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Disciplinary Actions Taken by the
Virginia State Bar

July 2003–December 2003
archives

updated 6/8/06

 



December 19, 2003

Eli S. Chovitz, St Paul Boulevard, Suite 503, 125 St. Paul's Boulevard, Norfolk, Virginia 23510

VSB Docket No. 04-021-0555


On December 18, 2003, the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary suspended Eli S. Chovitz's license to practice law for failure to respond to a bar subpoena duces tecum.

 

December 18, 2003

Alan Jay Cilman, 507 Valley Drive, Vienna, Virginia 22180

VSB Docket No. 99-042-0680

On December 18, 2003, a three-judge panel presiding in the Circuit Court of Fairfax County dismissed all charges of misconduct against Alan Jay Cilman for lack of clear and convincing evidence. An opinion will follow.

go to opinion (posted 1/27/04)

 

December 17, 2003

Oliver Stuart Chalifoux, Lexington Commons Office Park, 10132 West Broad Street, Glen Allen, Virginia 23606

VSB Docket No. 03-033-2071

On December 9, 2003, the Third District Committee, Section III, imposed a public reprimand with terms upon Oliver Stuart Chalifoux.  The misconduct charges arose out of a matter in which Mr. Chalifoux failed to carry out a contract of employment for professional services; intentionally prejudiced or damaged his client during the course of the professional relationship; and withdrew from representing the client in a pending court matter without seeking leave of court to do so and failed to take steps, to the extent reasonably practicable, to protect the client's interests.

go to opinion (posted 12/19/03)

 

December 17, 2003

Patrick Roger Owen, Patrick R. Owen, P.C., Suite 200, 1110 North Glebe Road, Arlington, Virginia 22201-4795

VSB Docket Nos. 03-041-3728. 03-041-3729, 03-041-3730, 03-041-3731, 03-041-3732, 04-041-0618, 04-041-1187

On December 12, 2003, the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board revoked Patrick Roger Owen's license to practice law in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Mr. Owen was found to have violated the Rules of Professional Conduct concerning diligence, communication, and the return of files and unearned fees to clients. Mr. Owen was also found to have violated the rules by committing a criminal or deliberately wrongful act that reflects adversely on the lawyer''s honesty, trustworthiness or fitness as a lawyer; and by engaging in professional conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation.

go to opinion (posted 1/9/04)

 

December 17, 2003

Beverly McLean Murray, 2006 Wakefield Street, P.O. Box 1938, Petersburg, VA 23805

VSB Docket Nos. 03-031-2045, 03-031-2213, 03-031-2289, 03-031-2939, 03-031-3125, 03-031-3475

Beverly McLean Murray consented to the revocation of her license to practice law in Virginia, with disciplinary charges pending. The charges, which were set for hearing on December 11 and 12, 2003, alleged that Ms. Murray neglected six client matters, failed to communicate with her clients and failed to keep the requisite trust account records in five of the six matters. The effective date of the revocation is December 11, 2003.

go to consent to revocation (posted 12/31/03)

 

December 15, 2003

Vincent Napoleon Godwin, 22253 Deep Bottom Drive, Carrollton, Virginia 23314

VSB Docket Nos. 00-010-1692 and 01-010-0068


On December 12, 2003, the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board suspended Vincent Napoleon Godwin's license to practice law for three years. The board found that Mr. Godwin failed to deposit an advance fee for a bankruptcy case in his trust account, kept the money, and closed his office without doing the work or telling his client how to reach him. He failed to issue a refund despite repeated promises to do so. In a second misconduct case, the board found that Mr. Godwin improperly issued checks drawn on his attorney escrow account for office rent, employee compensation, and a personal loan.

go to opinion (posted 5/25/04)

 

December 10, 2003

Ellen Frances Ericsson, 306 Garrisonville Road, Suite 101, Stafford, VA 22554

VSB Docket Nos. 02-053-0134, 02-053-0916, 02-053-4028, 03-053-0618, and 04-000-0458

On December 8, 2003, the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board suspended Ellen Frances Ericsson's license to practice law and her registration as a settlement agent under the Consumer Real Estate Settlement Protection Act. The board imposed a twenty-four month suspension but suspended all but 60 days on the condition that Ms. Ericsson commit no ethical misconduct or CRESPA violations during the two year period. The board also ordered Ms. Ericsson to pay a $7,500 penalty for CRESPA violations and to employ a law office management consultant. If Ms. Ericisson does not comply with the terms of the order, her license to practice law will be revoked. This was an agreed disposition of misconduct and CRESPA charges. The misconduct violations included failure to handle client matters competently and promptly; to keep clients informed; to return the clients file; to promptly pay real estate proceeds to the persons entitled to them; and to adequately supervise non-lawyer personnel.

go to opinion (posted 12/10/03)

 

December 9, 2003

George Epperson Price, P. O. Box 1097, Abingdon, VA 24212

VSB Docket Nos. 03-102-1617 & 03-102-2288

On December 9, 2003, the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board summarily suspended George Epperson Price’s license pending a disciplinary hearing on May 20-21, 2004.

go to opinion (posted 12/18/03)

 

December 2, 2003*

Donald Gregory Baker, 126 Cedar Avenue, Gate City, Virginia 24251

VSB Docket No. 03-102-1834

On November 25, 2003, a three judge circuit court panel suspended Donald Gregory Baker's license to practice law for two and a half years. An opinion will follow.

*On December 15, 2003, a three-judge circuit court panel suspended Donald Gregory Baker's license to practice law for two and a half years. The suspension stemmed from Mr. Baker's untruthful responses on two judicial selection questionnaires stating he had never been convicted of a crime. In fact, he was convicted of solicitation for prostitution in 1994. The suspension was an agreed disposition of misconduct charges against Mr. Baker.

go to opinion (posted 12/31/03)

 

December 1, 2003

Gay Lynn Tonelli, 145 King Street, Suite B, P. O. Box 567, Keysville, VA 23947

VSB Docket No. 01-090-3362 & 04-090-0483

On November 24, 2003, the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board revoked Gay Lynn Tonelli's license to practice law in Virginia. Ms. Tonelli submitted an affidavit consenting to the revocation and admitting to multiple charges of misconduct. These included charges that she failed to deposit an advance fee payment in her trust account pending completion of the work she was hired to do. After Ms. Tonelli's client fired her, she refused to provide an accounting of what she did with the fee.

go to affidavit to consent and certification (posted 12/16/03

November 24, 2003*

John Michael Dijoseph, Kavrukov & DiJoseph, LLP, 2009 North 14th Street, Suite 202, Arlington, Virginia 22201

VSB Docket Nos. 02-041-2657, 02-041-3238, 03-041-1063, 03-041-1293, 03-041- 1687, 03-041-1688, 03-041-1689, 03-041-1690, 03-041-1816, 03-041-2531

On November 21, 2003, the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board revoked John Michael DiJoseph's license to practice law in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Mr. DiJoseph was found to have violated the Rules of Professional Conduct concerning competence, diligence, communication with clients, the placement of unearned fees and costs advanced in an attorney trust account, the maintenance of trust account records, and the return of files and unearned fees to clients. Mr. DiJoseph was also found to have violated the rules by knowingly making a false statement of material fact in connection with a disciplinary matter, engaging in the unauthorized practice of law, failing to respond to bar complaints, and committing a deliberately wrongful act that reflects adversely on the lawyer's honesty, trustworthiness, or fitness as a lawyer.

go to opinion (posted 12/156/03)

*On January 9, 2004, Mr. DiJoseph filed an appeal to the Virginia Supreme Court.

*On June 14, 2004, the Virginia Supreme Court affirmed the revocation of Mr. DiJoseph's license to practice law.

 

November 20, 2003

Ann Bridgeforth Tribbey, 1509 West Cary Street, Richmond, VA 23220

VSB Docket Nos. 03-031-1562, 03-031-1852, 04-000-0877

On November 20, 2003, the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board revoked Ann Bridgeforth Tribbey's license to practice law. Ms. Tribbey submitted an affidavit consenting to the revocation of her license. There were three overdrafts on her attorney trust account in less than one year, and her trust account record keeping practices did not comply with applicable rules and regulations.

go to consent to revocation (posted 12/3/03)

 

November 20, 2003* **

Antoine Ian Mann, P.O. Box 831, Frederick, Maryland 21705

VSB Docket No. 04-000-1341

Effective November 14, 2003, the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board summarily suspended Antoine Ian Mann's license to practice law in Virginia. The action was based on the indefinite suspension by consent of his Maryland license. He was charged in Maryland with misconduct in eight separate matters. The board ordered Mr. Mann to appear on December 12, 2003, and show cause why his Virginia license should not be indefinitely suspended.

*On December 12, 2003, the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board continued this matter until January 23, 2004. Mr. Mann's license remains suspended until further order of the board.

**Effective December 19, 2003, by agreed disposition, the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board indefinitely suspended Antoine Ian Mann's license to practice law in Virginia. The board's action was based on the indefinite suspension of Mr. Mann's Maryland license, resulting from charges of misconduct in eight separate matters.

go to opinion (posted 1/29/04)

 

November 18, 2003

Charles Everett Malone, Suite 1218, 500 East Main Street, Norfolk, Virginia 23510

VSB Docket Nos. 02-010-4055 and 03-010-2298

Effective November 21, 2003, pursuant to an agreed disposition, the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board suspended Charles Everett Malone's law license for thirty days with terms. In one case, Mr. Malone failed to maintain his attorney trust account and account records in accordance with the rules. In a second case, after agreeing to help a client get her former spouse's name removed from a deed, he sought the wrong relief in the wrong jurisdiction. He also led the client to believe that a hearing was scheduled when none was. When his suspension ends, Mr. Malone will remain on disciplinary probation for one year. During that time, he must attend a course on how to manage his trust account, properly maintain the account and on three occasions submit his trust account records to a bar investigator for review. Failure to comply with any of these terms will result in an additional one-year suspension of his law license.

go to opinion (posted 11/20/03)

 

November 12, 2003* **

Trey Robert Kelleter, 513 Trent Avenue, Chesapeake, Virginia 23323

VSB Docket No. 03-010-1051

On November 6, 2003, following a hearing, the First District Committee issued a dismissal with terms to Trey Robert Kelleter. Mr. Kelleter wrongfully arranged for a police detective to interview an inmate, who was represented by counsel in connection with a murder investigation, without the knowledge or consent of the inmate's counsel, who had requested to attend any interview.

*On November 26, 2003, Mr. Kelleter filed an appeal and demanded that further proceedings be conducted in circuit court.  Therefore, the public dismissal with terms is stayed pending appeal.

go to opinion (posted 1/14/04)

**On March 9, 2004, Mr. Kelleter withdrew his appeal of this matter and provided certification of compliance with the terms issued by the district committee.

 

November 4, 2003

Margaret L. McLeod Cain, Queen Charlotte Sq., Suite 101, 208 East High Street,

Charlottesville, Virginia 22902

VSB Docket No. 04-070-0740

On November 4, 2003, the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board revoked Margaret L. McLeod Cain's license to practice law. Ms. Cain submitted an affidavit consenting to the revocation. Without her client's knowledge, Ms. Cain settled a personal injury claim and received a settlement check made payable jointly to her and her client. She deposited the check, bearing her client's purported endorsement, into an account that she controlled. At no time did Ms. Cain advise the client of the settlement or give the client any of the settlement proceeds.

go to consent to revocation (posted 11/5/03)

 

October 30, 2003* **

Denise Ann Maniscalco,1325 18th Street, NW, Suite 103, Washington, DC 20036

VSB Docket No. 02-051-1868


The Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board has suspended Denise Ann Maniscalco's license to practice law for three years for misrepresenting to a client that a final decree had been entered in a divorce action that she filed on the client's behalf. The suspension is effective November 7, 2003.

go to opinion (posted 11/13/03)

*On December 11, 2003, Ms. Maniscalco filed an appeal to the Virginia Supreme Court.

**On January 9, 2004, the Virginia Supreme Court stayed the suspension pending appeal.

***On March 15, 2004, the Virginia Supreme Court dismissed the appeal and the stay was lifted. Her license was suspended for two years, eight months and thirteen days effective November 19, 2004. She was given credit for the period of suspension prior to the granting of the stay.

 

October 30, 2003

Jordan Nichlos Baker, Suite 204, 3251 Old Lee Highway, Fairfax, Virginia 22030

VSB Docket No. 04-051-0531


On October 24, 2003, Jordan Nichlos Baker consented to the revocation of his license to practice law in Virginia. On September 9, 2003, in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, Alexandria, Virginia, Mr. Baker pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit immigration fraud, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1546(a).

 

October 30, 2003

Steven Yeoul Lee, Suite 204, 3251 Old Lee Highway, Fairfax, Virginia 22030

VSB Docket Nos. 04-051-0530 and 04-051-0798


On October 24, 2003, Steven Yeoul Lee consented to the revocation of his license to practice law in Virginia. On October 22, 2003, in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, Alexandria, Virginia, Mr. Lee pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit immigration fraud, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 371 and 1546(a), and one count of money laundering, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1956(a).

 

October 29, 2003* **

Denise Ann Maniscalco, 1325 18th Street, Suite 103, Washington, DC 20036

VSB Docket Nos. 01-051-2303

On October 24, 2003, the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board publicly reprimanded Denise Ann Maniscalco for neglecting an immigration matter in which she undertook to help a client file an application for permanent resident alien status.

go to opinion (posted 11/13/03)

*On December 11, 2003, Ms. Maniscalco filed an appeal to the Virginia Supreme Court.

**On January 9, 2004, the Virginia Supreme Court stayed the public reprimand pending appeal.


 

October 27, 2003*

Roger Cory Hinde, Suite 101, 5002 Monument Avenue, Richmond, Virginia 23230

VSB Docket No. 03-031-3887


On October 27, 2003, the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board suspended Roger Cory Hinde's license to practice law for failure to respond to a bar subpoena duces tecum.

*On November 21, 2003, the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board lifted the suspension of Roger Cory Hinde's license to practice law.

go to opinion (posted 12/18/03)

 

October 27, 2003

David Nicholls Montague, 33-E West Queen's Way, Hampton, Virginia 23669

VSB Docket Nos. 02-010-1496, 02-010-2592, 03-010-0643, 03-010-2795, 03-010-2797

On October 24, 2003, the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board suspended David Nicholls Montague's law license for two years. The board heard five misconduct cases. It found that Mr. Montague failed to meet his fiduciary obligations as an estate executor, failed to protect the interests of a client who discharged him, failed to deposit advance fees he received in two cases in his trust account, and took a fee but never did any work on the case. The board also found that Mr. Montague negligently endorsed an order terminating his client's joint custody of his child, failed to maintain appropriate trust account records, and improperly withdrew client funds he had deposited in his trust account.

go to opinion (posted 11/13/03)

 

October 27, 2003*

Oliver Stuart Chalifoux, Lexington Commons Office Park, 10132 West Broad Street, Glen Allen, Virginia 23060

VSB Docket No. 03-033-3680

On October 24, 2003, the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board administratively suspended the law license of Oliver Stuart Chalifoux. Mr. Chalifoux failed to comply fully with a subpoena duces tecum for financial records lawfully requested by the Virginia State Bar's Office of Bar Counsel.

*On November 6, 2003, the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board lifted the suspension of Oliver Stuart Chalifoux’s license to practice law.

go to opinion (posted 11/18/03)

 

October 24, 2003

James Frederick Pascal, 11417 Hilbingdon Road, Richmond, VA 23233

VSB Docket #02-031-4074

On October 24, 2003, the Disciplinary Board revoked James Frederick Pascal's license to practice law in the Commonwealth of Virginia for knowingly disobeying a board order administratively suspending him from the practice of law and for knowingly making a false statement of fact to a court about when he learned of the suspension. Mr. Pascal was administratively suspended after he failed to pay costs assessed in connection with a private reprimand with terms. Mr. Pascal was notified on March 29, 2002, that he was suspended, but nonetheless participated as counsel in depositions held on May 1, 2002, and later represented to a court that he first became aware of the suspension in June 2002.

go to opinion (posted 12/1/03)

 

October 24, 2003

Alan Jay Cilman, 507 Valley Drive, Vienna, Virginia 22180 VSB

Docket Nos. 96-042-0868 and 96-042-0886

On October 22, 2003, a three judge panel of the Circuit Court of Fairfax County dismissed the charges of misconduct against Alan Jay Cilman for lack of clear and convincing evidence.

go to opinion (posted 1/23/04)

 

October 24, 2003

John Henry Partridge, 761 Monroe Street, Herndon, VA 20170

VSB Docket Nos. 03-053-3119, 03-053-3305, 03-053-3306, 03-053-3798, 04-053-0355, 04-053-0703, 04-000-0929

On October 22, 2003, the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board revoked John Henry Partridge's license to practice law. Mr. Partridge submitted an affidavit consenting to the revocation of his license. He admitted that, with respect to a number of his clients, he did not comply with the Virginia Supreme Court rule requiring that he notify his clients, opposing counsel, and presiding judges in pending litigation, of the suspension of his law license, and that he make appropriate arrangements for the disposition of client matters. Mr. Partridge also admitted that he terminated a client's pending litigation without the knowledge and consent of the client; failed to communicate with clients; failed to perform the legal services for which he had been engaged; failed to return client files; and failed to refund fees that had been paid to him for work which he did not perform.

October 23, 2003

ARTHUR C. ERMLICH, P. O. Box 6972, Virginia Beach, VA 23456

VSB Docket No. 02-021-0046

On October 20, 2003, pursuant to an agreed disposition, the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board suspended Arthur C. Ermlich's law license for thirty days. This suspension will run consecutively to his current three year suspension. The board found that Mr. Ermlich received personal injury settlement funds for a client who agreed that she owed for dental repairs necessitated by her injuries. The client changed her mind about the amount of the debt for the dental work and refused to authorize Mr. Ermlich to pay the dentist any amount. Mr. Ermlich disbursed all the funds and did not withhold the contested funds allegedly due the dentist.

go to opinion (posted 10/24/03)

 

October 22, 2003

Andrew Ira Becker, The Law Offices of Andrew Becker, Building 3300, Suite 115, 397 Little Neck Road, Virginia Beach, VA 23452

VSB Docket Nos. 02-021-1191, 01-021-2730, 01-021-1843, 02-021-2656, 03-021-0943, 03-021-1271

On October 16, 2003, pursuant to an agreed disposition, the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board suspended Andrew Ira Becker's law license for four months, effective December 1, 2003. The board ordered Mr. Becker to submit to, and pay for, an audit of his law firm's case management, conflicts of interest, and financial controls. If Mr. Becker does not comply with the auditor's recommendations, he will face further suspension.

In five cases, the board found that Mr. Becker engaged in misconduct occurring between 2000 and 2002, including: lack of diligence in allowing three matters to be struck from the docket for inactivity; failure to communicate with clients; failure to adequately explain a legal fee; failure to deposit advance legal fees in trust; and committing a deliberately wrongful act in failing to obtain a business license. The board heard evidence that this misconduct occurred after the firm's managing attorney retired due to illness, and Mr. Becker had to take over management duties. A sixth case was dismissed with a finding of no misconduct.

go to opinion (posted 11/4/03)

 

October 22, 2003

Perry Henry Harrold, 68 West Main Street, P.O. Box 1282, Martinsville, VA 24114
VSB Docket No. 03-090-2433

On October 17, 2003, the Virginia State Bar Ninth District Committee found that Perry Henry Harrold violated the duty to communicate by failing to advise his incarcerated client that his appeals had been denied. The committee imposed a dismissal with terms requiring Mr. Harrold to attend 2 hours of ethics CLE and to meet with the Virginia State Bar risk manager within six months.

go to opinion (posted 12/1/03)

 

 

October 22, 2003

Stacy F. Garrett, III, Boone, Beale, Cosby & Long, 27 North 17th Street, Richmond, VA 23219-3607

VSB Docket Nos. 03-032-0439, 03-032-0642, 03-032-2984

On October 21, 2003, the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board issued a public reprimand with terms to Stacy F. Garrett, III. Mr. Garrett consented to the public reprimand rather than defend three pending misconduct complaints. The misconduct charges arose out of matters in which Mr. Garrett failed to keep his clients informed about the status of their matters and failed to act with reasonable diligence and promptness. In addition, Mr. Garrett intentionally prejudiced his client during the course of one of the professional relationships.

go to opinion (posted 10/31/03)

 

October 20, 2003

Gregory Lane Sandler, 413 West York Street, Norfolk, VA 23510

VSB Docket No. 02-021-2478

On October 7, 2003, a three judge panel of the Norfolk Circuit Court imposed a dismissal de minimis on Gregory Lane Sandler. An opinion will follow.

go to opinion (posted 12/1/03)

 

October 20, 2003

Bennett Allen Brown, 3905 Railroad Avenue, Suite 200 N, Fairfax, VA 22030-3907

VSB Docket No. 01-051-0637

On October 10, 2003, by agreement, a subcommittee of the Fifth District, Section I issued a public reprimand with terms to Bennett Allen Brown for a pattern of neglect and failure to communicate. Mr. Brown agreed to represent a client in obtaining coverage under a homeowners policy but failed to take any action or to respond to the client's inquiries. Mr. Brown also agreed to represent the client and his business in dealing with a default on a loan to the business, which the client had personally guaranteed. The matter went to mandatory arbitration. Mr. Brown failed to keep the client informed and failed to contest what the client believed to be excessive attorneys fees awarded to the bank.

go to opinion (posted 10/21/03)

 

October 17, 2003

John Henry Partridge, 761 Monroe Street, Herndon, Virginia 20170

VSB Docket Nos. 03-053-3035, 03-053-3036, 03-053-3037, 03-053-3079, 03-053-3119 03-053-3174, 03-053-3305, 03-053-3306, 03-053-3338, 03-053-3771 03-053-3798, 03-053-3811, 03-053-3812, 03-053-3853, 04-053-0174 and 04-053-0355

On October 17, 2003, the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board administratively suspended John Henry Partridge's license to practice law for failure to respond to a bar subpoena.

 

October 10, 2003* ** ***

Curtis Tyrone Brown, Suite 306, 555 Fenchurch Street, Norfolk, VA 23510

VSB Docket No. 02-021-2337

On October 9, 2003, the Virginia State Bar Second District Committee, Section I, found that Curtis Tyrone Brown violated conflict of interest rules by providing funds for a third party to pay his criminal defense client's bond. The committee imposed a dismissal with terms requiring Mr. Brown to attend 6 hours of ethics C.L.E. within six months.

*On November 19, 2003, Mr. Brown filed an appeal.  Therefore, the public dismissal with terms is stayed pending appeal.

**On January 20, 2004, the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board affirmed the public dismissal with terms.

go to opinion (posted 1/29/04)

***On February 2, 2004, Mr. Brown filed an appeal to the Virginia Supreme Court.

 

October 10, 2003

Robert Hardin Deaderick, Jr., 1103 Princess Anne Street, Fredericksburg, VA 22401-3807

VSB Docket #00-060-2344

On August 8, 2003, a three judge circuit court panel sitting in the Circuit Court of the City of Fredericksburg admonished Robert Hardin Deaderick, Jr. An opinion will follow.

go to opinion (posted 1/29/04)

 

October 10, 2003

Edmund A. Matricardi, III, 11212 Glen Park Drive, Fredericksburg, VA 22407

VSB Docket No. 03-000-3058

On September 22, 2003, a three judge circuit court panel sitting in the Circuit Court of Henrico County suspended Edmund A. Matricardi, III's license to practice law for two years. The new suspension is retroactive to April 3, 2003, the date of Mr. Matricardi's interim suspension. An opinion will follow.

go to opinion (posted 10/30/03)

 

October 10, 2003

Sharon Beth Soloway, 2706A Mosby Street, Alexandria, VA 22305

VSB Docket Nos.: 00-053-3185, 01-053-2523, and 02-053-2329

On October 9, 2003, the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board suspended Sharon Beth Soloway's license to practice law for five years. The board suspended imposition of the sanction on the condition that Ms. Soloway remain under the care of a licensed clinical psychologist and continue to utilize the services of a law office management consultant. The board found that Ms. Soloway failed to attend promptly and competently to clients' matters; to keep the clients reasonably informed; to furnish client file materials upon request; and to handle client funds properly. The board also found that she failed to carry out her contracts for employment and to respond to the bar's demands for information.

This sanction was the result of an agreed disposition, which the board accepted after finding certain mitigating factors recognized by the American Bar Association. They were: absence of a dishonest or selfish motive; personal and emotional problems; character and reputation; mental impairment; interim rehabilitation; and remorse. In addition, Ms. Soloway made voluntary restitution to a client.

go to opinion (posted 10/20/03)

go to agreed disposition (posted 10/20/03)

 

October 10, 2003

Robert Henry Smallenberg, 7 South Adams Street, Richmond, Virginia 23220-5601

VSB Docket No. 02-032-1064
Case No. LR-1221-1

On October 6, 2003, a three-judge panel of the Circuit Court of the City of Richmond (Manchester Division) dismissed the charges of misconduct against Robert Henry Smallenberg for lack of sufficient evidence in the record to support the Virginia State Bar Third District, Section II, determination of a public reprimand.

go to opinion (posted 1/29/04)

October 10, 2003

Harrison Benjamin Wilson, III, Town Point Center, Suite 501, 150 Boush Street, Norfolk, VA 23510

VSB Docket Nos. 01-032-2209, 01-032-2410, 01-032-3201, 02-032-0612, 02-032-1345, 02-032-2162; Case No. CL03-764

On October 9, 2003, a three judge circuit court panel sitting in the Circuit Court of Henrico County suspended Harrison Benjamin Wilson's license to practice law for one year. The new suspension will run concurrently with a previously imposed two year suspension. An opinion will follow.

go to opinion (posted 1/29/04)

 

October 6, 2003

Kristina M. K. Fitzgerald, 830 East Main Street, Suite 2000, Richmond, VA 23219

VSB Docket #03-032-0801

On October 2, 2003, a subcommittee of the Virginia State Bar Third District, Section II, issued a public reprimand to Kristina K. Fitzgerald. This was an agreed disposition of disciplinary charges against Ms. Fitzgerald. The misconduct charges arose out of a matter in which Ms. Fitzgerald failed to keep her client informed about the status of his matter and failed to promptly comply with his reasonable requests for information. In addition, Ms. Fitzgerald withdrew from the representation with material adverse effect on the interest of the client, and she knowingly made a false statement in the course of representation.

go to opinion (posted 10/14/03)

 

September 29, 2003

Timothy Wade Roof, 5269 Revere Drive, Norfolk, VA 23502-4926

VSB Docket No. 02-021-0334

On September 26, 2003, the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board issued a public reprimand with terms to Timothy Wade Roof. The board found that Mr. Roof did not act diligently when he submitted, without a filing fee, a client's hand-written draft of a petition for writ of habeas corpus to the Supreme Court of Virginia without correcting the errors in the writ. The board further found that given the manner and quality of the representation, Mr. Roof's $1,000.00 fee was unreasonable. Finally, the board found that Mr. Roof violated trust account rules by not depositing the $1,000.00 fee into his trust account and holding it in trust until he earned the fee. The terms imposed in connection with the public reprimand require Mr. Roof to refund the fee, to prepare written fee agreements in all cases, and to take 24 hours of Continuing Legal Education.

go to opinion (posted 10/31/03)

go to dissent opinion (posted 10/31/03)

 

September 25, 2003

Paul Cornelious Bland, P.O. Box 402, Petersburg, Virginia 23804-0402

VSB Docket Nos. 03-031-0696, 03-031-1341 and 03-031-1993

Following a hearing on September 25, 2003, the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board revoked Paul Cornelius Bland’s license to practice law. Mr. Bland was charged with misconduct in three matters. He stipulated to the factual allegations made by the bar but did not appear for the hearing. Clients complained that Mr. Bland failed to appeal a criminal conviction, take legal action necessary to secure compensation for construction of sewer and water lines across client owned property and resolve another client’s claims regarding ownership and distribution of income from jointly held property. The board found in each case that Mr. Bland failed to attend promptly to client matters and failed to communicate with his clients. In the inverse condemnation case, the board also found that Mr. Bland did not demonstrate an acceptable level of legal knowledge, skill, efficiency, and thoroughness in preparation. The board considered Mr. Bland’s extensive prior disciplinary record in deciding to revoke his license.

go to opinion (posted 11/19/03)

 

September 23, 2003

Steven Mark Frei, Halls & Sickels, P.C., Reston Executive Center, Suite 150, 12120 Sunset Hills Road, Reston, VA 22190

VSB Docket No. 00-053-2732

On September 22, 2003, pursuant to an agreed disposition, a subcommittee of the Virginia State Bar Fifth District Committee, Section III, imposed a public reprimand on Steven Mark Frei. The subcommittee found that in representing a client with a personal injury claim, Mr. Frei failed to attend promptly to the client's matter until completed; failed to abide by the client's decisions concerning the objectives of the representation; failed to keep the client reasonably informed about the status of her matter; and failed to furnish the client with her file upon request.

go to opinion (posted 9/24/03)

 

September 10, 2003

Harry William Mulford, Esq., 6101 Centreville Road, Centreville, VA 20121-2662

VSB Docket No. 02-051-0044

On September 3, 2003, by agreed disposition, a subcommittee of the Fifth District, Panel I, issued a public reprimand to Harry William Mulford for failure to adequately explain his fees, failure to communicate, neglect of his duties as a trustee, and for failure to keep proper records. The circuit court removed Mr. Mulford as trustee and ordered him to repay with interest the fees he had paid himself as trustee. Mr. Mulford complied with the circuit court order.

go to opinion (posted 9/10/03)

 

September 9, 2003*

Bernice Marie Stafford-Turner, P.O. Box 1671, Halifax, Virginia 24887

VSB Docket Nos. 02-032-3876, 03-032-1259, 03-032-1534

On September 9, 2003, the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board administratively suspended Bernice Marie Stafford-Turner's license to practice law. Ms. Stafford-Turner failed to comply fully with a subpoena duces tecum for trust account information.

*On October 24, 2003, the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board lifted the suspension of Bernice Marie Stafford Turner’s license to practice law.

 

September 2, 2003

Dianne Theresa Carter, Suite 406, 606 Denbigh Boulevard, Newport News Virginia 23608

VSB Docket Nos. 00-010-2149, 01-010-0973, 01-010-1403, 02-010-0198, 02-010-0199, 02-010-0200

(Miscellaneous No. 12496-RW)

Effective September 1, 2003, a three-judge panel of the Newport News Circuit Court suspended Dianne Theresa Carter's license to practice law for two years and imposed terms on the suspension. This was an agreed disposition of disciplinary charges in six cases. Two cases involved clients who paid Ms. Carter advanced fees for general legal work. She either did not complete the work, or did no work at all, and became unresponsive to her clients' attempts to contact her. She was slow to issue refunds, having paid the fees to her general account instead of her attorney trust account. In a court-appointed criminal case, Ms. Carter failed to file a petition for appeal and became unresponsive to her client's attempts to contact her, causing the court to remove her from the case. Two other cases concerned Ms. Carter's service as administratrix or legal counsel for estates. She paid herself advanced fees from the estate accounts without prior approval, failed to meet her fiduciary filing obligations, and failed to timely return the fees. After the suspension, Ms. Carter will be on probation for an additional two years during which time she must reimburse opposing counsel and a bonding company in the estate cases, and must not commit any breach of the Rules of Professional Conduct. Failure to comply with either term will result in the revocation of her license to practice law.

go to opinion (posted 9/2/03)

 

September 2, 2003

Ann Bridgeforth Tribbey, 1509 West Cary Street, Richmond, Virginia 23220

VSB Docket No. 04-031-0042

On August 13, 2003, following a hearing, the Virginia State Bar Third District Committee, Section I, issued a public reprimand to Ann Bridgeforth Tribbey after finding that she failed to comply in a timely fashion with a term previously imposed in connection with a private reprimand. The term required Ms. Tribbey to hire a certified public accountant to audit her trust account records and provide bar counsel a report indicating whether the records comply with Rules of Professional Conduct.

go to opinion (posted 9/2/03)

 

August 29, 2003*

Scott George Smith, 1001 Back Bay Beach Road, West River, MD 20778-9622

VSB Docket Number 04-000-0518

On August 28, 2003, the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board summarily suspended Scott George Smith's license to practice law in Virginia. The suspension was based on the revocation of his Maryland license by the Court of Appeals of Maryland. The board ordered Mr. Smith to appear on September 26, 2003, to show cause why his Virginia license should not be revoked.

*On September 26, 2003, the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board revoked Scott G. Smith’s license to practice law in Virginia.

go to opinion (posted 11/5/03)

 

August 29, 2003*

Gregory Charles Mitchell, 10605 Judicial Drive, Building A4, Fairfax, VA 22030

VSB Docket No. 01-000-1888

On August 28, 2003, the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board summarily suspended Gregory Charles Mitchell's license to practice law in Virginia. The action was based on the decision of the District of Columbia Court of Appeals to suspend his District of Columbia license for 90 days. The board ordered Mr. Mitchell to appear on September 26, 2003, to show cause his Virginia license should not be suspended for 90 days.

*On September 17, 2003, pursuant to an agreed disposition, the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board suspended Gregory Charles Mitchell’s license to practice law for a period of ninety days, commencing August 28, 2003.

go to opinion (posted 10/16/03)

 

August 25, 2003

Thomas C. Spencer, Spencer & Taylor, LLP, 401 Lime Kiln Road, Lexington, VA 24450

VSB Docket No. 98-080-0660

On August 22, 2003, the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board dismissed the charges of misconduct against Thomas C. Spencer for lack of clear and convincing evidence.

go to opinion (posted 10/14/03)

 

August 22, 2003

John Kelly Dixon, III, 7907 Chowning Circle, Richmond, VA 23294

VSB Docket #03-000-3684

On August 21, 2003, the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board revoked John Kelly Dixon, III's license to practice law. Mr. Dixon submitted an affidavit consenting to the revocation. Mr. Dixon admitted he did not comply with terms associated with a five-year suspension the board imposed by agreement in March 2003 or fulfill his ethical duty to notify his clients, as well as opposing counsel and presiding judges in pending litigation, of his suspension and make appropriate arrangements for the disposition of client matters.

 

August 22, 2003

Lydell Lucius Fortune

Suite 216, 5001 West Broad Street, Richmond, Virginia 23230

VSB Docket Nos. 03-033-3664, 03-033-3959, 03-033-4050, 04-033-0053

On August 21, 2003, the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board revoked Lydell Lucius Fortune's license to practice law. Mr. Fortune consented to the revocation rather than defend four pending misconduct complaints. The misconduct charges arose out of matters in which he failed to complete the necessary filings for matters that he undertook in his private practice. Mr. Fortune also failed to respond to requests from his clients on the status of their matters and failed to take steps to protect his clients' interests when he abandoned the practice of law.

August 22, 2003

George Robert Leach, 1311 Jamestown Road, Williamsburg, VA 23185

VSB Docket Nos. 01-060-1322 and 02-060-3754


On August 21, 2003 the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board revoked George Robert Leach's license of to practice law. The board found that after the death of his client, Mr. Leach continued to pursue a creditor's suit in the client's name, bought the subject property in his own name at auction with a personal loan, turned over the net sales proceeds to his lender to pay down the personal loan, and transferred title of the subject property to his lender and received funds in return. Mr. Leach admitted misappropriating the net sales proceeds and of the subject property. The board found violations of rules dealing with the commission of a crime or a deliberately wrongful act; conduct involving dishonesty, deceit, fraud or misrepresentation; unreasonable fees; failure to withdraw; advancing an unwarranted claim; failing to disclose that which is required by law; making false statements of law or fact and trust account requirements.

In a different matter, on August 20, 2003, the board imposed a public reprimand with terms on Mr. Leach by agreed disposition. That case involved Mr. Leach's representation of a husband and wife in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy in which Mr. Leach filed three cases and four plans before his clients terminated his services and hired new counsel. The disciplinary rules deemed violated include those involving lack of competence, failure to promptly complete the representation or properly withdraw and failure to keep his clients reasonably informed.

go to opinion (posted 9/12/03)

go to opinion (posted 9/29/03)

August 22, 2003

TIMOTHY HERBERT LOUK

Suite 300, 1905 Hugenot Road, Richmond, Virginia 23235

VSB Docket No. 02-032-1798

On August 21, 2003, the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board revoked Timothy Herbert Louk's license to practice law. Mr. Louk consented to revocation of his license to practice law rather than defend a pending misconduct complaint. The misconduct charges arose out of a matter in which Mr. Louk failed to complete the necessary filings in a divorce case. He failed to respond to requests from his client about the status of the case and failed to take steps to protect his client's interests. Mr. Louk also knowingly violated a Rule of the Virginia Supreme Court requiring that bar members maintain an accurate address of record with the Virginia State Bar.

August 22, 2003

WILLIAM RALPH PALMER

555 New Bern Avenue, Raleigh, North Carolina 27611

VSB Docket No. 01-000-2289

On August 21, 2003, the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board revoked William Ralph Palmer’s license to practice law in the Commonwealth of Virginia. The board’s action was taken with the agreement of Mr. Palmer, who filed an affidavit consenting to the revocation. The revocation occurred shortly before the board was scheduled to conduct a hearing and decide what action to take as a result of Mr. Palmer’s conviction of embezzlement of client funds. The board summarily suspended Mr. Palmer’s license on April 10, 2001, and he has been ineligible to practice law in Virginia since that date.

 

August 20, 2003

George Elridge Leedom, 2503-A Stuart Place, Richmond, Virginia 23220

VSB Docket Nos. 01-032-1956, 02-032-0968, 02-032-1140, 02-032-1240,
02-032-1439, 02-032-2170, 02-032-2292, 02-032-2734, 02-032-2976

On August 18, 2003, by agreement, the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board suspended George Elridge Leedom's license to practice law based on a disability. The suspension will remain in place until further order of the board. If the disability suspension is lifted, Mr. Leedom will be subject to disciplinary action for prior misconduct.

go to opinion (posted 8/20/03)

 

August 20, 2003

Robert Edward Howard, 2207 Fort Ward Place, Alexandria, VA 22304

VSB Docket Nos. 04-000-0025, 04-000-0026, 04-000-0027

On July 25, 2003, the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board dismissed the charges of non-compliance with terms against Robert Edward Howard due to lack of clear and convincing evidence.

go to opinion (posted 8/20/03)

go to dissent (posted 8/20/03)

 

August 12, 2003

ANDREW ROBERT SEBOK, 1520 Holland Avenue, Norfolk, Virginia 23509

VSB Docket Nos. 01-021-1007, 01-021-1108, 01-021-2731

On August 7, 2003, a three-judge panel of the Norfolk Circuit Court issued a public reprimand with terms to Andrew Robert Sebok. This was an agreed disposition of disciplinary charges in three cases. Two of the cases involved Mr. Sebok's employment for post-trial criminal work during the late 1990s. Mr. Sebok received advanced fees but did not place the funds in his attorney trust account.  In each case, he completed most of the work, but did not respond to motions to dismiss filed by the attorney general. The third matter stemmed from Mr. Sebok's employment as a paralegal in personal injury cases while his law license was suspended. In one case, he sent a letter to the court that appeared to cross the line of unauthorized practice of law. He also sought appointment as administrator in two other personal injury cases so that funds could be disbursed. Mr. Sebok will be on probation for a period of two years during which time he must issue refunds to the clients whose cases he did not conclude, and must not commit any breach of the Rules of Professional Conduct.  Failure to comply with either term will result in the revocation of his license to practice law.

go to opionion (posted 9/2/03)

 

August 1, 2003

Troy Aurelius Titus, 5221 Indian River Road, Virginia Beach, Virginia 23464

VSB Docket No. 04-000-0128


On August 1, 2003, pursuant to an agreed disposition, the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board imposed a $5,000 penalty and an admonition on Troy Aurelius Titus for a violation of the Virginia Consumer Real Estate Settlement Protection Act. Mr. Titus obtained the bonds necessary to register under CRESPA, but due to an administrative problem in his office, he failed to register for several years.

go to opinion (posted 8/6/03)

go to CRESPA opinion (posted 8/6/03)


July 21, 2003

Mark Douglas Henshaw, Esquire, Wells and Henshaw, Suite 202, 9253 Mosby Street, Manassas, VA 20110-5039

VSB Docket No. 01-053-2861

On July 18, 2003, pursuant to an agreed disposition, the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board, suspended Mark Douglas Henshaw's license to practice law for a period of thirty days, beginning August 14, 2003. The board found that Mr. Henshaw failed to attend promptly to a client matter; failed to keep the client reasonably informed of the status of her case; and failed to comply promptly with the client's request for information. The board also found that Mr. Henshaw made false statements to his client and to a Virginia State Bar investigator.

In approving the thirty day suspension, the board took into account as mitigating factors Mr. Henshaw's absence of a disciplinary record; his character and reputation; and his interim rehabilitation.

go to opinion (posted 7/25/03)

 

July 2, 2003*

John Lydon McGann, Suite 206, 4101 Chain Bridge Road, Fairfax, VA 22030

VSB Docket No. 02-041-4131

Arlington Circuit Court Chancery No.: 03-221

On June 25, 2003, a three-judge panel of Arlington County Circuit Court found that John Lydon McGann failed to comply with the terms of an earlier disciplinary sanction imposed by the Virginia State Bar Fourth District Disciplinary Committee, Section I, and affirmed by the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board. The three-judge panel suspended Mr. McGann's license until he complies with the terms of the previous sanction.
*By order entered on July 29, 2003, the three-judge panel lifted the suspension of Mr. McGann's license, retroactive to 5:00 p.m. on Friday, June 27, 2003.

 

 

 

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