Disciplinary Actions

   
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Disciplinary Actions Taken by the
Virginia State Bar

July 2002–December 31, 2002
archives

 

December 26, 2002*

Charles Anthony DiFazio, 10 Barton Way, Mt. Laurel, NJ 08054

VSB Docket No. 03-000-1835

On December 26, 2002, the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board summarily suspended the license of Charles Anthony DiFazio. The suspension was based upon the decision of the Bar of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, to disbar on consent Mr. DiFazio's license to practice law in Pennsylvania. Mr. DiFazio is ordered to appear before the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board on January 24, 2003, to show cause why the same discipline that was imposed in the other jurisdiction should not be imposed by the Board.

*On January 24, 2003, the Disciplinary Board revoked Charles Anthony DiFazio’s license to practice law in Virginia.

go to opinion (posted 2/11/03)

 

December 26, 2002*

Samuel George Kooritzky, 8138 Boss Street, Vienna, Virginia 22182

VSB Docket No. 03-000-0161

On December 26, 2002, the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board summarily suspended the license of Samuel George Kooritzky. The suspension was based upon Mr. Kooritzky's conviction on December 11, 2002, of 57 felony counts in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, Alexandria Division. Mr. Kooritzky is ordered to appear before the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board on January 24, 2003, in order to determine whether revocation or further suspension is appropriate.

*On January 22, 2003, Samuel George Kooritzky consented to the revocation of his license to practice law.
 
View Kooritsky Order (posted 7/2/10)

 

December 26, 2002

STEVEN JAY MARSEY, 511 Bunker Drive, Virginia Beach, Virginia 23462-4507

VSB Docket No. 99-010-1755

On August 29, 2002, a three-judge panel of the Circuit Court for the City of Virginia Beach revoked the law license of Virginia Beach attorney Steven Jay Marsey. The Court found that Mr. Marsey committed a crime or other deliberately wrongful act, and that he engaged in acts of fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation reflecting adversely on his fitness to practice law. The Court also found that he wrongfully pursued litigation for the sole purpose of embarrassing and harassing another person. The findings derived from Mr. Marsey's attempted embezzlement of fees from his law firm, concealment of the case that generated the fees, misrepresentation of his employment status to outside counsel, and his threat of litigation against the outside counsel if it paid the fees to Mr. Marsey's law firm instead of to Mr. Marsey directly. He also filed a lawsuit against his former employer for the sole purpose of embarrassing him, and attempted to encourage other attorneys to do the same.

Following a series of motions and a post-trial hearing, the three-judge court entered the order of revocation on December 12, 2002.

go to opinion

go to certification

 

 

December 26, 2002*

David Roland Page, 1003 Westbriar Drive, Vienna, Virginia 22180

VSB Docket No. 03-000-0061


On December 26, 2002, the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board summarily suspended the license of David Roland Page. The suspension was based upon Mr. Page's conviction in the Circuit Court of Fairfax County of driving while intoxicated, third or subsequent offense within ten years. Mr. Page is ordered to appear before the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board on January 24, 2003, in order to determine whether revocation or further suspension is appropriate.

* Mr. Page surrendered his license to practice law and it was revoked on January 15, 2003.




December 26, 2002

Jeffrey Bourke Rice, Esq., 10521 Judicial Dr., Suite 307, Fairfax, VA 22030

VSB Docket Numbers 03-052-0898

On November 19, 2002, after a show cause hearing, the Fifth District Committee, Section II imposed a public reprimand against Jeffrey Bourke Rice, the alternative disposition in a matter the Committee had previously heard. On February 14, 2002, a subcommittee of the Fifth District Committee, Section II had imposed a private reprimand with terms against Mr. Rice, in accordance with an agreement between Respondent and Bar Counsel. Mr. Rice failed to complete any of the terms of that Disposition.

In 1999, a client paid Mr. Rice $2,000 in advance fees to represent him in a property settlement and divorce. After a hearing, the client fired Mr. Rice because he felt Mr. Rice had not represented him well. The client hired new counsel and asked Mr. Rice to send that new counsel his file and the unearned portion of his fee, as well as an accounting of the fees that Mr. Rice had earned. Mr. Rice turned over the case file to the new counsel but not the unearned fees, and never provided a fee accounting to his former client. Mr. Rice also failed to inform the new counsel when he, instead of the new counsel, was noticed by opposing counsel of a hearing date.

go to opinion

 

 

December 26, 2002* **

Bernice Marie Stafford Turner, Post Office Box 1671, Halifax, Virginia 24557

VSB Docket No. 01-032-1113

On November 8, 2002, a panel of the Third District Committee, Section Two, issued a Public Reprimand to Bernice Marie Stafford Turner. The Committee found that Ms. Turner committed an act of fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation by advising a circuit court and opposing counsel that she would promptly record a deed, and then never recording the deed at all. No one knew that she had failed to record the deed as promised until years later when the adverse party received a tax lien relating to the property in questions. The pertinent Disciplinary Rule is DR 1-102(A)(4).

* On November 26, 2002, Ms. Turner filed an appeal to the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board.

**On March 6, 2003, the Disciplinary Board dismissed the appeal filed by Bernice Marie Stafford Turner and affirmed the Public Reprimand issued by the Third District Committee, Section II.

go to opinion (posted 4/9/03)

 

 

December 18, 2002

Robert Dean Eisen, 142 West York Street, Suite 718, Norfolk, Virginia 23510-2015

VSB Docket No. 03-000-1717

The Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board suspended Robert Dean Eisen's license to practice law based on a disability. The action was by agreement of the bar, Mr. Eisen, his attorney, and his guardian ad litem. The suspension will remain in effect until further order of the board.

 

December 13, 2002

James Kevin Clarke, 1325 Greycourt Avenue, Richmond, Virginia 23227

VSB Docket Nos. 00-031-2428, 01-031-0039, 01-031-1085, 01-031-2626, 01-031-3163 and 02-031-1723

Based upon stipulated findings of fact and misconduct, the Disciplinary Board issued a public reprimand with terms to James Kevin Clarke for failing to communicate with clients in six matters and failing to comply with the bar's demands for information with respect to the client matters. The terms imposed require Mr. Clarke, among other things, to be seen and evaluated by a medical professional and, if ordered, to undertake a supervised course of treatment. If Mr. Clarke fails to comply with the terms, his license to practice law will be suspended for two years.

go to opinion (updated 1/23/03)

 

December 13, 2002

Barry Randolph Koch, Suite 200, 575 Lynnhaven Parkway, Virginia Beach, VA 23452-6715

VSB Docket No. 02-021-0258

On December 13, 2002, the Disciplinary Board issued an admonition to Barry Randolph Koch for neglecting a client's domestic relations matter and failing to communicate to her about its status. Mr. Koch appealed a determination of the Second District Committee—Section I, which had issued the more severe sanction of a public reprimand. In issuing the admonition, the board affirmed the district committee's findings that Mr. Koch had neglected the matter by performing little if any work over the course of 4-6 months and failing to respond to over twenty telephone calls of the client.

go to opinion

 

December 11, 2002

Paul Byron Collins, Jr., P.O. Box 727, Purcellville, VA 20134-0727

VSB Docket Nos. 02-070-1280 & 02-070-1433

On December 9, 2002, the Disciplinary Board accepted an agreed disposition in two cases concerning Paul Byron Collins, Jr. In one case, Mr. Collins was given a public reprimand with terms because he failed to communicate with his client, lacked diligence and refused to withdraw from the case. In the other case, he received a six month suspension of his law license for practicing law without a license. Mr. Collins appeared in the Circuit Court of Loudoun County after his license was suspended for failure to pay bar dues and meet his MCLE requirements. Mr. Collins initially denied the suspension but upon further questioning by the judge admitted he was suspended.

go to opinion 02-070-1280

go to opinion 02-070-1433



December 11, 2002

William August Boge, Suite 103, 9315 Center Street, Manassas, VA 20110

VSB Docket Nos. 00-053-2749, 00-053-3273, 001-053-0751, and 01-053-1830

On December 9, 2002, pursuant to an agreed disposition, the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board suspended William August Boge's license to practice law for a period of 60 days, effective January 1, 2003. Mr. Boge failed to return client files when requested to do so; failed to act with reasonable diligence while representing clients; failed to keep clients reasonably informed and provide them with information concerning their cases; failed to protect clients' interests upon termination of his services; and failed to respond to bar complaints.

go to opinion

 

December 3, 2002

Tara Marie McCarthy, McCarthy & Massie, P.C., Suite 104, 9315 Center Street, Manassas, VA 20110

VSB Docket No. 00-042-3188

On November 20, 2002, a three judge court sitting in the Circuit Court for the City of Alexandria suspended Tara Marie McCarthy's license to practice law for thirty days, effective November 22, 2002. This was an agreed disposition of misconduct charges against Ms. McCarthy. The court found that in defending a medical malpractice claim, Ms. McCarthy designated defense expert witnesses who had not consented to testify, and that she made false and misleading statements in such designations regarding the experts' professional opinions. The court further found that as a result of Ms. McCarthy's conduct, plaintiff's counsel expended substantial amounts of time and expense in attempting to schedule depositions of experts.

go to opinion

go to agreed disposition

 

December 3, 2002

Francis Sullivan Callahan, 229 West Bute Street, Suite 630, Norfolk, Virginia 23510

VSB Docket No. 01-021-2010

On November 15, 2002, a three judge court sitting in the Circuit Court of the City of Norfolk entered an order suspending Francis Sullivan Callahan's license to practice law for a period of 45 days, beginning November 17, 2002. The suspension was based on Mr. Callahan's arrest and guilty plea to criminal drug charges of "attempt to purchase ecstasy," under which he was sentenced as a first-offender. Mr. Callahan also served a 15 day summary license suspension, which began on February 26, 2001.

go to opinion

December 3, 2002

William Thomas Fitzhugh, 9830 Lori Road, P.O. Box 145, Chesterfield, VA 23832-0145

VSB Docket No. 03-031-1004

On November 13, 2002, the Third District Committee, Section I, held a show cause hearing to determine whether William Thomas Fitzhugh had failed to fulfill a term associated with a private reprimand with terms that the district committee previously issued by agreement. The district committee found that Mr. Fitzhugh failed to show that he complied with a term requiring him to prepare a written office policy outlining his procedures for accepting incoming clients and imposed the alternate sanction of a public reprimand.

go to opinion

December 3, 2002

Jay Lawrence Pickus, 406 West Franklin Street, Richmond, Virginia 23220

VSB Docket Nos. 02-033-0698 & 02-033-3001

On November 7, 2002, a subcommittee of the Virginia State Bar Third District Committee, Section III, approved two agreed dispositions of disciplinary charges pending against Jay Lawrence Pickus.

Mr. Pickus received a public reprimand with terms for depositing flat fees in his operating account before he earned them and not being able to account for how the fees were disbursed. No later than January 31, 2003, Mr. Pickus must certify to the bar in writing that he has obtained, at his own expense, the services of a law office management expert, who will review Mr. Pickus's trust account records and proper trust account procedures.

In the second matter, Mr. Pickus also received a public reprimand. In that case, he failed to notify a juvenile and domestic relations district court judge that he wished to withdraw as counsel for a client who could not pay his fee, failed to appear for a previously scheduled hearing and was fined $50 after he failed to appear for a show cause hearing.

go to opinions

December 3, 2002

Madeleine Marie Reberkenny, 108 North Saint Asaph Street, Alexandria, Virginia 22314

VSB Docket No. 03-000-1084

On November 22, 2002, the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board revoked Madeleine Marie Reberkenny's license to practice law. The board found that Ms. Reberkenny had repeatedly failed to comply with the Rule of the Virginia Supreme Court that requires an attorney whose license is suspended to notify her clients of the suspension. The board entered four previous orders suspending Ms. Reberkenny's license: one for misconduct; one for failure to comply with the notice requirement; and two for failure to pay disciplinary costs. In each case, she did not comply with the notice requirements of the order and the rule.

go to opinion

 

December 3, 2002

Jeffrey Theodore Twardy, 4160 Chain Bridge Road, Fairfax, VA 22030

VSB Docket Nos. 01-053-1952, 01-053-2292, 02-053-2048, 02-053-2569, 02-053-3118, 02-053-4065

On November 21, 2002, Jeffrey Theodore Twardy consented to the revocation of his license to practice law. At the time, Mr. Twardy was charged by the Virginia State Bar with neglecting matters undertaken on behalf of clients, failing to communicate with his clients, failing to return file materials to clients and refund unearned fees, failing to furnish the bar with information, obstructing the bar's investigation of complaints, and the deliberate commission of wrongful acts reflecting adversely on his fitness as a lawyer.

November 22, 2002

Michael Wills Cullinan Harris, Suite 500B, 3108 North Parham Road, Richmond, VA 23294

VSB Docket No. 03-000-1085

On November 22, 2002, the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board found that Michael Wills Cullinan Harris had failed to fulfill the notice requirements of a suspended attorney in accordance with Rules of Court, Part Six, Section IV, Paragraph 13.M., formerly Paragraph 13.K(1). Upon this finding, and because Mr. Harris is under a disability suspension, the board imposed a five day suspension of license to be effective upon the termination of the disability suspension.

go to opinion

 

November 20, 2002

Jesse Edgar Demps, Suite 400, 430 Crawford Street, Post Office Box 1392, Portsmouth, Virginia, 23704

VSB Docket No. 00-000-3409

On November 18, 2002, the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board issued an admonition and fined Jesse Edgar Demps $500 for violations of the Virginia Consumer Real Estate Settlement Protection Act (CRESPA). This was an agreed disposition of the charges. Mr. Demps conducted a residential real estate closing without ensuring that his CRESPA certification was current. His certification had been cancelled because of his failure to pay the premium on the required surety bond. Mr. Demps also failed to have the required fidelity bond in place when he conducted the closing.

go to opinion

 

November 20, 2002

Vincent James Ventura, 406 Amelia Street, Fredericksburg, VA 22401-3822

VSB Docket #02-060-1239

On November 18, 2002, a subcommittee of the Sixth District Committee issued a dismissal with terms to Vincent James Ventura. This was an agreed disposition of disciplinary charges against Mr. Ventura. The charges arose out of Mr. Ventura's representation of a client in a divorce, his failure to handle the matter diligently and promptly, and his failure to keep his client reasonably informed about the case and comply with reasonable requests for information.

go to opinion

November 1, 2002

Warren Anthony Picciolo, Suite 212, 57 South Main Street, Harrisonburg, VA 22801

VSB Docket No. 02-070-0732

On October 21, 2002, the Seventh District Committee of the Virginia State Bar publicly reprimanded Warren Anthony Picciolo for failing to communicate with his client and return his client's file. Mr. Picciolo's client attempted to contact Mr. Picciolo regarding the collection of a judgment, but he failed to answer any of the client's phone calls, e-mails or letters. He also failed to withdraw from the client's case and failed to return his client's file upon his termination. Mr. Picciolo's failure to communicate with the client left the client unable to make informed decisions about his case. Mr. Picciolo failed to protect his client's interests because he failed to send the client his file and his judgment check.

go to opinion

 

November 1, 2002

PAUL D. BRADSHER , 932 Gates Avenue, Norfolk, VA 23517-1621

VSB Docket No. 00-021-2416

A three judge panel of the Norfolk Circuit Court suspended Paul D. Bradsher's law license for a period of thirty days, effective November 1, 2002, for unlawful wounding and assault and battery. The suspension was an agreed disposition of disciplinary charges against Mr. Bradsher. His acts violated disciplinary rules prohibiting lawyers from engaging in criminal or deliberately wrongful acts reflecting adversely on the lawyer's honesty, trustworthiness, or fitness as a lawyer. In addition to the discipline imposed, Mr. Bradsher served 90 days in jail, and completed substance abuse and anti-domestic violence programs.

go to opinion

 

October 29, 2002*

Joseph Dee Morrissey, Seven South Adams Street, Richmond, Virginia 23220-5601

VSB Docket Number 03-000-1139


On October 25, 2002, the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board summarily suspended Joseph Dee Morrissey's license. The suspension was based upon the decision of the United States District Court, Eastern District of Virginia, to disbar Mr. Morrissey from practice in the Eastern District of Virginia. The decision was affirmed by the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. Mr. Morrissey is ordered to appear before the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board on November 22, 2002, to show cause why his license to practice law in the Commonwealth of Virginia should not be further suspended or revoked.

At the time of the board's action, Mr. Morrissey was already under a three year license suspension and was not eligible to practice law in Virginia.

*On November 4, 2002, Joseph Dee Morrissey demanded a three-judge court proceeding pursuant to Virginia Code Section 54.13935.

 

October 29, 2002

Ernest Pleasants Gates, Jr., Suite A, 6601 Irongate Square, Richmond, Virginia 23234

VSB Docket No. 01-031-3083

On October 9, 2002, the Virginia State Bar Third District Committee, Section I, issued a public reprimand to Ernest Pleasants Gates, Jr. for neglecting an appeal from the Court of Appeals to the Supreme Court of Virginia for a client for whom he served as court appointed counsel at trial and on appeal. The committee considered Mr. Gates' prior disciplinary record in issuing the public reprimand.

go to opinion

 

October 28, 2002

Francis Gerald McBride, Esq., 10560 Main St., Suite 514, Fairfax, VA 22030-7812

VSB Docket Numbers 01-051-1728 and 02-051-2473

The Virginia State Bar Fifth District Committee publically reprimanded Francis Gerald McBride on October 15, 2002. In 1994, Mr. McBride qualified as executor of his grandmother's estate. Over the next eight years, he failed to file estate accountings on time. The commissioner of accounts issued numerous summonses to Mr. McBride regarding his failure to file timely and accurate accountings. In June of 2001, the Fifth District Committee disciplined Mr. McBride and ordered him to close the estate by November of 2001. As of October of 2002, Mr. McBride still had not closed the estate and was delinquent in filing the latest accounting.

go to opinion

 

October 25, 2002* **

PAUL CORNELIOUS BLAND, Post Office Box 402, Petersburg, VA 23804-0402

VSB Docket #03-000-0870

On October 25, 2002, the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board found that Paul Cornelious Bland violated the term of an agreed disposition and imposed the alternate disposition of an 18 month suspension. The board had previously accepted an agreed disposition providing, among other things, that Mr. Bland would not accept any new clients who required more than office consultations or document preparation between April 26, when the board accepted the agreement, and August 16, 2002, when Mr. Bland's four month disciplinary suspension took effect. Contrary to the agreement, Mr. Bland accepted new court appointments to serve as guardian ad litem and appeared in court on numerous occasions during the interim period.

*On December 2, 2002, Mr. Bland filed an appeal to the Virginia Supreme Court.

**On April 10, 2003, the Virginia Supreme Court dismissed the appeal filed by Paul Cornelius Bland.  

go to opinion



October 25, 2002

Peter Augustus Theodore, P.O. Box 49, Blacksburg, Virginia 24063-0049

VSB Docket No. 01-101-0653

On October 25, 2002, the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board issued a public reprimand with terms to Peter Augustus Theodore, for knowingly making a false statement to a court. This was an agreed disposition of the charges. Mr. Theodore executed an affidavit containing several assertions the bar alleged to be false or misleading. Under the sole term imposed, Mr. Theodore must immediately change his license status to disabled and cannot subsequently change that status without the approval of the bar or the board. The board took Mr. Theodore's medical history into consideration in issuing the public reprimand with terms.

go to opinion

 

October 23, 2002

Suzanne Elizabeth Macpherson-Johnson, P.O. Box 813, 301 South Governors Avenue, Dover, Delaware 19903-0813.

VSB Docket No. 02-031-0051

On October 9, 2002, the Virginia State Bar Third District Committee, Section I, issued a public reprimand with terms to Suzanne Elizabeth Macpherson-Johnson. Ms. Macpherson-Johnson is an active member of the Delaware bar and an associate member, not in good standing, of the Virginia bar.

In a Delaware bar proceeding, Ms. Macpherson-Johnson stipulated that, while practicing law in Delaware, she failed to file tax returns and pay state or federal payroll taxes for her Delaware law practice; failed to maintain her trust account records in compliance with attorney disciplinary rules; and submitted false certifications to the Delaware Supreme Court for the years 1998, 1999 and 2000, indicating that she had filed tax returns, paid all taxes due and properly maintained her trust account records. The Delaware Supreme Court publicly reprimanded Ms. Macpherson-Johnson and imposed terms, including a two-year probationary period. The Third District Committee imposed the same terms as the Delaware Supreme Court.

go to opinion

 

September 30, 2002*

Geoffrey Duane Thomas, 13304 Ector Drive, Baker, Louisiana 70714

VSB Docket No. 02-000-3863

On September 27, 2002, the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board summarily suspended the license of Geoffrey Duane Thomas. The suspension was based upon the Supreme Court of Louisiana's revocation of Mr. Thomas' license to practice law in Louisiana. Mr. Thomas is ordered to appear before the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board on October 25, 2002 to show cause why his license to practice law in the Commonwealth of Virginia should not be further suspended or revoked.

*October 29, 2002

Geoffrey Duane Thomas,13305 Ector Drive, Baker, Louisiana 70714

VSB Docket Number 02-000-3863


On October 25, 2002, the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board dismissed, without prejudice, the show-cause proceedings against Geoffrey Duane Thomas on the basis that the notice was inadequate. This action terminates the interim suspension of Mr. Thomas' license to practice law in Virginia. The board may reinitiate the proceedings in the future.

go to opinion

 

September 30, 2002

Robert Allen Williams, Courthouse Square, 45 Jones Street, Martinsville, VA 24112

VSB Docket No. 00-090-1269

On September 16, 2002, a three judge panel sitting in the Circuit Court of the City of Martinsville issued an order dismissing with terms charges that Robert Allen Williams violated the rule requiring legal fees to be reasonable and adequately explained. Pursuant to an agreed disposition by the Virginia State Bar and Mr. Williams, the charges will be dismissed if Mr. Williams changes his fee agreements to inform his clients in writing that any legal fees that he charges claimants before the Virginia Workers Compensation Commission will be subject to the approval and award of the commission.

go to opinion


September 30, 2002

Arthur C. Ermlich, Suite B, 5477 Greenwich Road, Virginia Beach, VA 23462

VSB Docket No. 01-021-0178

On September 27, 2002, the Disciplinary Board suspended the license of Virginia Beach attorney Arthur C. Ermlich for a period of three years. The Board found Mr. Ermlich violated numerous trust account rules by withholding over $16,000 from a client's personal injury settlement, promising the client and her healthcare providers that he would pay the funds to the healthcare providers, and failing to do so until his client filed a bar complaint. The board also found Mr. Ermlich violated his duty to keep his client informed about the status of her case by failing to advise her of his delay in paying over the funds and to respond to her requests for information about payments to her healthcare providers.

go to opinion

 

September 27, 2002* **

David Thomas Daulton, 125 St. Paul's Boulevard, Suite 302, Norfolk, Virginia 23510

Virginia State Bar Docket No. 99-021-1487

On September 27, 2002, the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board revoked David Thomas Daulton's license to practice law. The board found that Mr. Daulton, during a five month period, used client trust funds to pay the operating expenses of his law office, that he failed to keep appropriate account records during that time, and that he was untruthful to the bar during its investigation.

*On December 12, 2002, Mr. Daulton filed an appeal to the Virginia Supreme Court.

**On March 12, 2003, the Virginia Supreme Court granted David Thomas Daulton motion to withdraw appeal.

go to opinion

go to dissenting opinion

 

September 27, 2002

Terry Lee Van Horn, 513 Forest Avenue, Richmond, Virginia 23229-6850

Virginia State Bar Docket No. 03-000-0266

On September 27, 2002, the Disciplinary Board revoked Terry Lee Van Horn's license to practice law in the Commonwealth of Virginia for multiple failures to comply with the terms imposed in connection with his three-year suspension from the practice of law and the notice provisions incorporated in the board's suspension order.

 

September 26, 2002*

Khalil Wali Latif, 110 North Main Street, P.O. Box 593, Farmville, VA 23901

VSB Docket No. 03-000-0376

The Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board suspended Khalil Wali Latif's license to practice law in Virginia, effective September 25, 2002. On August 5, 2002, the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia, Lynchburg Division, entered an order holding Mr. Latif in contempt of court for willful actions both in that court and the United States District Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Virginia. The order bars Mr. Latif from practicing law in any federal district court, bankruptcy court or other federal court within the Western District of Virginia for a period of eight months, beginning July 25, 2002.

Mr. Latif has been ordered by the Disciplinary Board to appear before it on October 25, 2002, to show cause why his license to practice law in the Commonwealth of Virginia should not be further suspended or revoked.

*On October 2, 2002, the Disciplinary Board stayed the show cause suspension and continued the case generally.

 

September 24, 2002

Robert Michael Abrams, 7202 Arlington Boulevard, Suite 209, Falls Church, VA 22042

Virginia State Bar Docket Nos. 99-051-2930, 99-051-2990, 01-051-2778, 01-051-3206

Robert Michael Abrams petitioned the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board to surrender his license to practice law in Virginia. The Board accepted the petition and revoked his license to practice law on September 24, 2002. At the time Mr. Abrams surrendered his license, there were a number of Bar complaints against him, alleging, among other things, that he had neglected clients' cases, failed in his fiduciary duty by using estate funds for the benefit of other clients, paid himself inflated fees from estate accounts, and defied a court order by paying himself additional fees from an estate account.



September 24, 2002

William McLeod Ferguson, III, 2600 Washington Avenue, Suite 204, Post Office Box 253 Newport News, Virginia 23607-0253

VSB Docket Nos. 01-010-1409 and 01-010-1795


On April 4, 2002, the First District Committee issued two Public Reprimands with Terms to William McLeod Ferguson in the above-referenced matters. Each case involved neglect and failure to communicate in cases, resulting in the losses to the clients of all available remedies. One case was an estate matter in which the client lost her opportunity to claim a share of the estate due to neglect of the case. The other was a personal injury matter in which liability was not an issue, but the statute of limitations ran due to inattention and neglect of the case. Mr. Ferguson appealed the decisions to the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board, which dismissed the appeals and affirmed the sanctions on September 12, 2002.

go to opinion

 

September 19, 2002

Henry Otis Brown, 116 South Sycamore Street, Petersburg, VA 23803

VSB Docket #01-031-2272

On September 18, 2002, the Third District Subcommittee issued a public reprimand to Henry Otis Brown, by agreement, for failing to perfect an appeal to the Supreme Court of Virginia as court appointed counsel for a client, who Mr. Brown represented at trial and upon appeal, and for failing to communicate with his client about the status of the client''s appeals. The subcommittee took Mr. Brown's prior disciplinary record into consideration in issuing the public reprimand.

go to opinion

 

September 16, 2002

Stephen Clark Maguigan, 750 Alum Springs Road, P.O. Box 751, Basye, Virginia 22810-0751

VSB Docket Nos. 99-070-1624 and 00-070-2839

The Disciplinary Board revoked Stephen Clark Maguigan's license to practice law on September 17, 2002, after he surrendered his license. The matters set for hearing arose from his failure to file appropriate accountings with the Commissioner of Accounts concerning several hundred foreclosures and sales, and his failure to record a deed of sale.

 

September 16, 2002

Charles William Austin, Jr., 11930 Rothbury Drive, Richmond, Virginia 23236

VSB Docket No. 98-031-0127

On September 12, 2002, the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board issued a public reprimand, by agreement, to Charles William Austin, Jr. In 1997, Mr. Austin sought contributions from two partners in his law firm and an attorney friend in Atlanta to purchase a list of potential clients. In obtaining funds from these attorneys, he misrepresented the source of the customer list. The source turned out to be a convicted felon, who later pled guilty to various felonies relating to his efforts to obtain the client list for Mr. Austin.

go to opinion

 

September 11, 2002

Charles Robert Gray, Box 34386, Richmond, Virginia 23234

VSB Docket No. 98-031-2859

Effective September 9, 2002, a panel of three circuit court judges sitting in Chesterfield County Circuit Court dismissed the above-referenced case with terms. The terms include probation for 5 years and that he refrain from practicing as a sole practitioner for 5 years and return a file to a client.

go to opinion

 

August 30, 2002*

Anthony J. Corizzi, P. O. Box 1636, Key West, FL 33041-1636

VSB Docket No. 03-000-0585

The Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board suspended Anthony J. Corizzi's license to practice law in Virginia, effective August 29, 2002. On July 25, 2002, the District of Columbia Court of Appeals disbarred Mr. Corizzi from the practice of law in the District of Columbia. Among other serious disciplinary offenses giving rise to Mr. Corizzi's disbarment were his having counseled two clients, in separate cases, to commit perjury in their depositions.

Mr. Corizzi has been ordered by the Disciplinary Board to appear before it on September 27, 2002, to show cause why his license to practice law in the Commonwealth of Virginia should not be further suspended or revoked.

* On September 27, 2002, the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board revoked Anthony J. Corizzi's license to practice law in Virginia.  The revocation was based on an order from the District Court of Appeals disbarring Mr. Corizzi from the practice of law in that court.

go to opinion

 

August 23, 2002

Paul Charles Walsh, 3229 Alice Court, Falls Church, VA 22042

VSB Docket No. 00-051-2118

On August 23, 2002, the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board revoked Paul Charles Walsh's license to practice law based on his violation of DR 1-102(A)(3)&(4). In the June of 1999, Mr. Walsh presented the Clerk of the Fairfax Circuit Court with a check for filings fees in a divorce action which was returned marked NSF. Mr. Walsh did not pay the filings fees owed for over six months despite repeated notices by the Clerk's Office that he needed to do so. Mr. Walsh also continued to practice law after his license to practice was suspended in October of 1999 for failure to pay bar dues.

go to opinion

 

August 23, 2002

In the Matter of Andrea Kimberly Amy-Pressey, 2907 Robert Hunt North, Williamsburg, VA 23185-8335

VSB Docket Nos. 00-061-2099, 00-061-2636, 00-061-2787 and 00-061-3285

On August 23, 2002, the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board revoked Andrea K. Amy-Pressey's license to practice law and imposed two other suspensions on her license.. In Docket No. 00-061-2099, the board that found Ms. Amy-Pressey was responsible for a forged adoption order and a false clerk's certification, was not competent to handle the adoption matter, and failed to attend to it promptly or adequately communicate with her clients. In this matter, the board revoked her license.

In Docket Nos. 00-061-2787 and 00-061-3285, the board found that Ms. Amy-Pressey misrepresented the status of an appeal to her client, lacked the competence necessary to handle a criminal appeal, failed to promptly make required filings, failed to communicate with her client and his family, and failed to appropriately handle an advance costs payment. In these cases, the board imposed a three year suspension.

In Docket No. 00-061-2636, the board found Ms. Amy-Pressey improperly delegated to a non-lawyer the decision of whom to name as defendant in a client's lawsuit. The client's case was later dismissed for failure to timely name the proper defendant. In this matter, the board imposed a suspension of one year and one day.

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August 23, 2002*

Linda Lea Kennedy, 416 London Place, Portsmouth, Virginia 23704

VSB Docket No. 99-021-2654, Chancery No. 02-48

Effective August 12, 2002, a panel of three circuit court judges sitting in the Circuit Court of the City of Portsmouth revoked Linda Lea Kennedy's license to practice law in Virginia. The three judge panel found that Ms. Kennedy disbursed settlement proceeds from her trust account to herself and third parties although her client disputed their rights to receive the funds.

The three judge panel also suspended Ms. Kennedy's law license for one year for paying fees to co-counsel without adequately explaining what she had done and obtaining her client's consent. The three judge panel also reprimanded Ms. Kennedy for billing her client for office overhead and for filing a frivolous motion in the federal district court in Norfolk.

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*On June 27, 2003, the Virginia Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the three-judge court to revoke Ms. Kennedy’s license to practice law.

 

August 16, 2002

Andrew P. Zimmer, Suite 208, 2045 North 15th Street, Arlington, Virginia 22201-2614

VSB Docket No. 00-041-3318

On August 16, 2002, Andrew P. Zimmer surrendered his license to practice law with disciplinary charges pending. Mr. Zimmer was charged by the Virginia State Bar with trust account mismanagement, failure to communicate with clients, lack of diligence, CRESPA violations, and practicing while having a disability that materially affected his ability to represent a client.

 

August 5, 2002* **

Robert Edmund La Serte, 5827 Orchard Hill Lane, Clifton, VA 20124

VSB Docket Nos. 00-053-0760 and 00-053-2018

On July 26, 2002, the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board suspended Robert Edmund La Serte's license to practice law for three years and issued a public reprimand with terms. The board found that Mr. La Serte incompetently drafted a legally defective deed; failed to explain to his client that his office could not perform the real estate settlement the client believed she had engaged him to perform; and failed to reconcile, balance, and maintain proper records for his trust account. Mr. La Serte's failure to inform his client that his office did not perform residential real estate settlements caused delay in a scheduled settlement, with attendant increased costs to his client. His mismanagement of his trust account resulted in loss to his bank, when it honored a check drawn by Mr. La Serte against insufficient funds. Mr. La Serte was ordered to make full restitution to the client and the bank or suffer revocation of his license to practice law in Virginia.

*On September 5, 2002, Mr. LaSerte filed an appeal to the Virginia Supreme Court.

**On January 28, 2003, the Virginia Supreme Court dismissed the appeal of right filed by Robert Edmund La Serte.

 

July 30, 2002*

Chris McKinney Evans, Suite 102, 4115 Annandale Road, Annandale, Virginia 22003

VSB Docket No. 03-000-0150

On July 25, 2002, the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board summarily suspended Chris McKinney Evans' license to practice law and set a show cause hearing for August 23, 2002. The action was based on Mr. Evans plea of guilty to money laundering in the United States District Court of Maryland. At the August 23, 2002, hearing, Mr. Evans will be required to show why his license should not be further suspended or revoked.

*On August 23, 2002, the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board revoked the license to practice law of Chris McKinney Evans based on Mr. Evans' plea of guilty to a charge of money laundering in the United States District Court for Maryland, Northern Division, located in Baltimore.

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July 30, 2002*

Caroline Patricia Ayers-Fountain, 3 Gwynedd Lane, Hockessin, DE 19707

VSB Docket No. 03-000-0109

On July 25, 2002, the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board summarily suspended Caroline Patricia Ayers-Fountain's license to practice law in Virginia and set a show cause hearing for August 23, 2002. The action was based on an order of the Supreme Court of Delaware, which suspended Ms. Ayers-Fountain's Delaware law license for three years. At the August 23, 2002, hearing, Ms. Ayers-Fountain will be required to show why her Virginia license should not be further suspended or revoked.

*On August 23, 2002, the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board suspended Caroline Patricia Ayres-Fountain's license to practice law in Virginia for a period of three years effective July 8, 2002. In doing so, the board imposed reciprocal discipline based upon the three year suspension of Ms Ayres-Fountain by the Supreme Court of Delaware. The Delaware suspension resulted from a stipulation in which Ayres-Fountain admitted that she made false representations to the Supreme Court of Delaware, failed to provide competent representation, failed to act with reasonable diligence and promptness, failed to keep a client reasonably informed, failed to hold unearned fees in a trust account, failed to keep client property separate from her property, failed to take steps to protect the client's interest and engaged in deceit and misrepresentation.

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July 29, 2002

Robert Louis Petersen, Jr., 105 Ferncliff Drive, Williamsburg, VA 23188

VSB Docket No. 00-061-2418

On July 26, 2002, the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board revoked Robert Louis Petersen, Jr.'s license to practice law. The board found that Mr. Petersen, a former in-house counsel for AT&T, engaged in conduct that was deliberately wrongful and involved fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation; that he failed to keep AT&T's confidences and secrets; that he used proprietary and confidential information to threaten AT&T for his own personal gain, including threatening criminal prosecution; and that he knowingly disobeyed the ruling of a court.

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July 26, 2002

Mac Andres Chambers, 618 Colorado Street, Salem, Virginia 24153

VSB Docket Nos. 01-080-1334; 01-080-2630; 02-080-0247

On July 24, 2002, the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board accepted an agreed disposition and suspended Mac Andres Chambers's law license for a period of one year, subject to several terms and conditions. If Mr. Chambers fails to comply with any of the terms, his license will be suspended for two years. Mr. Chambers stipulated that he neglected and failed to communicate in a personal injury action, a worker's compensation case, and a post-conviction criminal matter. The board considered the fact that Mr. Chambers, at considerable expense, hired a risk manager to help him reorganize his office subsequent to the misconduct. The suspension will begin October 1, 2002.

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July 23, 2002

Stanley Walter Preston, Jr., 1004 North Thompson Street, Suite 101, Richmond, VA 23230

VSB DocketT No. 01-031-1245

On June 19, 2002, the Third District, Section I Committee dismissed charges of misconduct against Stanley Walter Preston, Jr. and directed that he take six hours of continuing legal education courses in civil procedure.

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July 15, 2002

David Nicholls Montague, First Floor, 1 East Queens Way, Hampton, Virginia 23669-4001

VSB Docket No. 01-010-2774

On June 6, 2002, the First District Committee of the Virginia State Bar issued a Dismissal with Terms to Hampton attorney David Nicholls Montague. The hearing panel found that Mr. Montague failed to notify or furnish his client with several notices and letters from opposing counsel in an adoption matter, and that he wrongfully purged the records from his case file before delivering the file to his client.

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July 2, 2002

Roger Cory Hinde, 9854 Lori Road, P.O. Box 1483, Chesterfield, VA 23832

VSB Docket No. 02-031-3753

The Virginia State Bar Third District Committee, Section I issued a public reprimand with terms to Roger Cory Hinde. The committee found that Mr. Hinde had failed to comply with the terms of a previous private reprimand. Mr. Hinde was sanctioned for accepting a fee and agreeing to file post trial motions despite the fact that he knew that twenty-one days had passed since his client was sentenced, and it was too late to file the motions.

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July 2, 2002

Isaac Scott Pickus, Jackson Pickus & Associates, Suite 100, 2201 West Broad Street, Richmond, VA 23220

VSB Docket No. 01-031-1265

On June 26, 2002, the Virginia State Bar Committee, Section I imposed a public reprimand with terms on Isaac Scott Pickus. This was an agreed disposition of misconduct charges. In 1993, Mr. Pickus was hired and paid $4500 to file a writ of habeas corpus. He did not file the habeas petition and ignored his client's repeated attempts to learn the status of his petition. Mr. Pickus took no action on the matter until his client filed a bar complaint in 2001. At that time, he wrote the client a letter, which misrepresented the work he had done on the case and did not inform the client that the statute of limitations had run on his time to file a habeas petition.

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July 1, 2002

David Nicholls Montague, First Floor, 1 East Queens Way, Hampton, Virginia 23669-4001

VSB Docket No. 99-010-2127

On June 28, 2002, the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board suspended David Nicholls Montague's license to practice law for ninety days. The board found that Mr. Montague committed a crime or other deliberately wrongful act reflecting adversely on his fitness to practice law. The findings concerned Mr. Montague's failure to pay his state and federal employee withholding taxes for a period of years, and failure to file the employee withholding tax returns, although his accountant had prepared them for him. The board also found that he failed to reconcile his attorney trust account and failed to maintain the required trust account records.

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archives

Disciplinary Actions January 2002 - June 2002

Disciplinary Actions July 2001 - December 2001

Disciplinary Actions January 2001 - June 2001

Disciplinary Actions July 2000 - December 2000

Disciplinary Actions January 2000 - June 2000

Disciplinary Actions July 1999 - December 1999

Disciplinary Actions January 22, 1999 - June 1999