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Disciplinary Actions Taken by the
Virginia State Bar

July 1999 - December 1999

 

December 30, 1999*

Joseph Dee Morrissey, Morrissey & Hershner, P.L.C., Seven South Adams Street, Richmond, VA 23220-5601

Chancery No. HK-1655

On December 29, 1999, a three judge panel of the Circuit Court of the City of Richmond ruled that attorney Joseph Dee Morrissey's license to practice law in the Commonwealth of Virginia shall be suspended for three years for ethical misconduct. The court found that Mr. Morrissey's criminal contempt of court on two different occasions violated Disciplinary Rule 1-102(A)(3), which prohibits a lawyer from committing a crime or other deliberately wrongful act that reflects adversely on the lawyer's fitness to practice to law. The court also found that Mr. Morrissey had violated Disciplinary Rule 7-105(A) by disregarding a standing rule of a tribunal. Mr. Morrissey's three-year suspension shall become effective upon entry of an order by the court.

*On March 27, 2000, the Supreme Court of Virginia granted Mr. Morrissey's petition to stay the three-year suspension ordered by the Circuit Court of the City of Richmond pending his appeal to the court.

 

December 29, 1999

Robert Brown Patterson, P.O. Box 2051, Middleburg, VA 20118.

VSB Docket No. 98-070-1736

On December 17, 1999, the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board imposed a 90-day suspension effective January 1, 2000, against the Respondent, Robert Brown Patterson. Based upon evidence stipulated by the bar counsel and counsel for the respondent, the Disciplinary Board finds that the respondent, having received a certified mailing notifying him that his license to practice law was suspended for nonpayment of his state bar dues, appeared before the Circuit Court of Loudoun County representing a client on a criminal charge. This action is found to violate DR 1-102(A)(3). The Disciplinary Board further finds that when questioned by the judge of that court concerning the judge's understanding that the respondent's license had been suspended, the respondent replied to the judge, "This is news to me, Your Honor." The Disciplinary Board finds such a statement made to the Court was a knowing misrepresentation in violation of DR 1-102(A)(4).

 

December 29, 1999

William Thomas Stone, Stone and Associates, P.C., P.O. Box HB, Williamsburg, VA 23187-3606

VSB Docket Nos. 97-060-1199, 97-060-2990, 98-060-2819, 99-060-2952

William Thomas Stone petitioned the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board to surrender his license to practice law in Virginia with disciplinary charges pending on December 27, 1999. The board accepted the petition and revoked his license on December 28, 1999. Summaries of the charges will be forwarded to the Virginia Supreme Court.

 

December 20, 1999

Sherman William Everlof, Jr., 7 Wall Street, P.O. Box 557, Warrenton, VA 20186.

VSB Docket No. 99-070-0652

On December 17, 1999, the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board revoked the license of Sherman William Everlof, Jr., for violations of DR 1-102(A)(3), DR 1-102(A)(4), DR 6-101(B), DR 7-101(A), DR 9-102(B)(4) and DR 9-103, arising out of Mr. Everlof's misuse of trust funds during a period of excessive use of alcohol. The Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board had summarily suspended the law license of Mr. Everlof by order dated December 2, 1998. On November 24, 1998, the Circuit Court of the County of Fauquier granted bar counsel's petition for the immediate inspection of any and all records, documents, and physical or other evidence belonging to Mr. Everlof, and that a receiver be appointed and an injunction be entered pursuant to VA. CODE ANN. Sections 54.1-3900.01 and 54.1-3936 (A) and (B). Patricia Woodward, Esquire, was appointed to receive all funds or property belonging to or subject to the control of Mr. Everlof, and to take whatever action was necessary to protect the interests of Mr. Everlof's clients until they could obtain other counsel. The Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board summary suspension order was entered pursuant to the Rules of the Supreme Court of Virginia, Part 6, Section IV, Paragraph 13 (C)(5)(b). A hearing was set at which time Mr. Everlof was required to show cause why his law license should not be further suspended or revoked. Continuances of the hearing date were granted, and Mr. Everlof's license remained suspended.

 

December 7, 1999

Thomas Eldridge Byrum, 2145 Old Greenbrier Road, Chesapeake, VA 23320-2635.

VSB Docket No. 97-021-1958

Thomas Eldridge Byrum petitioned the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board to surrender his license to practice law in Virginia with disciplinary charges pending on December 6, 1999. The Board accepted the petition and revoked his license on December 6, 1999. Summaries of the charges will be forwarded to the Virginia Supreme Court.

 

December 7, 1999*

Luther Cornelius Edmonds, Suite 604, Little Neck Towers, 3500 Virginia Beach Boulevard, Virginia Beach, Virginia 23452

VSB Docket No. 00-000-1271

The Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board summarily suspended the law license of Mr. Edmonds by order dated November 30, 1999. Mr. Edmonds was convicted by a jury on November 24, 1999 in Alexandria Circuit Court of unlawful wounding and unlawfully wearing a mask, both of which are felonies. A hearing will be set at which Mr. Edmonds will be required to show cause why his law license should not be further suspended or revoked. The summary suspension order was entered pursuant to the Rules of the Supreme Court of Virginia, Part 6, Section IV, Paragraph 13 (E).

*On December 13, 1999, the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board granted a general continuance. Mr. Edmonds' license remains suspended until further order of the board.

 

December 2, 1999

Michael Dana Eberhardt, 429 North Main Street, Suffolk, Virginia 23434-4424

VSB Docket No. 98-010-0557

The First District Committee convened to determine whether Mr. Eberhardt complied with the terms and conditions of a Private Reprimand with Terms issued by agreement on October 8, 1998. The Committee found that Mr. Eberhardt did not comply with the agreed upon terms and that his explanations for failing to do so were not satisfactory. Accordingly, the Committee imposed the alternate sanction of a Public Reprimand, adopting the stipulations from the October 8, 1998 disposition. Specifically, in August of 1995, Mr. Eberhardt accepted a $2,500 fee to represent a disabled individual in a divorce. Following a Commissioners hearing in 1996, Mr. Eberhardt took no further action in the matter. The client and his sister, both residents of North Carolina, attempted to contact Mr. Eberhardt on several occasions, but he did not return their calls. As a result, the client wrote to the Virginia State Bar in August of 1997, asking for help. The Virginia State Bar then wrote to Mr. Eberhardt, but he did not respond. On December 3, 1997, Mr. Eberhardt advised a Virginia State Bar investigator that he was in the process of preparing a detailed letter to the client advising him of the status of the case. The client, however, never received or heard anything further from Mr. Eberhardt, and had no idea of the status of his case. The Committee found that Mr. Eberhardt violated DR 6-101(B), (C), and (D) of the Code of Professional Responsibility, and issued the Public Reprimand.

 

November 16, 1999

Paul M. Lipkin, Esquire, Goldblatt, Lipkin & Cohen, P.C., Suite 300, 415 Saint Paul's Boulevard, Norfolk, Virginia 23510-2410

VSB Docket No. 97-022-2189

This matter came before a panel of the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board, which convened on October 20, 1999, to hear a proposed agreed disposition based on stipulated facts and Disciplinary Rule violations. The misconduct involved Mr. Lipkin's actions as Trustee of the Sylvia M. Bayard Marital Trust. In his capacity as Trustee, Mr. Lipkin made a series of loans from the trust funds to individuals or entities to whom he had personal ties, including companies substantially owned by his son. For a number of these loans, there was either no collateral or the collateral was inadequate and many of the borrowers could not have qualified for conventional financing to obtain the loans. A number of the borrowers ultimately defaulted on their loans, and for several of these loans, the trust records did not show that Mr. Lipkin had taken reasonable actions to try to collect the past due loans. Mr. Lipkin had conflicts of interest as Trustee when he made some of these loans. The beneficiary of the trust, Ms. Bayard, had to sue Mr. Lipkin in order to get him to deliver her trust assets to her. However, Mr. Lipkin thereafter compensated Ms. Bayard from his own personal funds (even though he was insured for his acts) for all losses sustained as a result of his handling of the trust.

The agreed disposition, which the Disciplinary Board accepted, stipulates that the Bar could prove by clear and convincing evidence that Mr. Lipkin violated Disciplinary Rules 5-105(B) and (C), 6-101(A) and (B), 7-101(A)(3), 7-105(A) and 9-102(B)(4).

The agreed sanction is a three year suspension of the Respondent's license to practice law, effective November 19, 1999, if the Respondent complies with certain terms. The alternate sanction, in the event that the Respondent does not comply with the terms, would be revocation of the Respondent's license to practice law.

 

November 1, 1999

Carroll Eugene Smith, 2020 Lafayette Boulevard, Fredericksburg, VA 22401-2226.

VSB Docket No. 97-060-1365

On October 27, 1999, the Disciplinary Board imposed a Public Reprimand against the Respondent, Carroll Eugene Smith, after accepting an Agreed Disposition between Mr. Smith and the Bar. During 1996, Mr. Smith engaged in a consensual, sexual relationship with a client, whom he was representing at the time in a divorce case. The client's divorce proceedings involved issues of child custody, child support, spousal support and division of marital property. Mitigating factors included the fact that the client was not harmed in her divorce proceedings by her sexual relationship with Mr. Smith and he handled her divorce case in an expeditious manner. Moreover, Mr. Smith had no prior disciplinary record. The Board found that Mr. Smith had violated Disciplinary Rules 1-102(A)(3) and 5-101(A).

 

November 1, 1999

William Gething Dade, P.O. Box 845, Fredericksburg, VA 22404-0845.

VSB Docket No. 97-060-2390

On October 27, 1999, the Disciplinary Board imposed a Public Reprimand against the Respondent, William Gething Dade, after accepting an Agreed Disposition between Mr. Smith and the Bar. Mr. Dade failed to timely respond to a Request for Admissions submitted by an adverse party to his client. It was conceded that the client was ultimately not harmed by Mr. Dade's failure to file a timely response. Mr. Dade also failed to file, in a timely manner, a notice of appeal on behalf of his client, the petition for appeal and the trial transcript, and failed to notify opposing counsel of the filing of the transcript. As a result, the Virginia Supreme Court dismissed his client's appeal. The Disciplinary Board found that Mr. Dade had violated Disciplinary Rules 6-101(A) and (B).

 

October 25, 1999

Philip Clyde Sessoms, Jr., Sessoms & Sessoms, P.C., 7841 Painted Daisy Drive, Springfield, VA 22152.

VSB Docket Nos. 98-060-1803 and 99-060-0719

Philip Clyde Sessoms, Jr., petitioned the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board to surrender his license to practice law in Virginia with disciplinary charges pending on October 19, 1999. The Board accepted the petition and revoked his license on October 20, 1999. Summaries of the charges will be forwarded to the Virginia Supreme Court.

 

October 18, 1999

Jerome A. Coyle, III, 2210 Executive Drive, Hampton, VA 23666-2430.

VSB Docket No. 97-010-2143

Jerome A. Coyle, III, Esquire, appeared before the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board on October 15, 1999. Mr. Coyle and the Bar stipulated that Mr. Coyle had violated DR 1-102(A)(3) and (4) (commission of a crime or other deliberately wrongful act and conduct involving dishonesty) and DR 7-102(A)(5) (making a knowingly false statement). The Board sanctioned Mr. Coyle by suspending his license for one (1) year effective October 15, 1999. The suspension of Mr. Coyle's license was suspended, conditioned upon completion of the following: (1) Mr. Coyle was to engage the services of the Virginia State Bar Lawyers Malpractice Insurance Committee's Risk Management Program to assess the appropriateness of his office procedures and file retention policies; (2) make full restitution to the Commonwealth and (3) attend six hours of continuing legal education in ethics.

 

October 13, 1999

Douglas Fredericks, 870 North Military Highway, Suite 229, Norfolk, Virginia 23502-3638

VSB Docket No. 96-021-0282

A summary of the Agreed Disposition and Subcommittee Determination (Public Reprimand with Terms) is as follows: between June of 1992 and September 1993, Mr. Fredericks improperly handled monies in conjunction with another attorney, such monies being trafficked through their trust accounts, and failed to keep adequate trust account records for the time required, in violation of DR 1-102(A)(3) and (4) , Dr 9-102(A)(1) and (2), and 9-103(A)(1-4).

October 4, 1999

Robert Victor Semon, 4 Charlene Court, Yorktown, VA 23692.

VSB Docket No. 99-060-0960

Robert Victor Semon petitioned the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board to surrender his license to practice law in Virginia with disciplinary charges pending on September 29, 1999. The Board accepted the petition and revoked his license on September 30, 1999. Summaries of the charges will be forwarded to the Virginia Supreme Court.

September 29, 1999

Charles Jefferson McCall, 13709 Harbourwood Road, Midlothian, Virginia 23112.

VSB Docket No. 94-033-1883

On September 8, 1999, the Third District Committee, Section III, held a show cause hearing in the above-styled manner to determine whether Mr. McCall had complied with the terms of a private reprimand, imposed on February 10, 1998, for Mr. McCall's violation of DRs 6-101(B), 9-102(B)(3) and 9-103. The committee found that Mr. McCall has failed to attend to client matters promptly, to preserve the identity of client funds and to comport with record keeping requirements in connection with his duties as court-appointed guardian for certain wards. Pursuant to the Private Reprimand with Terms imposed by the committee, no later than June 1, 1998, Mr. McCall was to obtain at his own expense a certified public accountant to review his trust account records, render a written report to the bar as to whether the records complied with applicable rules, take any steps necessary to bring the records into compliance and to file any outstanding fiduciary accountings. By his own admission, Mr. McCall failed to comply with the terms relating to his trust account records. Accordingly, the district committee imposed the alternate sanction of a public reprimand on September 17, 1999.

September 29, 1999

Steven Morton Oser, 79 East Windsor Boulevard, Post Office Box 656, Windsor, Virginia 23487

VSB Docket No. 97-010-0279

The First District Committee convened to determine whether Mr. Oser violated any of the terms and conditions of a Private Reprimand with Terms imposed following a hearing on July 31, 1997. The Committee determined that Mr. Oser did not comply with the terms within the time period specified, and his explanations for failing to do so were not to the satisfaction of the Committee. Accordingly, the Committee imposed the alternate sanction of a Public Reprimand, adopting the findings from the July 31, 1997 hearing. Specifically, Mr. Oser perfected a criminal appeal on behalf of a court-appointed client, but failed to file the Petition for Appeal on time. Accordingly, the appeal was dismissed at the first tier of appeal. Mr. Oser requested a rehearing of the decision to dismiss, but the Court denied it. Mr. Oser, however, did not inform his client and took no further action in the matter. The client wrote to him on four occasions during the following six months, but Mr. Oser never responded. He did tell the client's mother something to the effect that the client could seek habeas corpus relief for a delayed appeal because of Mr. Oser's mistake, but this was about six months after the dismissal. Having heard nothing from Mr. Oser, the client wrote to the Court of Appeals himself and learned about the dismissal of his appeal for the first time about six months after the dismissal. Mr. Oser never furnished his client with copies of file records he requested. The Committee held that Mr. Oser violated DR 2-108(C) and DR 6-101(B) and (C).

September 27, 1999

Ava Maureen Sawyer, P.O. Box 3602, Reston, VA 20195.

VSB Docket No. 95-052-1280

On September 24, 1999, the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board revoked the license of Ava Maureen Sawyer for multiple violations of the Code of Professional Responsibility. The Virginia State Bar alleged that Ava Maureen Sawyer withdrew from her trust account the sum of $93,823 of client funds and transferred that amount to her operating account while a dispute existed concerning her entitlement to that amount. The state bar further alleged that Ms. Sawyer has failed to respond to a Rule to Show Cause and as a result, an a capias was issued for her arrest and that such a capias has been outstanding since 1995. Ms. Sawyer admitted that she transferred client funds from her trust account while a dispute existed concerning her entitlement to those funds. Ms. Sawyer claims that she failed to respond to the Rule to Show Cause because she did not want to consent to the court's jurisdiction and that since 1995, she has known about, and has actively avoided execution of the a capias, which she considers a void and invalid court order. The Disciplinary Board concluded Ms. Sawyer violated Disciplinary Rules 1-102(A)(3) and (4), 2-105(C), 9-102(A)(2) and 9-102(B)(4).

*On February 6, 2001, the Virginia Supreme Court affirmed the Disciplinary Board's order revoking Ms. Sawyer's license to practice law in the Commonwealth.

September 22, 1999

John Marshall Wright, Jr., P.O. Box K-231, Richmond, Virginia 23288-0001.

VSB Docket Nos. 97-031-2312; 98-031-1501; 99-031-0422; 99-031-0809

John Marshall Wright, Jr., petitioned the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board to surrender his license to practice law in Virginia with disciplinary charges pending effective September 22, 1999. The Board accepted the petition and revoked his license on September 22, 1999. Summaries of the charges will be forwarded to the Virginia Supreme Court.

 

September 15, 1999

Eli S. Chovitz, St. Paul Building, Suite #503, 125 St. Paul's Boulevard, Norfolk, VA 23510

VSB Docket #98-021-0768

On August 12, 1999, the Second District Committee--Section I held a hearing and found that Eli S. Chovitz violated DR 1-102(A)(4) by making a material misrepresentation, DR 6-101(B) by neglecting a client matter, DR 6-101(C & D) by failing to communicate with his client, DR 2-108(C) by not continuing to represent his client until he had properly withdrawn from the representation, and DR 2-108(D) by failing to take steps to protect his client's interest. The committee imposed a Public Reprimand.

September 10, 1999

William Cloud Hicklin, IV, 9717 Kerry Lane, Richmond, Virginia 23233.

VSB Docket Nos. 98-090-1527; 99-090-0970; 99-090-0984; 99-090-1621; 99090-2283; 99-090-2566; 99-090-2571; 99-090-2828; 00-090-0015; 00-090-0537

William Cloud Hicklin, IV, petitioned the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board to surrender his license to practice law in Virginia with disciplinary charges pending on September 9, 1999. The Board accepted the petition and revoked his license on September 9, 1999. Summaries of the charges will be forwarded to the Virginia Supreme Court.

 

September 8, 1999

Sa'ad El-Amin, El-Amin & Crawford, P.C., 4221 Chamberlayne Avenue, Richmond, Virginia 23227.

In the Circuit Court of the City of Richmond (Manchester Division), Case No. MC4992. VSB Docket Nos. 93-032-2204; 95-032-0957; 95-032-1011; 95-032-1204

On May 19 and 20, 1998, a three judge panel convened in the Circuit Court of the City of Richmond, Manchester Division, suspended Mr. El-Amin's license to practice law in the Commonwealth of Virginia, after finding that in the cases presented Mr. El-Amin violated several disciplinary rules, including committing a deliberately wrongful act; engaging in conduct involving fraud, deceit and misrepresentation; failing to handle and account for client funds in the proper manner; and failing to attend to client matters promptly. The suspension was stayed pending Mr. El-Amin's appeal to the Supreme Court of Virginia. On April 16, 1999, the Supreme Court of Virginia affirmed the four year suspension. On July 13, 1999, the Supreme Court of Virginia denied Mr. El-Amin's motion to stay issuance of the mandate pending his appeal to the United States Supreme Court and directed the three judge panel to set the effective date of the suspension. On August 30, 1999, the three judge panel ordered that Mr. El-Amin's four year suspension shall commence on October 1, 1999, at 5:00 p.m, and that Mr. El-Amin shall provide notice of the suspension by certified mail to clients, opposing attorneys and, in pending litigation, to the presiding judges.

 

August 27, 1999

Karen Louise Williams, 10309 Catharpin Road, Spotsylvania, VA 22553.

VSB Docket Nos. 97-032-1430; 97-032-2112; 97-032-2113; 97-032-2276; 97-032-2348; 99-032-1166.

Karen Louise Williams petitioned the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board to surrender her license to practice law in Virginia with disciplinary charges pending on August 27, 1999. The board accepted the petition and revoked her license on August 27, 1999. Summaries of the charges will be forwarded to the Virginia Supreme Court.

 

August 27, 1999

Alan Edward Koczela, Suite 120, 4040 North Fairfax Drive, Arlington, VA 22203.

VSB Docket Nos. 99-051-1441; 99-051-1750; 99-051-1751; 99-051-1752; 99-051-1753; 99-051-1927; 99-051-2568; 99-051-2644; 99-051-2747; 99-051-2809; 00-051-0049 and 00-051-0069.

The Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board revoked the license of Alan Edward Koczela of Arlington, Virginia, for multiple violations of the Code of Professional Responsibility. The Disciplinary Board found Mr. Koczela engaged in deliberate wrongful acts including conversion of client funds, abandonment of clients, and a failure to maintain a required trust account. The Disciplinary Board concluded Mr. Koczela's acts and omissions resulted in violations of DR 1-102(A)(3) and (4); DR 6-101 (B) and (C); DR 7-101(A); DR 9-102(A) and (B); and DR 9-103(A) and (B).

 

August 11, 1999

John Thomas Phillips, II, P.O. Box 713, Leesburg, VA 22075-0713.

VSB Docket No. 96-022-2296

John Thomas Phillips, II, petitioned the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board to surrender his license to practice law in Virginia with disciplinary charges pending on August 10, 1999. The Board accepted the petition and revoked his license on August 11, 1999. Summaries of the charges will be forwarded to the Virginia Supreme Court.

 

August 9, 1999

Alan Edward Koczela, Suite 120, 4040 North Fairfax Drive, Arlington, VA 22203

VSB Docket Nos. 99-051-1441; 99-051-1750; 99-051-1751; 99-051-1752; 99-051-1753; 99-051-1927; 99-051-2568; 99-051-2644; 99-051-2747; 99-051-2809; 00-051-0049 and 00-051-0069

On August 6, 1999, the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board summarily suspended Alan E. Koczela's license to practice law based upon a petition showing that Mr. Koczela has engaged in a pattern of deceit and theft, neglect and abandonment of client matters, failure to communicate with clients and failure to follow proper record keeping procedures, such that Mr. Koczela's continued practice of law would pose an imminent danger to the public. Mr. Koczela stopped making disbursements to clients' creditors even though the clients had forwarded money to Mr. Koczela for that purpose. After the bar initiated an investigation, Mr. Koczela disappeared, along with many client files. The summary suspension will remain in effect until a final order is entered with regard to the alleged disciplinary rule violations, which include Disciplinary Rules 1-101(A)(3) and (4), 6-101(B) and (C), 7-101(A), and 9-102 and 103.

 

August 3, 1999

David Thomas Steckler, 1301 Princess Anne Street, Fredericksburg, VA 22401.

VSB Docket No. 97-060-2490

A three-judge panel of the Fredericksburg Circuit Court suspended David Thomas Steckler's license to practice law, after a hearing in the Stafford County Circuit Court, for one year effective July 16, 1999. The panel found that Mr. Steckler had misappropriated escrowed funds in the amount of $20,000 pursuant to the request of one of the parties to an escrow agreement, failed to disclose the misappropriation to the other party to the escrow agreement for approximately three years and drafted an addendum to a contract in which he falsely represented that the $20,000 was still being held by him in his trust account. Mr. Steckler was found to have violated DR's 1-102(A)(3) and (4), and 7-102(A)(5) and (7).

 

August 3, 1999

Carolyn Currie Eaglin, 16005 Partell Court, Bowie, MD 20716-1638.

VSB Docket No. 99-000-3195

On July 30, 1999, the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board entered an Order suspending the license of Carolyn Currie Eaglin to practice law in the Commonwealth of Virginia and further ordered that she appear before the Board on August 27, 1999, to Show Cause why her license should not be further suspended or revoked. These Orders were necessitated because effective July 25, 1999, the Court of Appeals of Maryland suspended Carolyn Currie Eaglin's license to practice law in the State of Maryland for a period of sixty (60) days.

 

July 23, 1999

Janee Deann Joslin, 1865 Bloomfield Drive, Virginia Beach, Virginia 23456.

VSB Docket No. 98-010-0202

This matter came before a panel of the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board, which convened on July 16, 1999, to hear a proposed agreed disposition based on stipulated facts and disciplinary rule violations. The misconduct involved a wrongful sexual relationship between the respondent and the complainant that occurred while the respondent was prosecuting a defendant who allegedly sexually abused the complainant when she was a minor.

The agreed disposition, which the Disciplinary Board accepted, stipulates that the bar could prove by clear and convincing evidence that the respondent’s conduct reflected adversely on her fitness to practice law and other disciplinary rule violations, including improper use of confidential information and conflicts of interest.

The agreed sanction is a five year suspension of respondent’s license to practice law in the Commonwealth of Virginia, effective August 1, 1999, with four years suspended, if the respondent complies with certain terms, including resignation of her position as Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney.

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

VSB Docket Nos. 93-070-1584, 94-070-0249, 94-070-0272, 94-070-1414

Stephen Clark Maguigan was charged with neglect, failure to communicate and trust account violations in the above-styled matters. On November 10, 1994, the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board suspended Mr. Maguigan from the practice of law in the Commonwealth of Virginia for a period of three years, with two years and six months suspended on condition of Mr. Maguigan’s compliance with certain terms. The extensive terms included, but were not limited to, counseling, continuing legal education and pro bono service.

On July 22, 1999, the Disciplinary Board conducted a hearing on a Motion to Show Cause why the alternative disposition of a three year suspension should not be imposed due to Mr. Maguigan’s failure to comply with certain terms. Mr. Maguigan did not appear at the hearing. Evidence of non-compliance was presented, and the Board imposed the alternate disposition of a two year and six month suspension commencing on July 22, 1999.

 

July 16, 1999

John Robert Spring, Jr., 44063 Rising Sun Terrace, Ashburn, VA 20147.

VSB Docket No. 99-052-0197

John Robert Spring, Jr., petitioned the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board to surrender his license to practice law in Virginia with disciplinary charges pending on July 15, 1999. The board accepted the petition and revoked his license on July 15, 1999. Summaries of the charges will be forwarded to the Virginia Supreme Court.

 

July 14, 1999

Lawrence Raymond Morton, 12720 Directors Loop, Woodbridge, VA 22192

VSB Docket No. 95-053-1488

On November 20, 1995, Lawrence Raymond Morton entered into an agreed disposition imposing a Private Reprimand with Terms, with an alternate sanction of a Public Reprimand if Mr. Morton failed to comply with the terms of the agreed disposition. The original agreed disposition found that Mr. Morton violated DR 6-101(B) and (C) and DR 7-101(A) when he failed to appear on a client's behalf at a worker's compensation hearing, and failed to return the client's telephone calls regarding the matter. The client successfully represented himself at the hearing. On June 22, 1999, the Fifth District Committee, Panel III, determined that Mr. Morton had failed to comply with the terms of the agreed disposition and imposed the alternative disposition of a Public Reprimand.

 

July 12, 1999

Garland Stuart Spangler, 101 North Main Street, P.O. Drawer D, Pearisburg, Virginia 24134-0703

VSB Docket #98-101-0193

The matter of Garland Stuart Spangler, VSB Docket No. 98-101-0193, came before a Three-Judge panel on a joint motion of the Bar and the Respondent requesting the panel accept an Agreed Disposition setting forth Stipulations of Fact, related Disciplinary Rules and a Proposed Disposition. After hearing statements of counsel, the Three-Judge panel deliberated and decided to accept the Agreed Disposition, finding that the facts supported violations of DR 6-101(A), 7-109(B) and 9-101(B) in that Respondent failed to act with competence and thoroughness of preparation in several instances, communicated with a Judge without copying that written communication to opposing counsel and accepted employment in a private matter in which he had substantial responsibility as a public employee. The Three-Judge panel imposed a Public Reprimand upon Respondent. An order reflecting the panel's ruling will be circulated for signature among counsel and the Court.

 

Disciplinary Actions January 22, 1999 - June 1999