BEFORE THE VIRGINIA STATE BAR DISCIPLINARY BOARD
IN THE MATTER OF
PATRICIA MARIA WRIGHT
VSB DOCKET NOS. 99-021-2584, 99-021-2318, 01-021-2531, 01-021-0405
On June 27, 2002, the above-referenced matter was heard by the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board pursuant to Notice served upon the Respondent in the manner provided by the Rules of Supreme Court of Virginia. The panel was composed of James L. Banks, Jr., Chester J., Cahoon, Jr., Robert L. Freed, Janipher W. Robinson, and William M. Moffet, Chair. The panel members were polled as to whether any of them had any personal or financial interest in the proceeding which might affect or reasonably be perceived to affect his or her ability to be impartial. All panel members answered in the negative. The Respondent appeared pro se. The Virginia State Bar was represented by Paul D. Georgiadis, Assistant Bar Counsel.
Thereupon, the Respondent presented a motion for a continuance. She called a witness and presented evidence that she did not believe she was physically or psychologically able to proceed on the matter in representing herself. The Virginia State Bar opposed the motion for a continuance.
Thereupon, the Board recessed to consider the motion. The Board concluded pursuant to Part Six, Section IV, Paragraph 13.F(2) that Respondent may be suffering from a Disability at this time and directed that a disability proceeding under this Rule be initiated and that the above-referenced misconduct proceedings be postponed. By agreement of the Virginia State Bar and Respondent, Respondent's license is suspended effective June 27, 2002, until this Disability proceeding is concluded. In addition, both parties have agreed and the Board finds good cause for directing the Respondent to undergo a physical evaluation by an internist and an orthopedic surgeon, if the internist deems that necessary to complete his evaluation. In addition, both parties have agreed and the Board finds good cause for directing the Respondent to undergo a psychiatric or psychological evaluation. The examining health care providers will be named by future order of the Board. In addition, by agreement of both parties and for good cause shown, Respondent is directed to provide appropriate releases to health care providers authorizing release at her psychiatric, physical and other medical records to Bar Counsel and the examining health care providers, to be named at a future date.
Upon the completion of the investigation and upon completion of the reports of the evaluating health care providers, the Board shall hold a hearing to determine whether a suspension for disability should be ordered. The Virginia State Bar shall have the burden of proof in said disability proceeding. If at the disability proceeding disability is not established, then the above-referenced misconduct proceedings shall be rescheduled for hearing as soon as possible. On the other hand, if disability is established at said proceeding, Bar Counsel has discretion to proceed on the misconduct proceedings or not, pursuant to Paragraph 13.F(1).
The Board notes for the record in this matter that the Respondent was present in person and was advised of the imposition of the sanction and the effective date of the sanction and agreed to the interim suspension.
It is further ORDERED that pursuant to the provisions of Part Six, Section IV, Paragraph 13(K)(1) of the Rules of the Supreme Court of Virginia, that the Respondent shall forthwith give notice by certified mail, return receipt requested, of the suspension of her license to practice law in the Commonwealth of Virginia, to all clients for whom she is currently handling matters and to all opposing attorneys and presiding judges in pending litigation. The Attorney shall also make appropriate arrangements for the disposition of matters then in her care in conformity with the wishes of her client. The Attorney shall give such notice within fourteen (14) days of the effective date of the suspension order, and make such arrangements as are required herein within forty-five (45) days of the effective date of the suspension order. The Attorney shall furnish proof to the bar within sixty (60) days of the effective date of the suspension order that such notices have been timely given and such arrangement for the disposition of matters made. Issues concerning the adequacy of the notice and arrangements required herein shall be determined by the 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 a copy teste of this Order shall be mailed by Certified Mail, Return Receipt Requested, to the Respondent, at her last address of record with the Virginia State Bar, 106 Truxton Avenue, Portsmouth, Virginia 23701, and hand-delivered to Paul D. Georgiadis, Assistant Bar Counsel, 707 E. Main Street, Suite 1500, Richmond, Virginia 23219.
The Board notes that the proceedings were taken and transcribed by Tracy J. Stroh, Chandler & Halasz, RPR, P.O. Box 9349, Richmond, Virginia 23227.
ENTER THIS ORDER THIS ______ DAY OF
VIRGINIA STATE BAR DISCIPLINARY BOARD
William M. Moffet, Chair