VSB Docket No. 02-051-0044


Pursuant to Part Six, § IV, ¶ 13(G)(1)(c) of the Rules of Virginia Supreme Court, the Virginia State Bar, by Senior Assistant Bar Counsel Noel D. Sengel, Esq., and the Respondent, Harry William Mulford, Esq., hereby enter into an Agreed Disposition arising out of the above-referenced matter.
Both parties affirm that the proposed Subcommittee Determination of a Public Reprimand, a true copy of which is attached hereto and incorporated herein by reference, reflects the stipulated facts, violations, and disposition for the above-referenced matter.
Respondent understands that should the Subcommittee accept this agreed disposition by unanimous vote, the Subcommittee Determination will be signed by the Chair or Chair Designate and thereafter mailed without the necessity of any hearing or further notice to the parties. Further, it is understood and agreed by the parties hereto that should the Subcommittee refuse the agreed disposition neither party shall be bound by the stipulations or findings contained herein and this matter shall be forthwith scheduled for a hearing by the full Committee.


Noel D. Sengel
Assistant Bar Counsel

Harry William Mulford

Leslie Wayne Lickstein
Respondent's Counsel


Pursuant to Part Six, § IV, ¶ 13(G)(1)(c) of the Rules of Virginia Supreme Court, the duly convened subcommittee of the Fifth District Committee Section I of the Virginia State Bar hereby accepts the Agreed Disposition in this matter.

Date: __________ _________________________________

Date: __________ _________________________________

Date: __________ _________________________________




VSB Docket No. 02-051-0044



On the 3rd day of September, 2003, a meeting in this matter was held before a duly convened a subcommittee of the Fifth District Committee Section I consisting of Carol T. Stone, Esq., Landon T. King, and David J. Gogal, Esq., presiding.
Pursuant to Part 6, § IV, ¶ 13(G)(1)(c) of the Rules of Virginia Supreme Court, a subcommittee of the Fifth District Committee Section I of the Virginia State Bar hereby serves upon the Respondent the following Public Reprimand:

1. At all times relevant hereto the Respondent, Harry William Mulford, Esq. (hereinafter the Respondent), has been an attorney licensed to practice law in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
2. In 1989, Mary Edwards Johnson and her then husband, Larry Edwards, created separate irrevocable trusts for each of their five children. In 1997, Mr. and Mrs. Edwards divorced and their business, AAA Disposal Services, Inc., was sold to Republic Industries. In February of 1997, the Respondent became one of the trustees for the trusts for the Edwards' children. At the time of his appointment as a trustee, the Respondent was an employee and corporate counsel for Republic Industries. By May of 1998, the other trustees of the Edwards children's trusts had resigned and the Respondent was the sole trustee.

3. Thereafter, Mr. Edwards sought to appoint other trustees. A disagreement arose among Mr. Edwards, the Respondent and the attorney for trusts as to whether Mr. Edwards could appoint additional trustees to replace those who had resigned. In January of 2000, the Respondent filed a Petition for Aid and Direction in the Circuit Court of Fairfax County, asking the court to determine the following: 1) whether or not Larry Edwards had waived his right to
appoint additional trustees; and 2) whether or not Mr. Edwards orally agreed to make Mr. Mulford the sole trustee.
4. Mary Johnson and her sons Jeffrey and Kevin Edwards (adult beneficiaries of the trusts), filed a Cross-Petition against the Respondent. In the Cross-Petition, Ms. Johnson and her sons argued that the Respondent had breached his fiduciary duty to the beneficiaries, mismanaged the trusts' assets and improperly converted trust funds for his own personal benefit. They also alleged that the Respondent refused to provide full and accurate accountings to the beneficiaries as required by the trust agreements and his ethical obligations as an Virginia attorney. The Cross-Petition sought monetary damages and the removal for good cause of Respondent as trustee. The matter was tried in October of 2000 over a period of ten days.
5. At trial, it was determined that in December of 1998, the Respondent withdrew $75,000 from the trusts' bank account by writing a check to "Cash". He did not fill out the memo portion of the check. He placed these funds in his own personal investment account and made investments with them. He did not report the money as income on his 1998 individual tax return or on the trusts' tax return. In April of 1999, he returned the same amount to the trusts.
6. The Respondent claimed that he took the $75,000 from the trusts' account as a trustee's fee. He then returned the funds to the account in April of 1999 because, after speaking with the prior trustee who had received an annual fee of $40,000.00 for handling the trusts, he was not sure he was entitled to a fee at that time. However, after consulting with the trusts' attorney in July of 1999, he again paid himself a trustee's fee of $75,000.
7. In its opinion of November 15, 2000, the Court found good cause for the removal of the Respondent as trustee and ordered him to reimburse the trusts all the trustee fees he took from the trusts while he was trustee, as well as the amount that the trusts would have earned in
interest on the $75,000 that he had in his possession from December of 1998 to April of 1999.
The Court cited the following as basis for the Respondent's removal as trustee: 1) his failure to provide appropriate accountings to the beneficiaries of the trusts as required by the trust agreements; 2) his failure to provide brokerage statements to Mary Johnson, mother of the minor beneficiaries; 3) his failure to understand fully the requirement under the trust agreements for income distribution and to provide information from the tax returns of the trust to the beneficiaries; 4) his failure provide timely information to the trusts' accountants; 5) his transfer of trust funds without proper authority to do so; 6) his hiring of his father's brokerage firm to
invest large portions of the trusts' funds; 7) his decision to use margin trading to invest trust assets. The Court also found that the Respondent failed to provide a record of his time and an accounting of his trustee fees. The court specifically found that the withdrawal of the $75,000 from the trust was not conversion.
The Respondent has complied with the Court's order of November 15, 2000.

9. The Respondent has no prior disciplinary record and cooperated fully with the Bar in the investigation of this matter.


The Subcommittee finds that the following Disciplinary Rules have been violated:

DR 2-105. Fees.

(A) A lawyer's fees shall be reasonable and adequately explained to the client.

(B) The basis or rate of a lawyer's fee shall be furnished on request of the lawyer's client.

DR 6-101. Competence and Promptness.

(B) A lawyer shall attend promptly to matters undertaken for a client until completed or until the lawyer has properly and completely withdrawn from representing the client.

(C) A lawyer shall keep a client reasonably informed about matters in which the lawyer's services are being rendered.

DR 9-102. Preserving Identity of Funds and Property of a Client.

(A) All funds received or held by a lawyer or law firm on behalf of a client, estate or a ward, residing in this State or from a transaction arising in this State, other than reimbursement of advances for costs and expenses, shall be deposited in one or more identifiable trust accounts and, as to client funds, maintained at a financial institution in a state in which the lawyer maintains a law office, and no funds belonging to the lawyer or law firm shall be deposited therein except as follows:

(1) Funds reasonably sufficient to pay service or other charges or fees imposed by the financial institution may be deposited therein.

(2) Funds belonging in part to a client and in part presently or potentially to the lawyer or law firm must be deposited therein, and the portion belonging to the lawyer or law firm must be withdrawn promptly after they

are due unless the right of the lawyer or law firm to receive it is disputed by the client, in which event the disputed portion shall not be withdrawn until the dispute is finally resolved.

(B) A lawyer shall:

(3) Maintain complete records of all funds, securities, and other properties of a client coming into the possession of the lawyer and render appropriate accounts to his client regarding them.

DR 9-103. Record Keeping Requirements.

(A) Required Books and Records: As a minimum requirement, every attorney engaged in the private practice of law in Virginia, hereinafter called "attorney," shall maintain or cause to be maintained, on a current basis, books and records which establish his compliance with Disciplinary Rule 9-102. These records including all the reconciliations and supporting records required under Section (B) hereof shall be preserved for at least five years following completion of the fiduciary obligation and accounting period. For this purpose, the following books and records, or their equivalent, are required.

(1) A cash receipts journal or journals listing all funds received, the sources of the receipts and the date of receipts. Checkbook entries of receipts and deposits, if adequately detailed and bound, may constitute a journal for this purpose. If separate cash receipts journals are not maintained for fiduciary and nonfiduciary funds, then the consolidated cash receipts journal shall contain separate columns for fiduciary and nonfiduciary receipts.

(2) A cash disbursements journal listing and identifying all disbursements from the fiduciary account. Checkbook entries of disbursements, if adequately detailed and bound, may constitute a journal for this purpose. If separate disbursements journals are not maintained for fiduciary and nonfiduciary disbursements then the consolidated disbursements journal shall contain separate columns for fiduciary and nonfiduciary disbursements.

(3) Subsidiary ledger: A subsidiary ledger containing a separate account for each client and for every other person or entity from whom money has been received in trust shall be maintained. The ledger account shall by separate columns or otherwise clearly identify fiduciary funds disbursed, and fiduciary funds balance on hand. The ledger account for a client or a separate subsidiary ledger account for a client shall clearly indicate all fees paid from trust accounts.

(4) Computerized and marketed manual accounting systems: Where an attorney or firm of attorneys maintains computerized records or a manual accounting system, such system must produce the records and information required by this rule.


Accordingly, it is the decision of the Subcommittee to impose a Public Reprimand in this case, and the matter is now closed.



By __________________________________

Chair/Chair Designate


I certify that I have this _____ day of _______________________, 2003, mailed a true and correct copy of the Subcommittee Determination (PUBLIC REPRIMAND) by CERTIFIED MAIL, RETURN RECEIPT REQUESTED, to the Respondent, Harry William Mulford, Esq., at 6101 Centreville Rd., Centreville, VA 20121-2622, his last address of record with the Virginia State Bar, and a copy thereof by first class mail, postage prepaid, to Leslie Wayne Lickstein, Esq., the Respondent's Counsel, at 4126 Leonard Dr., Fairfax, VA 22030.

Noel D. Sengel