson failed to communicate with Epes during the representation.

            100. Wilson maintained no trust account subsidiary ledgers and deposited all funds received into his operating account whether or not said funds constituted earned fees upon payment.

II. Nature of Misconduct:

The Court found that the bar proved by clear and convincing evidence that such conduct on the part of Harrison Benjamin Wilson, III, constituted misconduct in violation of the following provisions of the Virginia Rules of Professional Conduct: Rule 1.1, Rule 1.3(a), Rule 1.3(b), Rule 1.4(a), Rule 1.4(b), Rule 1.15(a)(1), Rule 1.15(a)(2), Rule 1.15(e)(1)(iii), Rule 1.16(a)(2).

The Court found that the bar failed to prove by clear and convincing evidence violations of the following provisions of the Virginia Rules of Professional Conduct: Rule 1.3(c), Rule 1.16(a)(1), Rule 1.16(e).

VSB Docket No. 02-032-2162 [DeLoatch]:

The Court determined that the bar proved the following by clear and convincing evidence:

I. Findings of Fact:

            101. On or about January 25, 2001, Complainant Franklin DeLoatch [DeLoatch] and his wife met with Wilson. DeLoatch believed he had been discriminated against by his employer because he had not been offered a retirement package which had been offered to his supervisor and DeLoatch believed the company should have offered it to him when his superior refused the offer [case]. Wilson agreed to handle the case for a $1,000.00 retainer and told DeLoatch he would contact the employer and try to work something out. If that was unsuccessful, Wilson agreed to file suit, for which he would need additional funds. No written fee agreement was executed.

            102. DeLoatch paid Wilson the $1,000.00 retainer by check number 7640, dated January 25, 2001, on the Bank of America, signed by Judith G. DeLoatch. Wilson negotiated the check on January 26, 2001.

            103. Wilson wrote DeLoatch a letter dated February 2, 2001, in which Wilson thanked DeLoatch for entrusting his case to him; stated he would do a ìsolidî job for DeLoatch; stated he would develop a strategy and prepare a letter to the employerís legal department; and stated that he would stay in touch with DeLoatch.

            104. In or about the middle of March, 2001 DeLoatch called Wilsonís office to find out the status of his case. DeLoatch left a message for Wilson, however, Wilson did not return the telephone call.

            105. In or about May of 2001, DeLoatch began calling Wilson and leaving telephone messages for Wilson to call him back.

            106. In or about July of 2001, DeLoatch reached Wilson. Wilson told him he would write DeLoatch a letter updating him on the case. DeLoatch did not receive such a letter and did not hear from Wilson again.

            107. On December 5, 2001, DeLoatch wrote Wilson a letter expressing his displeasure with Wilsonís services in the case. DeLoatch noted that he had not received any correspondence from Wilson since the February 2, 2001 letter and assumed that Wilson had taken no action on the case because DeLoatch had received no other correspondence from Wilson. DeLoatch also indicated that the only prompt action Wilson had taken in the matter was the negotiation of the $1,000.00 check. DeLoatch stated if Wilson was unable or unwilling to take the case, he demanded the immediate return of his funds. DeLoatch also stated if he did not have a written response from Wilson within ten days, he would file a bar complaint.

            108. Wilson did not respond to the December 5, 2001 letter from DeLoatch. DeLoatch filed a bar complaint on or about January 25, 2002. In his bar complaint DeLoatch stated, inter alia, that his only desire was to have his retainer refunded to him.

            109. Wilson did not refund the $1,000.00 retainer fee to DeLoatch.

            110. The barís investigation of this matter included an examination of certain bank accounts of Wilson including SunTrust Account number 0000702225010 captioned, ìLaw Office of Harrison Wilson III Escrowî [trust account 5010]. The following reflect bank statement entries for trust account 5010 as shown:

Date of Entry                                                                                   Collected Balance

 

            Bank Statement 10/31/00:

 

            10/1/00                                                                                              -          7.40

            10/6/00                                                                                              -      614.31

            10/11/00                    116.00 Non-sufficient funds penalty

            10/11/00                                                                                            -      104.76

            10/12/00                    116.00 Non-sufficient funds penalty    

            10/12/00                                                                                            -      220.76

            10/13/00                    58.00 Non-sufficient funds penalty      

            10/13/00                                                                                            -      278.76

            10/16/00                   29.00 Non-sufficient funds penalty

            10/16/00                    116.00 Non-sufficient funds penalty rebate

            10/16/00                                                                                            -      289.76

            10/17/00                    145.00 Non-sufficient funds penalty

            10/17/00                                                                                            -     611.52

            10/18/00                    145.00 Non-sufficient funds penalty

            10/18/00                                                                                            -     631.52

            10/19/00                    58.00 Non-sufficient funds penalty

            10/19/00                                                                                            -     589.52

            10/20/00                    58.00 Non-sufficient funds penalty

            10/20/00                                                                                            -     647.52

            10/23/00                    29.00 Non-sufficient funds penalty

            10/23/00                                                                                            -     676.52

            10/24/00                   116.00 Non-sufficient funds penalty

            10/24/00                                                                                            -     792.52

            10/25/00                    29.00 Non-sufficient funds penalty

            10/25/00                                                                                            -     821.52

            10/26/00                    58.00 Non-sufficient funds penalty

            10/26/00                                                                                            -     879.52

            10/27/00                    145 Non-sufficient funds penalty

            10/27/00                                                                                            -  1,024.52

            10/30/00                    58.00 Non-sufficient funds penalty

            10/30/00                                                                                            -  1,082.52

            10/31/00                                                                                            -  1,092.52  

            Bank Statement 11/30/00:

 

            11/1/00                      58.00 Non-sufficient funds penalty

            11/1/00                                                                                              -  1,150.52

            11/2/00                      29.00 Non-sufficient funds penalty

            11/2/00                                                                                              - 1,179.52

            11/3/00                      29.00 Non-sufficient funds penalty

            11/3/00                                                                                              - 1,208.52

            11/16/00                    87.00 Non-sufficient funds penalty

            11/16/00                                                                                            -     68.54

 

 

            Bank Statement 12/31/00:

 

            12/12/00                    29.00 Non-sufficient funds penalty rebate

            12/12/00                    116.00 Non-sufficient funds penalty rebate

            Bank Statement 3/31/01:

 

            3/13/01                      58.00 Non-sufficient funds penalty

            3/13/01                                                                                              -     97.09

            3/14/01                      58.00 Non-sufficient funds penalty rebate

            3/14/01                                                                                              -     39.09

            3/20/01                      29.00 Non-sufficient funds penalty

            3/20/01                                                                                              -    143.71

            3/22/01                      29.00 Non-sufficient funds penalty

            3/22/01                      29.00 Non-sufficient funds penalty rebate

            3/22/01                                                                                              -    157.32

            3/26/01                      29.00 Non-sufficient funds penalty

            3/26/01                                                                                              -    200.88

            3/30/01                      29.00 Non-sufficient funds penalty

            3/30/01                                                                                              -    239.88

            Bank Statement 4/30/01: 

 

            4/1/01                                                                                                -    239.88

            4/9/01                                                                                                -    239.88

            4/10/01                                                                                              -    121.88

            4/25/01                      29.00 Non-sufficient funds penalty

            4/25/01                      (Closing transaction)                                 -    150.88

            111. The negative balances in trust account 5010 shown in paragraph 121 herein constitute instances in which the account was out of trust.

            112. Upon the deposit on January 26, 2001 into trust account 5010 of the $1,000.00 retainer fee paid to Wilson for Deloatch, some of the positive collected balances of trust account 5010 were as follows on the dates shown:

            Date                                                               Collected Balance

1/26/01                                                                      $          832.54

1/31/01                                                                                    98.11

2/1/01                                                                                      98.11

2/2/01                                                                                      68.11

2/5/01                                                                                    138.11

2/7/01                                                                                    208.55

2/8/01                                                                                    208.55

2/21/01                                                                                    26.65

2/22/01                                                                                    6.65

2/23/01                                                                                  756.65

2/27/01                                                                                  686.65

2/28/01                                                                                  676.65

3/1/01                                                                                    621.65

3/2/01                                                                                    261.65

3/5/01                                                                                    161.65

3/6/01                                                                                    126.65

3/7/01                                                                                      96.65

3/9/01                                                                                      46.65

 

            113. Upon Wilsonís January 26, 2001, deposit of the $1,000.00 Deloatch retainer, the collected balance of trust account 5010 was less than $1,000.00. The collected balance of trust account 5010 remained below $1,000.00 from the deposit date until April 27, 2001, when the account was closed.          

            114. The investigation of trust account 5010 indicated that client funds were deposited into the account as shown:

Deposit Date                        Amount        Client                                     Notation

 

Bank Statement 12/31/00:

 

12/21/00                    $15,000.00   Sonya Johnson and            CNA insurance                                                                                          

                        Howard Johnson                check for any and all claims and

                                                                        liens

 

Bank Statement 1/31/01:

 

1/22/01                             150.00   Alphonzo Taylor                Thanks (File

                                                                                                            w/court)

 

1/26/01                          1,000.00   Franklin DeLoatch

 

Bank Statement 2/28/01:

 

2/7/01                              150.00   Ronald McCollum             Filing fee TD 98-

                                                                                                            1017

 

2/22/01                             750.00   Morris Christian                 Insurance check

                                                                        for full and final

                                                                        release of all

                                                                        claims

 

Bank Statement 4/30/01:

 

4/9/01                              118.00   Geary Gunter II                  Filing fee

 

            115. The collected balance of trust account 5010 prior to the deposit on April 9, 2001 of $118.00 as a filing fee for Geary Gunter, II, was -$239.88. The collected balance of the account after the deposit on April 9, 2001 was also -239.88. The collected balance of the account remained negative until the account was closed on April 27, 2001.

            116. Wilson wrote the following checks on trust account 5010 most of which constituted utilizing the account as a personal checking account and/or an operating account, as shown:

Check Date   Check No.    Amount        Payee                                     Notation

 

10/6/00          1020               404.57           Cabin Creek Amoco          blue car

 

10/7/00          1024               419.88           Cabin Creek Amoco          ticket #

                                                                                                                        F74538

 

10/7/00          1026                 12.27           BP                                          big milk,

                                                                                                                        cereal, small

                                                                                                                        milk

 

10/6/00          1023               310.00           Holy Angels                        day care

 

 

 

9/12/00          0096                 25.00           NCAA Clearinghouse       Harry [or

                                                                                                                        Harvey]

                                                                                                                        Wilson

 

10/2/00          1010               295.00           Bill Bakerís Auto Service  (passat)

 

10/5/00          counter          40.00             Cash                                       Exps

 

10/3/00          1012               30.00             Cash                                       Exps

 

9/28/00          counter             5.48            Golden Boys                       lunch

 

10/10/00        counter          10.44             Ukrops                                 

 

10/16/00        1038                  6.56            Golden Boys                       lunch

 

10/22/00        1049               15.00             Third St. Bethel AME Church   

                                                                                                                        offering

 

10/22/00        1048               15.05             Bogeyís                                (Golf

                                                                                                                        practice)

 

10/20/00        1042               187.66           Richmond Free Press        (advertising)

 

10/25/00        1053                 83.01           Kroger

 

11/7/00          1062                 50.00           Cash                                       Expenses

 

11/6/00          1059               300.00           County of Henrico             water bill

 

11/10/00        1078                 30.00           Cash

 

11/17/00        1080                 20.00           Cash                                       Expenses

 

11/10/00        1075               310.00           Holy Angels                        Annaís day

                                                                                                                        care -

                                                                                                                        [illegible]

 

11/12/00        1079                 85.76           Food Lion                             (Grocs)

 

11/15/00        1082                 15.12           East Coast                            Gas & food

                                                                                                                        B-fast

 

11/16/00        1089               112.79           Food Lion

 

[undated]      1098                 31.53           7 - 11

 

11/25/00        1101                 12.69           7 - 11

 

11/26/00        1103                 10.00           Third St. Bethel AME       (offering)

 

10/20/00        1047               250.00           Geary Gunter II      (Reimbursement

                                                                                                            1/2)

 

11/25/00        1100                 59.01           Food Lion

 

11/29/00        1113                 60.81           Kroger

 

11/27/00        1106               100.00           Kiniry & Co.                       Rent &

                                                                                                                        office

                                                                                                                        expense

 

11--------       1109           1,040.35          Temple -Inland                    mortgage ‚

                                    HBWIII mortgage co.       modified

                                                                                   

12/14/00        counter          100.00           Cash                                       (Expenses)

 

 

12/13/00        1120                 19.58           Champs                                Football B-

                                                                                    day

 

12/20/00        counter            20.00           Cash                                       Towing

 

12/23/00        1122               700.00           Cash                                       Partial fee

 

12/26/00        1125               200.00           Cash                                       (Expenses)

 

12/28/00        1128                 15.65           Papa Johnís                         pizza & tip

 

12/28/00        1131           7,800.00         Sonya H. Johnson              (Settlement)

 

1/03/01          1135               100.00           Cash                                       Expenses

 

1/04/01          1105                 55.00           Cash                                       Expenses

 

1/5/01             1136               261.00           Gundlach                              Harrison

                                                                                                                        Wilson, III

Home 402 Whitmore Ct.

 

1/5/01             1117               422.67           Faithful Temps                    (Secretarial)

 

12/29/00        1116               422.67           Faithful Temps                    Secretarial

 

1/6/01             1138               100.00           Hylas Auto                           (Van)

 

1/6---             1139                 22.31           Disco Sports                                    (Russell)

 

1/10/01          1144                 25.00           Cash  

 

1/11/01          1146               106.94           Ukrops                                 

 

1/11/01          1151                 27.46           Ukrops

 

1/12/01          1156                 75.00           Touchdown Club                Harry

                                                                                                                        Wilson (3

                                                                                                                        tickets)

 

1/13/01          1154                 40.00           University of Virginia       admissions  

                                                                                                                        fee

 

1/---/01          counter            20.00           Cash                                       (Lunch)

 

1/10/01          1150                 40.00           Wake Forest University    admissions

                                                                                                                        fee

 

1/23/01          1159                 55.97           Ukrops

 

1/23/01          1158                   8.44           Ukrops                                  [illegible]

 

1/12/01          1155                 55.00           University of North Carolina    filing                                                  

                                                                                                                        fee

                                                                                                                        [illegible]

 

1/18/01          1157                 98.00           Roto - Rooter                       (Plumbing)

 

1/12/01          1153                 65.00           Duke University                 Admissions

                                                                                                                        fee

 

1/28/01          1168                 18.80           Disco Sports                                    Witt

 

1/05/01          1137                 20.00           Friends of Holy Angels    gymnastics

 

12/29/00        1130           2,000.00          Temple Inland                     4001865

rent nov/dec (mortgage)

 

1/1/01             1132           1,000.00          Temple - Inland                  (Mortgage)

                                                                                                                        4001865

 

1/11/01          1147                 20.00           Ukrops                                  (Service

                                                                                                                        charge)

 

1/29/01          1171                   5.29           Golden Boys          

 

1/31/01          bank debit  1,400.00          ---------------                         deducting

                                                                                                                        money from

                                                                                                                        account

 

2/5/01             1178                 10.00           Harrison B. Wilson III or cash  

                                                                                                                        (Lunch &

                                                                                                                        expenses)

 

2/2/01             1172                 65.00           Dartmouth College             Filing fee

                                                                                                                        (HBWIV)

 

2/12/01          1175                 50.00           M.B.N.A.                             (Acct #

                                                                                                                        stated)

 

3/2/01             1180               360.00           Cash  

 

3/5/01             bank debit     100.00           ---------------                         Transfer to

                                                                                    702224820

 

3/12/01          1186                   5.74           Golden Boys          

 

3/11/01          1183                 80.00           Pet Boys                               (Brakes)

 

3/18/01          1184                 75.62           Food Lion                             (Grocs &

                                                                                                                        gas)

 

3/20/01          1189                 13.61           Ukrops

 

3/23/01          1185                 14.56           Ukropts                                 $10 gas

                                                                                                                        (work)

 

3/28/01          1190                 24.01           7 - 11                                     Gas & $10

                                                                                                                        (trip)

 

4/12/01          1191                 49.00           Glenn Nuckols Towing

 

4/28/01          1192                 37.55           Ukrops                                  [illegible]

 

4/28/01          1193                   5.00           Tuckahoe Cleaners             (Shirts)

 

            117. The utilization of trust account 5010 for personal purposes or as an operating account constituted the commingling of personal funds with trust funds and/or misappropriation of trust funds.

            118. The barís investigation of this matter included an examination of certain bank accounts of Wilson including SunTrust Account number 0000702224480 captioned, ìLaw Office of Harrison Wilson III Escrowî [trust account 4480]. The following reflect bank statement entries for trust account 4480 as shown:

Date of Entry                                                                                   Collected Balance

 

            Bank Statement 6/30/01:

 

6/8/01                        29.00 Insufficient funds penalty

 

6/8/01                                                                                                -            71.34

 

6/15/01                                  29.00 Insufficient funds penalty refund

 

6/26/01                                  29.00 Insufficient funds penalty

 

6/26/01                                                                                              -          111.51

 

6/27/01                                                                                              -          111.51

 

            Bank Statement 7/31/01:

 

7/3/01                        138.48 Paid item [debit for tax levy]

 

7/3/01                                                                                                -              9.99

 

7/10/01                                                                                              -              9.99

 

            Bank Statement 12/31/01:

 

12/11/01                                58.00 Insufficient funds penalty

 

12/11/01                                                                                            -          406.33

 

12/12/01                                29.00 Insufficient funds penalty

 

12/12/01                                                                                            -          435.33

 

12/13/01                                29.00 Insufficient funds penalty

 

12/13/01                                                                                            -          464.33

 

12/20/01                                29.00 Insufficient funds penalty

 

12/20/01                                29.00 Reversal of insufficient funds penalty

 

12/20/01                                                                                            -          468.08

 

12/21/01                                29.00 Insufficient funds penalty

 

12/21/01                                                                                            -          497.08

 

12/24/01                                29.00 Insufficient funds penalty

 

12/24/01                                29.00 Reversal of insufficient funds penalty

 

12/24/01                                                                                            -          797.08

 

12/26/01                                29.00 Insufficient funds penalty

 

12/26/01                                29.00 Reversal of insufficient funds penalty

 

12/26/01                                                                                            -          677.08

 

12/27/01                                29.00 Insufficient funds penalty

 

12/27/01                                29.00 Reversal of insufficient funds penalty

 

12/27/01                                                                                            -          706.72

 

12/28/01                                29.00 Insufficient funds penalty

 

12/28/01                                29.00 Reversal of insufficient funds penalty

 

12/28/01                                                                                            -          744.78

 

12/31/01                                                                                            -          754.78

 

            119. The negative balances in trust account 4480 shown in paragraph 129 herein constitute instances in which the account was out of trust.

            120. The investigation of trust account 4480 indicated that client funds were deposited into the account as shown:

Deposit Date                        Amount        Client                                     Notation

 

            Bank Statement 7/31/01:

 

7-26-01                     7,500.00        Victor Q. Banks                  insurance

                                                                                                            company check

                                                                                                            referencing stated

                                                                                                            claim number

            [part of $12,500.00 deposit]

 

7-26-01                     5,000.00        Victor Q. Banks                  settlement - H &

                                                                                                            W Properties, Hall

                                                                                                            Associates; Hall,

                                                                                                            Walker and

                                                                                                            Hodges

            [part of $12,500.00 deposit]

 

            121. Wilson wrote the following checks on trust account 4480 most of which constituted utilizing the account as a personal checking account and/or an operating account, as shown:

 

Check Date Check No.    Amount        Payee                                     Notation

 

5/29/01          0091               10,000.00     Collegiate School                Harry

                                                                                                                        Wilson IV

 

undated          counter               550.00     Cash

 

6/6/01             0096                 1,000.00     Cash

 

6/11/01          0097                      25.88     Tiki Tiki                                Dinner

 

6/20/01          counter               100.00     Cash                                       (Fee)

 

7/3/01             bank debit          138.48                                                     We have

                                                                                    debited your

                                                                                    account in

                                                                                    response to

                                                                                    a tax levy

 

7/31/01          bank debit            50.00                                                     Debit per

                                                                                                                        client

 

8/7/01             counter                 20.00     Cash                                       (Bus lunch)

 

8/8/01             counter                 50.00     Cash                                       Banks fee

 

8/7/01             1010                        6.04     Golden Boys

 

8/15/01          1015                      50.00     Cash

 

11/2/01          bank debit       6,800.00                                                     Guaranty

                                                                                                                        Mortgage

                                                                                                                        Co.

 

11/2/01          bank debit          500.00                                                     Transfer to

                                                                                                                        703190768

 

11/2/01          1019                    207.00     Cash

 

11/2/01          1022               10,000.00     Kiniry & Co.                       (rent)

 

11/2/01          1021                    450.00     Zenobia Peoples                 rent for

                                                                                                                        Nov.

 

11/10/01        1033                    400.00     Cash

 

11/9/01          1032                      10.00     Mobil                                     Gas only

                                                                                                                        Norfolk

 

11/24/01        1049                    800.00     Guaranty Mortgage Co.    acct no.

                                                                                                                        4001865

 

11/28/01        1062                        7.23     Padowís

 

11/28/01        1063                      50.00     Steak Escape

 

11/27/01        1057                      15.00     Cash                                       (Expenses)

 

11/23/01        1047                    134.82     Kelleher Heating & Cooling

 

11/21/01        1045                    300.00     Cash                                       Deposit

 

11/9/01          1031                      73.00     Chance Center on St. Pauls Cottage

 

11/12/01        1039                        7.17     Exxon

 

11/12/01        1038                      14.49     Crown

 

11/11/01        1036                      10.00     Cabin Creek Amoco

 

11/11/01        1035                        5.00     Third St. Bethel AME       (missions)

 

11/11/01        1037                      18.94     Farm Fresh

 

12/3/01          1067                      25.00     Cash

 

11/25/01        1053                    322.00     Washington Mutual Finance      

 

12/4/01          1068                      75.23     Disco Sports

 

11/30/01        1066                      24.09     The Oak Leaf                       bus lunch

 

12/4/01          1069                      61.58     Ukrops

 

12/6/ó          counter               100.00     Cash                                       (Expenses)

 

12/6/01          1072                    441.00     Zenobia Peoples                 (Rent)

 

12/11/01        Electronic          328.83     Progressive Ins.                  Ins. prem

                        Debit

 

12/11/01        1040                      14.20     East Coast

 

12/20/01        1079                      25.00     Cash

 

12/20/01        1080                    300.00     Cash                                       (Sect)

 

12/23/01        1083                      29.64     7 - 11

 

            122. The utilization of trust account 4480 for personal purposes or as an operating account constituted the commingling of personal funds with trust funds and/or misappropriation of trust funds.

            123. The investigation of trust account 4480 revealed that on July 3, 2001, the account was debited for a tax levy. The investigation also revealed that on December 11, 2001, the account incurred an electronic debit denoted ìProgressive Ins. Ins Prem.î

            124. During the time frames shown in the foregoing paragraphs with respect to trust account 5010 and trust account 4480, Wilson failed to operate the trust accounts in accordance with the trust account requirements of Canon 9 of the Virginia Code of Professional Responsibility and Rule 1.15 of the Virginia Rules of Professional Conduct.

II. Nature of Misconduct:

            The Court found that the bar proved by clear and convincing evidence that such conduct on the part of Harrison Benjamin Wilson, III, constituted misconduct in violation of the following provisions of the Virginia Rules of Professional Conduct: Rule 1.1, Rule 1.3(a), Rule 1.4(a), Rule 1.15(a)(1), Rule 1.15(a)(2), Rule 1.15 (e)(1), Rule 1.15(e)(2), Rule 1.15(f)(1)(i), Rule 1.15(f)(2), Rule 1.15(f)(3), Rule 1.15(f)(4), Rule 1.15(f)(5), Rule 1.16(a)(2), Rule 1.16(d). The Court found that the bar had failed to prove by clear and convincing evidence violations of the following provisions of the Virginia Rules of Professional Conduct: Rule 1.3(b), Rule 1.3(c), Rule 1.5(a)(1) through (8), Rule 1.15(b), Rule 1.15(c)(1) through (4), Rule 1.15(f)(1)(ii), Rule 1.15(f)(1)(iii)(a) through (c), Rule 1.15(f)(1)(iv), Rule 1.15(f)(1)(v), Rule 1.15(f)(1)(vi), Rule 1.16(a)(1), Rule 8.4(b), Rule 8.4(c).

Suspension of License

            The Court heard evidence and arguments of counsel regarding the appropriate sanction which should be imposed. The evidence included the prior record of Harrison Benjamin Wilson, III, consisting of a disciplinary suspension of license for two years effective May 31, 2002 imposed by a Three Judge panel sitting in the Circuit Court of Henrico County and an administrative suspension of license imposed by the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board on November 12, 2002 for failure to pay costs arising out of the two year suspension trial.

            IT IS ORDERED that effective October 9, 2003 the license of Harrison Benjamin Wilson, III, to practice law in the Commonwealth of Virginia is suspended for a period of one year, to run concurrently with the existing two year suspension imposed on May 31, 2002.

            IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the Clerk of the Disciplinary System of the Virginia State Bar shall assess costs against Harrison Benjamin Wilson, III, in accordance with Rules of Court, Part Six, Section IV, Paragraph 13.B.8.c.

            IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that, in accordance with Rules of Court, Part Six, Section IV, Paragraph 13.M., Harrison Benjamin Wilson, III, shall forthwith give notice by certified mail, return receipt requested of the suspension of his license to practice law in the Commonwealth of Virginia, to all clients for whom he is currently handling matters and to all opposing attorneys and presiding judges in pending litigation. Harrison Benjamin Wilson, III, shall also make appropriate arrangements for the disposition of matters then in his care in conformity with the wishes of his clients. Harrison Benjamin Wilson, III, shall give such notice within fourteen (14) days of the effective date of the suspension and make such arrangements as are required herein within forty-five (45) days of the effective date of the suspension. Harrison Benjamin Wilson, III, shall furnish proof to the bar within sixty (60) days of the effective date of the suspension that such notices have been timely given and such arrangements for the disposition of matters made, Issues concerning the adequacy of the notice and arrangements required herein shall be determined by the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board, which may impose a sanction of revocation or suspension for failure to comply with the requirements of this subparagraph.

            IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the Clerk of the Circuit Court shall send an attested copy of this Order by first class mail to counsel of record and to the Clerk of the Disciplinary System, Virginia State Bar, Suite 1500, 707 East Main Street, Richmond, VA 23219.

            IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the Clerk of the Circuit Court shall place this matter among the Courtís ended cases.

            ENTERED THIS ________ DAY OF ______________________, 2003.

                                                            ____________________________________

                                                            Charles E. Poston, designated Chief Judge

 

 

                                                            ____________________________________                                                            N. Westcott Jacob, Judge

 

 

                                                            ____________________________________                                                            Joseph E. Spruill, Jr., Judge

 

 

 

[Counsel endorsements on next page]

 

 

 

 

 

 

Seen:

 

__________________

Harry M. Hirsch

Deputy Bar Counsel

Virginia State Bar

Suite 1500

707 East Main Street

Richmond, VA 23219

804-775-0560

 

Seen:

 

__________________

Murray J. Janus

Counsel for Harrison Benjamin Wilson, III

Bremner, Janus, Cook & Marcus

P.O. Box 826

Richmond, VA 23218-0826