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Disciplinary System Actions Taken by the
Virginia State Bar

July 2005 – December 2005

(Except for agreed dispositions, disciplinary actions imposed by a District Committee remain subject to appeal for 10 days after notice of the determination is mailed to the Respondent.)

(Except for agreed dispositions, disciplinary actions imposed by the Disciplinary Board remain subject to appeal for 30 days after the Memorandum Order is served on the Respondent.)

archives

updated 4/6/2007

 


 

December 29, 2005

David Michael Gammino,  108 East Cary Street, Richmond, VA 23219

VSB Docket Nos. 05-032-2612, 05-032-2481, 05-032-2483, 05-032-2493, and 05-032-2484

On December 20, 2005, the Third District Committee, Section II, imposed a public admonition with terms on David Michael Gammino for misconduct in five cases. In one case, he failed to deposit unearned legal fees into a trust account, and he did not maintain appropriate account ledgers. Four cases involved court-appointed representation in criminal appeals. The committee found he violated ethical rules that govern competence, diligence, communication and supervision of nonlawyer assistants. Under the terms of the sanction, Mr. Gammino must change to associate membership status and take continuing legal education courses on appellate practice. Before he rejoins as an active member, he must hire a law office management consultant. If he does not comply, he will be publicly reprimanded. This was an agreed disposition of misconduct charges against Mr. Gammino.

go to opinion (pdf posted 12/29/05)

 

December 28, 2005

Bernice Marie Stafford Turner, P. O. Box 272, Farmville, Virginia 23901

VSB Docket Nos. 02-032-3876 and 03-032-1259

On December 14, 2005, the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board imposed a public reprimand with terms on Bernice Marie Stafford Turner in two instances of bankruptcy representation. She failed to deposit client funds into a trust account, failed to follow trust account requirements and failed to adequately explain fees to a client. Ms. Turner must take continuing legal education courses before accepting any new bankruptcy clients, undergo training in an accounting software program, and hire a law office management consultant. If she does not comply, the board will suspend her license to practice law for four months.  This was an agreed disposition of misconduct charges against Ms Turner. 

go to opinion (pdf posted 12/29/05)

 

December 20, 2005

Patrick Ross Bynum Jr., Bynum, Coleman, Goots & Muzi, L.L.P., The Lockwood Office Building, Suite 218, 9097 Atlee Station Road, Mechanicsville, VA 23116

VSB Docket Nos. 04-033-3260 and 04-033-3261

On December 19, 2005, the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board issued a public reprimand to attorney Patrick R. Bynum Jr. for failing to comply with trust account rules. The board noted that none of Mr. Bynum's clients were harmed by poor record-keeping practices or his occasional failure to deposit client funds and withdraw earned fees in a timely manner. The board also noted that he responded proactively to the problems by commissioning an independent audit of his trust account records, which he shared with the bar. This was an agreed disposition of misconduct charges against Mr. Bynum.

go to opinion (pdf posted 1/3/06)

 

December 19, 2005

Mikre-Michael Ayele, Law Offices of Mikre-Michael Ayele, 22 South Old Glebe Road #B-5, Arlington, VA 22204

VSB Docket No. 06-041-0284

On December 16, 2005, the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board suspended Mikre-Michael Ayele's license to practice law for one year and one day, effective immediately. The board found that in representing two clients in separate immigration matters, Mr. Ayele failed to act with reasonable diligence and promptness, failed to communicate appropriately with the clients, and failed to withdraw from each client's representation when Mr. Ayele's physical or mental condition required that he do so. The license suspension was occasioned by Mr. Ayele's failure to comply with terms of discipline imposed earlier by a district subcommittee in the same matters.

go to opinion (pdf posted 1/3/06)

 

December 8, 2005

Kristen Dawn Dean, P.O. Box 743, Norton, Virginia 24273

VSB Docket No. 04-102-3065

On December 6, 2005, the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board suspended Kristen Dawn Dean's law license for five years, effective on or before December 16, 2005, for misappropriating portions of a client's personal injury settlement for her own use and then taking steps to deceive and to conceal the misconduct.  The board found that Ms. Dean failed to properly communicate with her client; failed to obtain a written contingency fee agreement, failed to provide an appropriate account of the client's funds; made false statements; engaged in deliberately wrongful conduct; and engaged in fraud, deceit or misrepresentation.  Ms. Dean must pay restitution, be evaluated by Lawyers Helping Lawyers, and follow any treatment plan Lawyers Helping Lawyers recommends.  If she does not comply, the board will revoke her license. This was an agreed disposition of misconduct charges against Ms. Dean.

go to opinion (PDF posted 12/28/05)

 

December 7, 2005

Robert J. Harris, Esquire, 258 West King Street, Strasburg, Virginia 22657

VSB Docket Nos. 04-070-3724, 05-070-0364, 05-070-0365, 05-070-0550, 05-070-0925

On December 5, 2005 the Virginia State Bar's Seventh District Committee issued five public reprimands, four with terms, to Robert J. Harris for misconduct in five cases that involved bankruptcy, civil litigation and intestate law. The committee found that Mr. Harris did not act diligently and promptly in representing clients, he did not communicate with his clients concerning the status of cases, he did not adequately explain his fees to clients, he did not deposit advance legal fees into his attorney trust account, he did not take steps to protect clients' interest or refund any unearned advance legal fees, and he did not timely respond to numerous requests for information from the bar. In two matters, he committed a deliberately wrongful act by not performing the work as hired. Mr. Harris must make a full or partial refund of the fees, hire an office management consultant and implement the mandated office procedures, and establish an attorney trust account consistent with VSB guidelines. If Mr. Harris fails to comply with the terms, the matters will be referred to the VSB Disciplinary Board for further sanctions. This was an agreed disposition of misconduct charges against Mr. Harris.

go to opinion (PDF posted 12/28/05)

 

November 30, 2005   *

Bonar Mayo Robertson, Esquire, 1 Ivy Leaf Court, Boyds, Maryland, 20841

VSB Docket No.  06-000-1650

On November 21, 2005, the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board suspended Bonar Mayo Robertson's license to practice law, in response to a ninety-day suspension of his Maryland law license effective May 1, 2005. The Maryland Court of Appeals found that, in a personal injury case, Mr. Robertson took his own fee from settlement funds, but failed for over four months to notify the client or medical providers that he was holding funds for them. During that time, his trust account fell below the amount needed to satisfy the medical liens. In another matter, Mr. Robertson made little effort to settle a client's case, failed to file suit on her behalf in a timely manner, and then failed to terminate the representation properly. Mr. Robertson was ordered to appear before the Virginia board on December 16, 2005, to show cause why his Virginia license should not be similarly suspended.

*On December 8, 2005 the Disciplinary Board suspended Mr. Robertson's license to practice law for 90 days, commencing November 21, 2005.  This was an agreed disposition of the reciprocal charges against Mr. Robertson.

go to opinion (PDF posted 12/16/05)

 

November 30, 2005

Gregg Michael Paley, 22790 Pinewood Court, Boca Raton, Florida 33433

VSB Docket No. 06-000-1439

On November 28, 2005, the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board revoked Gregg Michael Paley's license to practice law. Mr. Paley signed an affidavit agreeing to revocation following his guilty plea to a federal charge for failing to respond truthfully to federal agents investigating money laundering. At the time of his guilty plea, Mr. Paley already agreed to surrender his law licenses in Florida and the District of Columbia.

go to consent to revocation order (pdf posted 12/6/05)

 

November 23, 2005   * **

Brian Charles Shevlin, Shevlin Smith, Suite 102, 4084 University Drive, Fairfax, Virginia 22030.

VSB Docket No. 04-041-2338

On November 18, 2005, the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board imposed a public admonition upon Brian Charles Shevlin for failing to act with diligence and promptness in representing a client; failing to promptly pay funds to a person entitled to receive them; and knowingly disobeying the ruling of a tribunal.  While representing a plaintiff in a medical malpractice matter, Mr. Shevlin signed an agreement with the United States government to assert the government's claim for the value of health care provided to his client's late wife in exchange for the government's litigation assistance.  Mr. Shevlin settled the medical malpractice case and placed the sum of $150,000 in escrow for the government lien, in accordance with a court-approved compromise of his client's claim.  Mr. Shevlin thereafter disputed the government's entitlement to the funds, and informed the government that unless the matter were resolved within thirty days he intended to disburse the escrowed funds to his client.  After thirty days, he sent his client the sum of $150,000 with a letter requesting agreement that his client indemnify Mr. Shevlin's law firm in the event the government were to assert "its lien holder rights" against the firm.

*On November 28, 2005, Mr. Shevlin filed a motion for reconsideration of the board's decision.

**On December 1, 2005 the board denied the motion for reconsideration.

go to reconsideration denied order (pdf posted 12/6/05)

go to final order (pdf posted 12/6/05)

 

November 21, 2005

Burman Aaron Berger, Suite 1605, 51 Monroe Street, Rockville, Maryland,  20850

VSB Docket No. 06-000-1312

On November 18, 2005, the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board revoked Burman Aaron Berger's license to practice law, in response to his disbarment in Maryland that took effect September 20, 2005.  Maryland disciplinary authorities found he had committed misconduct in cases involving personal injury and a home improvement project, and had violated professional rules that govern diligence, communication and response to the bar counsel's request for information.

go to opinion (PDF posted 12/28/05)

 

November 18, 2005

John Joseph Vavala, Suite 103, 124 South Lynnhaven Road
Virginia Beach, Virginia 23452

VSB Docket No. 04-021-2543, 04-021-3102

On November 18, 2005, the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board suspended the law license of John Joseph Vavala for five years, effective immediately, for failing in two business law cases to place client funds in a trust account and pay the funds out as agreed. One client suffered a civil judgment because of Mr. Vavala's failure to pay funds to a third party, and had to mortgage his home to pay the judgment and interest. The board found Mr. Vavala had committed misconduct by engaging in deliberately wrongful conduct; neglecting client matters; engaging in fraud, deceit and misrepresentation; and failing to comply with requests for information from the Virginia State Bar. Mr. Vavala stipulated to the facts alleged by the VSB and paid full restitution to both clients before the board hearing.

go to opinion (PDF posted 12/28/05)

 

November 16, 2005

Kathleene Anne Cipriano; Suite 308, 3500 Virginia Beach Boulevard, Virginia Beach, Virginia 23452

VSB Docket No. 04-021-3300

On November 10, 2005, the Virginia State Bar Second District Committee, Section I, dismissed charges of misconduct against Kathleene Anne Cipriano for lack of clear and convincing evidence.

 

November 10, 2005

George E. Talbot Jr., Suite 408, High & Crawford Streets, P.O. Box 1203, Portsmouth, Virginia 23705-1203

VSB Docket Nos. 05-010-1360 and 05-010-1361

On November 8, 2005, the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board suspended George E. Talbot Jr.'s license to practice law for sixty days, effective December 1, 2005, for failing to be diligent, to communicate, and to properly respond to complaint letters from the bar. The board found that, in two criminal defense cases, Mr. Talbot failed to properly appeal his clients' convictions and failed to adequately advise the clients of the dismissal of their appeals, the reason for the dismissals and the possibility of seeking delayed appeals. Although Mr. Talbot failed to respond to initial complaint letters, he later fully cooperated with the VSB's investigation. This was an agreed disposition of misconduct charges against Mr. Talbot.

go to opinion (pdf posted 11/16/05)

 

November 10, 2005

Charles Frederick Daum, 736 5th Street, NE, Washington, D.C. 20002

VSB Docket No. 04-041-3265

On November 8, 2005, a three-judge panel in the Arlington County Circuit Court imposed a public reprimand with terms upon Charles Frederick Daum. The judges found that, in a criminal defense case, Mr. Daum failed to keep unearned fees in a properly managed trust account; failed to provide a prompt accounting and return unearned fees after he was discharged as the client's attorney; and failed to promptly forward the client's file materials to the client's new attorney. Mr. Daum ultimately refunded the full amount of the fee and provided the file materials to his client. Mr. Daum must hire a law-office management consultant to ensure his compliance with ethics rules for trust accounts. If he does not comply, his license to practice law could be suspended for six months. This is an agreed disposition of misconduct charges against Mr. Daum.

go to opinion (pdf posted 11/10/05)


November 10, 2005

Edgar Hampton DeHart, Jr., P.O. Box 1613, Galax, Virginia 24333

VSB Docket No. 04-101-3621

On November 4, 2005, the Virginia State Bar Tenth District Committee, Section I, imposed a public reprimand on Edgar Hampton DeHart Jr. for lack of diligence and communication that resulted in a consumer law case being struck from a court's docket.

VSB Docket No. 04-101-3436

Charges of professional misconduct in a domestic relations matter were dismissed by the committee.

go to opinion (PDF posted 12/28/05)

 

November 4, 2005     *

William McMillan Powers, 3209 Granada Road, Portsmouth, Virginia 23703

VSB Docket No. 05-000-3014

On October 28, 2005, the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board recommended that the Supreme Court of Virginia grant William McMillan Power's petition for reinstatement of his license to practice law. The recommendation followed a hearing in which the Virginia State Bar counsel opposed the petition. Mr. Powers surrendered his license on May 28, 1992, after pleading guilty to a federal bank fraud charge. The board's recommendation will be filed with the court, which will take final action on Mr. Power's petition.

go to opinion (pdf posted 12/9/05)

*On October 25, 2006, the Virginia Supreme Court reinstated Mr. Powers license to practice law.

 

November 1, 2005

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

VSB Docket No. 06-000-0648

On October 28, 2005, the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board suspended the law license of Charles Everett Malone for two years for failing to comply with the terms of a previous disciplinary agreement by not refunding an unearned fee by a specific date. The new suspension will begin on December 7, 2006, when the current two-year suspension imposed by the agreement expires.

go to opinion (pdf posted 11/23/05)

 

November 2, 2005  * ** *** ****

Timothy Martin Barrett, Esq., The Injury Law Institute of VA, Convergence Center I, Suite 200, 295 Bendix Road, Virginia Beach, VA 23452

VSB Docket Nos. 04-022-1309, 04-022-2179, and 04-022-3583

On October 12, 2005, a three-judge court sitting in Virginia Beach Circuit Court suspended Timothy Martin Barrett from practicing law for thirty months, effective November 1, 2005. The court found that, in the course of representing himself in three cases, Mr. Barrett used tactics calculated to embarrass, delay or burden other persons; committed a deliberately wrongful act that reflected adversely on his honesty, trustworthiness or fitness as a lawyer; made frivolous claims; and acted incompetently as an attorney. In one case, Mr. Barrett offered to dismiss a subpoena that required a witness to travel 335 miles to testify in Mr. Barrett's own domestic relations case, in exchange for the witness dropping a lien for attorney's costs in an unrelated matter. In another case, Mr. Barrett attempted to call his former spouse's counsel as an adverse witness, although there was no basis for his contention that the attorney and his former spouse had a personal relationship. In a third case, a legal malpractice matter in which Mr. Barrett was the defendant, he filed a special plea of immunity alleging that, because he practiced as a limited liability entity, he was not personally liable for any legal malpractice he had committed. He refused to withdraw the plea after it was demonstrated that the law did not support his position.

view Barrett opinion (pdf posted 05/14/07)*

*On November 2, 2005, the Virginia Supreme Court stayed the suspension pending appeal.

**On December 7, 2005, Mr. Barrett filed an appeal to the Virginia Supreme Court.

***On October 4, 2006, the Virginia Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the three-judge court in part and reversed in part.  The Court vacated the thirty month suspension and remanded the case for consideration of an appropriate sanction for the remaining violations.

go to opinion (pdf posted 12/7/05)

go to opinion www.courts.state.va.us (link posted 10/18/06)

****On March 28, 2007, the three-judge court imposed a twenty-four month suspension to run consecutively to the current suspension of Mr. Barrett's license.

 

October 31, 2005  * ** *** **** ***** ******

William P. Robinson, Jr., W.P. Robinson & Associates, 256 West Freemason Street, Norfolk, VA 23510-1221

VSB Docket No. 04-022-2192

On October 28, 2005, the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board suspended William P. Robinson, Jr. from the practice of law for a period of three years, effective immediately.  The board found that in handling personal injury cases of a husband and wife, Mr. Robinson failed to act competently, promptly and diligently; did not keep his clients reasonably informed about the status of their cases; and failed to protect their interests when he terminated the representations.  Among other things, the board found that Mr. Robinson's reasons for dismissing the wife's case were not well founded, that he failed to serve an insurance company he sued to obtain uninsured motorist coverage and did not advise the husband for over four years that he had dismissed his case.

*On November 2, 2005, the Virginia Supreme Court stayed the suspension pending appeal.

**On November 30, 2005, Mr. Robinson filed an appeal to the Virginia Supreme Court.

***On May 19, 2006, the Virginia Supreme Court affirmed the Disciplinary Board's decision.

****On September 20, 2006, the Virginia Supreme Court denied a rehearing of the matter.

*****On October 11, 2006, the Virginia Supreme Court affirmed their order of May 19, 2006, affirming the Disciplinary Board's decision.

******On October 24, 2006, the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board suspended Mr. Robinson's license to practice law for three years effective November 1, 2006.

go to opinion (pdf posted 11/4/05)

 

October 27, 2005

Kevin Peter Shea, 34 West Queens Way, P.O. Box 310, Hampton, Virginia 23669-0310

VSB Docket Nos. 04-010-1311 and 04-010-2610

On October 25, 2005, the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board suspended Kevin Peter Shea's license to practice law for sixty days, effective December 15, 2005, for failing to be diligent, to communicate, and to properly withdraw from a case. The board found that in one criminal defense case, Mr. Shea failed to promptly ascertain the purpose of a hearing date and request a continuance; he then withdrew from the matter without permission from the court. In a second case, the board found Mr. Shea failed to diligently pursue a criminal appeal and a habeas corpus petition, and he failed to communicate with his client. The board required Mr. Shea to refund the fee paid by one client, and barred him from taking new criminal appeal cases. If Mr. Shea violates those terms, or if any new findings of misconduct occur in a year's time, the board will impose an additional suspension of one year and one day. This was an agreed disposition of misconduct charges against Mr. Shea.

go to opinion (pdf posted 11/21/05)

 

October 27, 2005

Kenan Michael Pinkard, Post Office Box 41419, Norfolk, Virginia 23502

VSB Docket Nos. 04-021-2415, 04-021-2731, 05-021-0053

On October 25, 2005, a three-judge court sitting in Norfolk Circuit Court suspended the law license of Kenan Michael Pinkard for two years, effective November 1, 2005. The court found that Mr. Pinkard violated several professional conduct rules in a personal injury case by wrongfully obstructing a party's access to evidence, filing groundless motions, behaving rudely to court personnel and engaging in other disruptive behavior after the court admonished him. He also displayed a lack of competence in personal injury litigation. In a second case, the court found that he deliberately submitted false and excessive billing statements to the court in two guardian ad litem matters. In a third case, the court found that he used a misleading letterhead in correspondence with the courts.

go to opinion (pdf posted 12/6/05)

 

October 26, 2005

John Edward Stanley, 376 West Main Street, P.O. Box 305, Lebanon, VA 24266-0305

VSB Docket No. 04-102-3712

On October 20, 2005, the Virginia State Bar Tenth District Committee, Section II, imposed a public reprimand with terms on John Edward Stanley for lack of diligence and communication in his court-appointed representation of a criminal defendant.  John Edward Stanley must attend six hours of continuing legal education in criminal appellate practice and/or procedure, in addition to the normal CLE requirements. If he does not comply, the case will be heard by the VSB Disciplinary Board for possible further sanctions.

go to opinion (pdf posted 11/22/05)

 

October 20, 2005

Tinya Lynette Banks, Janaf Office Building, Suite 508, 5900 East Virginia Beach Blvd., Norfolk, VA 23502

VSB Docket Nos. 04-022-3710 (Cuffee), 04-022-2651 (Michailow), and 04-022-2501 (Pretlow)

On October 18, 2005, the Virginia State Bar Second District Committee, Section II, issued a public reprimand to Tinya Lynette Banks for failing to cooperate with the bar's investigation of three complaints; for failing to communicate with clients; for failing to preserve a client's advance payments until she had earned the fees; for failing to turn over a client's file upon demand; and for failing to promptly undertake a matter after being retained. The subcommittee cited substantial evidence in favor of Ms. Banks, including refunds of unearned fees. This was an agreed disposition of misconduct charges against Ms. Banks.

go to determination (pdf posted 10/24/05)

 

October 20, 2005

Jeffrey Bourke Rice, 10521 Judicial Drive, Fairfax, VA  22030

Fairfax Circuit Court Case Number 2005-2470

(Virginia State Bar Docket Numbers 04-052-0575, 04-052-3042 and 05-052-1543)

On October 19, 2005, a three-judge panel in Fairfax County Circuit Court revoked Jeffrey Bourke Rice's license to practice law. After hearing three cases presented by the Virginia State Bar, the panel found that Mr. Rice failed to place a client's personal injury settlement check into a trust account and instead converted the funds to his own use; he failed to appear for a number of court hearings and was twice arrested for failing to respond to a rule to show cause; and he failed to perfect a client's appeal in a criminal case or, alternatively, to properly file a motion to withdraw from the case.

go final order (pdf posted 2/1/06)

 

October 4, 2005

Mark Steven Weiss, 4328 Ridgewood Center Drive, Woodbridge VA, 22192

VSB Docket No. 04-053-0083

On September 29, 2005, a three-judge panel of the Prince William County Circuit Court suspended Mark Steven Weiss's license to practice law for five years. At the end of that time, he must pass the written portion of the Virginia bar examination before his license will be reinstated. The judges found that, while representing a profoundly disabled child and the child's mother in medical malpractice claims, Mr. Weiss failed to act with competence and diligence; failed to abide by client decisions; intentionally failed to carry out his contract of employment; failed to keep the clients informed regarding the legal matters; failed to handle client funds properly; initiated proceedings without merit; made false statements to a tribunal and others; disobeyed the ruling of a tribunal; and engaged in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation. This is an agreed disposition of misconduct charges against Mr. Weiss.

go to opinion (pdf posted 10/7/05)

 

September 29, 2005

Neil Edward Motter, P. O. Box 132, Brandy Station, VA 22714-0132

VSB Docket No. 05-070-3304

On September 26, 2005, the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board suspended Neil Edward Motter's license to practice law for failure to respond to a bar subpoena duces tecum.

 

September 28, 2005

Troy Aurelius Titus, Troy A. Titus, P.C. 477 Viking Drive, Suite 150, Virginia Beach, VA  23452

VSB Docket Nos.:  03-022-1772, 03-022-3476, 03-022-3706, 03-022-3852, 04-022-0381, 05-022-0189, 05-022-0235, 05-022-0371, 05-022-0537, 05-022-2907, 05-022-2966, 05-022-3081, 05-022-3879, 05-022-3984, and 05-022-4402

On September 28, 2005, the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board revoked Troy Aurelius Titus's license to practice law. The bar received notice of fifteen overdrafts involving two attorney escrow accounts and three real estate attorney trust accounts for which Mr. Titus was responsible.  Mr. Titus consented to the revocation and agreed to waive his right to petition the Supreme Court of Virginia for reinstatement. 

go to consent to revocation (pdf posted 10/03/05)    

 

September 27, 2005

Mary G. Commander, 5442 Tidewater Drive, Norfolk, VA 23509

VSB Docket Number 05-022-1733

On September 22, 2005, a panel of the Virginia State Bar Second District Committee, Section II dismissed conflict of interest charges against Mary G. Commander.

 

Robin Leitch Tolerton

5735 Poplar Hall Drive, Norfolk, VA 23502

VSB Docket No. 04-022-3461

On May 11, 2005, the Second District Committee, Section II, issued a private admonition to Robin Leitch Tolerton for neglecting a domestic relations matter and failing to respond to her client's repeated requests for information. The subcommittee found that Ms. Tolerton agreed to seek payments due under a divorce decree she had previously obtained for the client. After writing a demand letter, Ms. Tolerton took no further steps to secure the payments and failed to respond to her client's inquiries about the matter for more than six months. The private admonition became public after Ms. Tolerton appealed the sanction, and the appeal was posted on the public hearing docket. Shortly before the hearing, Ms. Tolerton dropped her appeal.

go to opinion (pdf posted 10/03/05)

 

September 26, 2005, 2005  * **

James B. Hovis, 124 West 60th Street, Apt.45-F, New York, NY 10023

VSB Docket No. 05-041-0517

On September 23, 2005, the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board suspended James B. Hovis's license to practice law for five years. The board found that Mr. Hovis knowingly disobeyed the standing rule of a tribunal; failed to respond to the Virginia State Bar's lawful demands for information in the course of the disciplinary proceedings; made false or reckless statements regarding the integrity of a judge; and engaged in deliberately wrongful acts reflecting adversely on his fitness to practice law. The findings of misconduct and the sanction are predicated upon Mr. Hovis's violation of court orders issued in New York, the contents of a letter he wrote to a judge in New Jersey and his failure to maintain a current address of record with the Virginia State Bar.

go to opinion (pdf posted 10/25/05)

*On November 21, 2005, Mr. Hovis filed an appeal to the Virginia Supreme Court.

**On March 20, 2006, the Virginia Supreme Court  dismissed the appeal.

 

September 23, 2005

Todd Jay French, 4209 Fitzhugh Avenue, Richmond, VA 23230

VSB Docket Nos. 05-033-2615, 05-033-2803, 05-033-3362, 05-033-4079, and 05-033-4132

On September 23, 2005, the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board revoked Todd Jay French's license to practice law in Virginia. The board found that Mr. French had not handled four client matters diligently and that he failed to keep his clients reasonably informed about the status of their cases. The board also found that Mr. French failed to respond to the bar's lawful demands for information about the matters. The board ruled that Mr. French knowingly disobeyed an order requiring him to notify clients, as well as opposing counsel and courts in pending litigation, that he was administratively suspended from the practice of law.

VSB Docket No. 05-033-4131 was dismissed by the Disciplinary Board.

go to opinion (pdf posted 12/9/05)

 

September 23, 2005

Starr Ilene Yoder, Esq., 2704 Elizabeth Harbor Drive, N, Chesapeake, Virginia 23321

VSB Docket Nos. 05-010-0499 and 05-010-0500

On September 23, 2005, the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board imposed a public reprimand with terms on Starr Ilene Yoder. The panel found that Ms. Yoder failed to pay employment taxes over a several-year period and improperly used her trust account to shelter her business income from tax collections. Under the terms, she must take courses on trust-account and client-fund management, hire an accountant to certify that her trust account practices comply with legal ethics rules, read a Legal Ethics Opinion on the handling of attorney's fees, and refrain from any other misconduct for a period of one year. If she does not comply with the terms, her license will be suspended for a year and a day.

go to opinion (pdf posted 10/14/05)

 

September 14, 2005

Patrick Ross Bynum, Jr., Bynum, Coleman, Goots & Muzi, L.L.P., The Lockwood Office Building, Suite 218, Mechanicsville, VA 23116

VSB Docket No. 05-033-0149

On September 13, 2005, the Virginia State Bar Third District Committee, Section III, issued a public reprimand with terms to Patrick Ross Bynum Jr. for failing to pursue a court-appointed client matter diligently and to communicate with the client. Mr. Bynum must serve a copy of the reprimand on his law firm partners.

go to opinion (pdf posted 10/03/05)

 

September 7, 2005

Gregory Thomas Casker, P.O. Box 1095, Chatham, VA 24531

VSB Docket Nos.: 05-090-2912 and 05-090-3790

On September 6, 2005, the Virginia State Bar Ninth District Subcommittee issued a public admonition to Gregory Thomas Casker for failing to notify clients in each of two criminal appeals that the appeal had been dismissed, the reasons for the dismissal, and any recourse the client might have to revive the appeal.  This was an agreed disposition of misconduct charges against Mr. Casker. 

go to determination (pdf posted 9/8/05)

 

September 1, 2005

William Madison McClenny, 4050 Jonathan's Landing Road, Cape Charles, Virginia 23310

VSB Docket Numbers 01-070-1995, 02-070-2154, 02-070-3916 and 03-070-0776

The Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board revoked William Madison McClenny's license to practice law, effective September 1, 2005--the date a three-judge circuit court was scheduled to hear misconduct charges against him. Mr. McClenny consented to the revocation. He failed to properly manage his attorney trust accounts, failed to pay all federal withholding taxes, failed to perfect a criminal appeal in a court-appointed case, and did not act on facts that could have benefited his client in another criminal case.

go to consent to revocation (pdf posted 9/8/05)

 

September 1, 2005

Kenneth Dennis Sisk, McKennon & Sisk, PLC, 406 West Franklin Street, Richmond, VA 23220.

VSB Docket No. 05-032-4386

On August 31, 2005, the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board revoked Kenneth Dennis Sisk's license to practice law. Mr. Sisk consented to the revocation and admitted the material facts in several pending allegations of misconduct. The allegations included that he appeared in federal court while his license was suspended; he lied to the court by saying he was appearing on behalf of another attorney who was counsel of record; he threatened to burn down a house, resulting in a protective order being issued; and he took personal property without authority.

go to consent to revocation (pdf posted 9/8/05)

 

August 31, 2005

Robert Bruce Brown, Robert B. Brown & Associates, P.L.C., 3500 Patterson Avenue, Richmond, Virginia 23221-0750

VSB Docket No. 06-000-0254

On August 24, 2005, the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board dismissed the impairment proceeding, without prejudice, against Robert Bruce Brown based upon Mr. Brown's agreement to certain terms and conditions.

 

August 31, 2005  * ** ***

Robert Joel Zakroff, 4337 Montgomery Avenue, Bethesda, MD  20814

VSB Docket No. 06-000-0153

On August 29, 2005, the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board suspended Robert Joel Zakroff's license to practice law, in response to the revocation of his Maryland law license by the Court of Appeals of Maryland. Mr. Zakroff was ordered to appear before the Virginia board on September 23, 2005, to show cause why his Virginia license should not be revoked.

*On September 23, 2005, the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board revoked the license of Robert Joel Zakroff.  The grounds for disbarment in Maryland were intentional dishonesty, misappropriation of client funds and a lack of candor to the tribunal.

**On November 3, 2005, Mr. Zakroff filed an appeal to the Virginia Supreme Court.

***On January 12, 2006, the Virginia Supreme Court dismissed the appeal.

go to opinion (pdf posted 12/7/05)

 

August 30, 2005  *

Bruce Wilson McLaughlin, 1110 Huntmaster Terrace, Apt.#202, Leesburg, VA 20176

VSB # 05-000-4620

On August 26, 2005 the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board recommended that the Supreme Court of Virginia grant Bruce Wilson McLaughlin's petition for reinstatement of his license to practice law. The recommendation will be filed with the court, which will take final action on McLaughlin's petition.

go to opinion (pdf posted 9/16/05)

*On November 1, 2005, the Virginia Supreme Court approved McLaughlin's petition for reinstatement and ordered that his license to practice law be reinstated.

 

August 29, 2005

Lawrence Bradford Haskin, 1816 Duke of Norfolk Quay, Virginia Beach, VA 23454

VSB Docket No. 05-000-4876

On August 26, 2005, the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board imposed a public reprimand on Lawrence Bradford Haskin for failing to make appropriate arrangements for client matters following his suspension from the practice of law on February 28, 2003, and for failing to file with the Virginia State Bar proof that he notified his clients, opposing clients and presiding judges about his suspension.

go to opinion (pdf posted 10/03/05)

 

August 29, 2005

William P. Robinson, Jr., W.P. Robinson & Associates, 256 West Freemason Street, Norfolk, VA 23510-1221

VSB Docket Nos. 05-022-1185, 05-022-1190, 05-02-1183,05-022-3986, 05-022-1189, 05-022-1187, 05-022-1188,05-022-1192, 05-022-1193, 05-022-1196, 05-022-1195,05-022-1201, 05-022-1204, 05-022-1219, 05-022-1208,05-022-1214 and 05-022-4281

On August 26, 2005, the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board found that William P. Robinson, Jr. had partially complied with the bar's subpoenae duces tecum but had not produced the fee agreements and trust account records demanded in fifteen cases. He was given until September 12, 2005, to fully comply.

go to opinion (pdf posted 9/8/05)

 

August 26, 2005

Catherine Ann Lee, Linda J. Woods, P.C., 103 East Williamsburg Road, Sandston, VA 23150-1643

VSB Docket No. 05-000-3966

On August 26, 2005, the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board suspended Catherine Ann Lee's license to practice law in Virginia indefinitely on impairment grounds.

go to opinion (pdf posted 10/03/05)

 

August 25, 2005

Michael Jackson Beattie, 9502 B Lee Highway, Fairfax, VA 22031

VSB Docket No. 04-022-1064

On August 24, 2005, the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board suspended Michael Jackson Beattie's license to practice law for 60 days for making false representations to the United States District Court in Newport News. Mr. Beattie filed for a default judgment falsely claiming asserting that he had not heard from any counsel for the defendant and that the defendant did not have counsel. The court subsequently set aside the default judgment, Beattie was also assessed monetary sanctions by the U.S. District Court, and was suspended from practicing in the Eastern District of Virginia. The Virginia State Bar suspension was an agreed disposition of misconduct charges against Mr. Beattie.

go to opinion (pdf posted 8/31/05)

 

August 5, 2005  * **

Dwayne Bernard Strothers, Esq., 130 Commerce Street, Suffolk, Virginia 23434

Suffolk Circuit Court Docket No. CL05-102 (VSB Docket Nos. 04-010-1810 and 04-010-3530)

On August 4, 2005, a three-judge panel of the Circuit Court of the City of Suffolk suspended Dwayne Bernard Strothers's license to practice law for 90 days, effective September 30, 2005. The judges found that in a divorce case Mr. Strothers failed to handle the matter competently or diligently, failed to communicate with his client, failed to deposit unearned fees and costs into a trust account, and attempted to mislead the bar investigator. In a second case involving a criminal appeal, the panel found Mr. Strothers failed to handle the matter competently and failed to communicate with his client.

*On September 13, 2005, the Virginia Supreme Court stayed the suspension pending appeal.

go to opinion (pdf posted 10/03/05)

**On October 20, 2005 Mr. Strothers filed an appeal to the Virginia Supreme Court.

 

August 2, 2005

Denny Pat Dobbins, Esq., P.O. Box 1442, Chesapeake, Virginia 23327

VSB Docket Nos. 05-010-1594 and 05-010-1595

On August 1, 2005, the Virginia State Bar First District Subcommittee issued a public reprimand to Denny Pat Dobbins.  This was an agreed disposition of misconduct charges arising from two cases where Mr. Dobbins failed to properly perfect his clients' appeals in the Court of Appeals of Virginia, and failed to notify one client of the dismissal of his appeal. Mr. Dobbins also failed to respond to the initial complaints as required by Bar Rules.

go to determination (pdf posted 8/4/05)

 

July 29, 2005  *

Charles VanEvera Hardenbergh, 304B North Main Street, Lexington, VA 24450

VSB Docket Number 06-000-0155

On July 27, 2005, the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board suspended U.S. Army Captain Charles V. Hardenbergh's license to practice law. The sanction was in response to suspension and revocation of Mr. Hardenbergh's privilege to practice before military tribunals by the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General's Office for violating military law that prohibits use of marijuana. Mr. Hardenbergh was ordered to appear before the Virginia board on August 26, 2005, to show cause why the JAG sanctions should not be imposed in the commonwealth.

*On August 26, 2005, The Disciplinary Board publicly admonished Mr. Hardenbergh for committing misconduct by illegally using marijuana.  The board also ended the suspension of his license.

go to opinion (pdf posted 9/16/05)

 

July 29, 2005  * **

Andrew Mark Steinberg, 7767 Asterella Court, Springfield, VA 22152

VSB Docket No. 06-000-0083

On July 26, 2005, the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board suspended Andrew Mark Steinberg's license to practice law. The sanction was in response to an order of the District of Columbia Court of Appeals that suspended his license there for thirty days, with reinstatement conditioned upon a demonstration of fitness to practice. The D.C. court found that Mr. Steinberg had committed misconduct by repeatedly failing to cooperate with the District of Columbia Office of Bar Counsel and failing to comply with an order of the D.C. Board on Professional Responsibility. Mr. Steinberg was ordered to appear before the Virginia board on August 26, 2005, to show cause why the D.C. sanction should not be imposed in the commonwealth.

*On August 26, 2005 the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board heard and continued this matter until September 23, 2005.

** On September 23, 2005, the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board imposed the thirty-day suspension on Andrew Mark Steinberg's license to practice law. Since his license had been suspended since July 26, 2005, the suspension has been served and his license reinstated. His District of Columbia license remains suspended.

go to opinion (pdf posted 12/7/05)

July 26, 2005 * ** ***

Nicholas Astor Pappas, 411 Chatham Square Office Park, Fredericksburg, VA 22405

VSB Docket No. 03-060-2734

On July 22, 2005, the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board suspended Nicholas Astor Pappas's license to practice law for six months for misconduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation in connection with his representation of two individuals involved in an automobile accident. Mr. Pappas entered a guilty plea to driving under the influence on behalf of the driver of the vehicle involved in the accident, then sued the driver for compensatory and punitive damages arising from injuries that a passenger in the vehicle allegedly sustained.

*On August 9, 2005, the Virginia Supreme Court stayed the suspension pending appeal.

go to opinion (pdf posted 8/19/05)

**On September 7, 2005, Mr. Pappas filed an appeal to the Virginia Supreme Court.

***On April 21, 2006, the Virginia Supreme Court reversed the Disciplinary Board decision and dismissed the case.

go to opinion (link posted 04/25/06)

 

July 25, 2005  * **

John O. Iweanoge, The Iweanoge Firm, Federal District Building #600, 1010 Vermont Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC 20005-4958

VSB Docket Nos. 04-041-1312 and 04-041-2657

On July 20, 2005, a three-judge panel of the Arlington County Circuit Court issued a public reprimand with terms to John O. Iweanoge. The judges found that he had violated rules governing competence, fairness to opposing counsel, supervision of nonlawyer assistants, and unauthorized practice of law when he instructed a paralegal employed by his office to sign his name to pleadings and to file them in the court. The judges dismissed a second disciplinary case.

go to opinion (pdf posted 8/24/05)

*On September 23, 2005 Mr. Iweanoge filed an appeal to the Virginia Supreme Court.

**Mr. Iweanoge did not file a petition for appeal within the time allowed by law and the appeal was dismissed.

 

July 25, 2005 Brian Merrill Miller, Esquire, 10482 Armstrong Street, Fairfax, VA 22030

VSB Docket No. 04-053-2586

On July 22, 2005, the Virginia State Bar Fifth District Committee, Section III, issued a public reprimand to Brian Merrill Miller.  This was an agreed disposition of misconduct charges arising from Mr. Miller's failure to act with reasonable diligence and to keep his client reasonably informed regarding a landlord-tenant matter. The committee found that Mr. Miller failed to forward the proceeds of an appeal bond to his client, and that he obstructed the bar's investigation of his client's bar complaint.

go to determination (pdf posted 8/4/05)

 

July 12, 2005

James Bell Thomas, Esq., 241 South Armistead Avenue, Hampton, Virginia 23669

VSB Docket Nos. 05-010-1103, 05-010-1521 and 05-010-1522

On July 12, 2005, the Virginia State Bar First District Committee issued a public admonition to attorney James Bell Thomas.  This was an agreed disposition of charges that, in three criminal appeals, Mr. Thomas failed to act with reasonable diligence and promptness and failed to communicate.

go to determination (posted 7/13/05)

 

July 13, 2005

Wade Anthony Jacobson, P.O. Box 70773, Richmond, Virginia 2325-0773

VSB Docket No. 05-033-3961

On July 12, 2005, the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board suspended Wade Anthony Jacobson's license to practice law for failure to respond to a bar subpoena duces tecum.

 

July 8, 2005

James Emmett Anderson, Esquire, Interchange Corporate Center, Suite 220, 3850 Gaskins Road, Richmond, VA 23233-1447

VSB Docket No. 04-033-1446

On June 14, 2005, a panel of the Virginia State Bar Third District Committee, Section III, dismissed charges of misconduct against James Emmett Anderson.

 

July 7, 2005

Henry St. John FitzGerald, Esquire, 2200 Wilson Boulevard, Suite 800, Arlington, VA 22201

VSB Docket No. 04-041-3107

On July 6, 2005, the Virginia State Bar Fourth District Committee, Section I, issued a public reprimand to attorney Henry St. John FitzGerald.  This was an agreed disposition of a misconduct charge arising from Mr. FitzGerald's failure to act with reasonable diligence and promptness in his capacity as administrator of a decedent's estate.

go to determination (posted 7/15/05)

 

July 1, 2005

David Nicholas Grimes, P.O. Box 286, Chatham, Virginia 24531

VSB Docket No. 04-090-1616

On June 24, 2005, a panel of the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board dismissed all charges of misconduct against David Nicholas Grimes.

 

July 1, 2005 

Julie Amarie Currin, Powell & Associates, PC, P.O. Box 28808, Richmond, Virginia 23228

VSB Docket Nos. 03-033-3310 and 04-033-3665

On June 27, 2005, the Virginia State Bar Third District Committee, Section III, imposed a public reprimand with terms upon Julie Amarie Currin for failing to handle an estate matter competently, having a non-refundable clause in her fee agreement, failing to keep appropriate trust account records, and lack of diligence and communication in an expungement matter. This was an agreed disposition of misconduct charges.

go to opinion (pdf posted 7/5/05)

 


Disciplinary Actions January 2002 - June 2002

Disciplinary Actions July 2001 - December 2001

Disciplinary Actions January 2001 - June 2001

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