After 34 years of litigation practice, I appreciate the report and
the tough issues the committee sought to address. This is an opportunity
for the Bar to pause and reflect on the issue as a whole, and I urge
it be considered.
 The Report may be found on the NOBC’s
Web site at www.nobc.org/nobc-aprl.pdf.
 District of Columbia Bar Rule XI,
§ 15(a) provides for appointment of an attorney to assist in the
closing of a practice “If an attorney dies, disappears, or is
suspended for incapacity or disability, and there is no partner, associate,
or other responsible attorney capable of conducting the attorney’s
affairs…” This proviso only comes into play when there is
no other attorney available to handle the attorney’s affairs.
 For more information on the D.C. Bar Senior Lawyer Public Interest
Project, visit the D.C. Bar’s Web site at www.dcbar.org/for_lawyers/pro_bono/
senior_lawyer_public_interest_project/index.cfm. See also James J. Sandman’s
Washington Lawyer column of July/August 2006, in which he discusses
the importance of a pro bono program that matches up lawyers later in
their career with younger lawyers in a pro bono setting.
 NOBC-APRL Joint Committee on Aging Lawyers Final Report, May 2007.
Disciplinary Actions Taken by the
Board on Professional Responsibility
In re Samuel R. Berger. Bar No. 167452. May 11, 2007. The Board on Professional
Responsibility recommends that the D.C. Court of Appeals disbar Berger
In re I. Lewis Libby Jr. Bar No. 950758. May 14, 2007. The Board on
Professional Responsibility recommends that the D.C. Court of Appeals
disbar Libby. Libby was found guilty by a jury in the United States
District Court for the District of Columbia of one count of obstruction
of justice, in violation of 18 U.S.C. ‘ 1503; one count of making
false statements to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, in violation
of 18 U.S.C. ‘ 1001(a)(2); and two counts of perjury, in violation
of 18 U.S.C. ‘ 1623. The court already has determined that obstruction
of justice and perjury are crimes that involve moral turpitude per se,
for which disbarment is mandatory.
In re Meldon S. Hollis. Bar No. 379671. May 25, 2007. The Board on
Professional Responsibility recommends that the D.C. Court of Appeals
deny Hollis’s petition for reinstatement.
In re John C. Pasierb. Bar No. 414458. May 11, 2007. The Board on Professional
Responsibility recommends that the D.C. Court of Appeals disbar Pasierb
In re Richard J. Dobbyn. Bar No. 432609. May 15, 2007. In three consolidated
reciprocal matters from Texas, the Board on Professional Responsibility
recommends that the D.C. Court of Appeals disbar Dobbyn. In Texas, Dobbyn
was twice suspended on consent for misconduct including neglect; failure
to communicate; conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation;
and violation of rules governing safekeeping of property. Dobbyn was
subsequently disbarred by default in Texas for misconduct including
misappropriation of entrusted funds, neglect of client matters, failing
to inform a client of deposition and court dates, failing to appear
at court hearings, purporting to enter into a settlement obliging his
client to pay $198,000 without client authority and without informing
the client of the settlement offer, failing to deliver client files
after the end of a representation, misrepresenting the status of a case
on multiple occasions, and failing to inform a client of the dismissal
of her case.
In re Edwin G. Drake. Bar No. 434136. May 25, 2007. In a reciprocal
matter from Florida, the Board on Professional Responsibility recommends
that the D.C. Court of Appeals disbar Drake, with reinstatement conditioned
upon the additional terms imposed by the Supreme Court of Florida’s
order of disbarment, including payment of restitution. Drake violated
some 26 Florida disciplinary rules in the course of his representation
of six clients. Drake misappropriated client funds, failed to maintain
minimum required trust account records, failed to utilize minimum trust
account record-keeping procedures, failed to communicate with clients,
abandoned his practice, and refused to respond to investigative inquiries
of the Florida Bar.
In re John O. Iweanoge Jr. Bar No. 439913. April 6, 2007. The Board
on Professional Responsibility recommends that the D.C. Court of Appeals
impose functionally equivalent reciprocal discipline and publicly censure
Iweanoge. The Court of Appeals of Maryland reprimanded Iweanoge based
upon a joint petition for reprimand by consent stemming from his representation
of three clients. In the first case, Iweanoge failed to appear in court
for a trial date and failed to inform his client that she needed to
appear in court. In the second case, Iweanoge failed to thoroughly prepare
his client’s landlord–tenant case and failed to obtain service
on the defendant for four years after the case was originally filed
and after his withdrawal as counsel, without informing his client. In
the third case, Iweanoge failed to appear at a court hearing, resulting
in an entry of judgment against his client.
In re Peter H. Jacoby. Bar No. 285692. May 11, 2007. In this reciprocal
matter, the Board on Professional Responsibility determined that respondent’s
act of domestic violence warranted substantially different discipline
in the District of Columbia than the censure imposed by the Supreme
Court of New Jersey. The board recommends that the D.C. Court of Appeals
suspend Jacoby for 60 days.
In re Malcolm B. Wittenberg. Bar No. 187674. May 2, 2007. In a reciprocal
matter from Virginia, the Board on Professional Responsibility recommends
that the D.C. Court of Appeals impose functionally equivalent reciprocal
discipline and disbar Wittenberg, effective immediately. The Virginia
State Bar Disciplinary Board revoked Wittenberg’s license to practice
law based on his criminal conviction in 2001 on charges of securities
fraud in the Federal District Court in San Francisco.
Disciplinary Actions Taken by the District of Columbia Court of
In re Brian O. Godette. Bar No. 433283. April 5, 2007. The D.C. Court
of Appeals recommends suspending Godette for 30 days and remands this
matter to the Board on Professional Responsibility to consider whether,
as a further condition of reinstatement, Godette should be required
to prove his fitness to practice law. Godette failed to cooperate with
Bar Counsel’s investigation and failed to comply with a board
order compelling a response. One judge dissented stating the court should
adopt the board’s recommendation of 30 days, with conditions.
Rules 8.1(b) and 8.4(d) and D.C. Bar R. XI, § 2(b)(3).
In re Kenneth L. Hall. Bar No. 421407. April 5, 2007. In a reciprocal
matter from Nevada, the D.C. Court of Appeals imposed identical reciprocal
discipline and suspended Hall for 40 days, nunc pro tunc, to July 11,
2001. The Supreme Court of Nevada based its sanction on Hallguilty plea
to gross misdemeanor child abuse and neglect.
In re Leonard W. Krouner. Bar No. 190165. April 12, 2007. The D.C.
Court of Appeals disbarred Krouner, nunc pro tunc, to May 23, 2003.
Krouner was found guilty in the Supreme Court of New York, Albany County,
of one count of insurance fraud in the third degree, in violation of
New York Penal Law ‘ 176.20; one count of grand larceny in the
fourth degree, in violation of New York Penal Law ‘ 155.30(1);
and one count of workers= compensation fraudulent practices, in violation
of New York Workers’ Comp. Law ‘ 114(1), crimes that involved
moral turpitude per se, for which disbarment is mandatory.
In re N. Frank Wiggins. Bar No. 194076. April 26, 2007. The D.C. Court
of Appeals suspended Wiggins for 60 days, with 30 days stayed, and placed
him on probation for one year, during which time he would be required
to complete a continuing legal education course in legal ethics. Wiggins
advised another lawyer that she could conceal from that lawyer=s clients
that their personal injury case had not been accepted for filing prior
to the expiration of the statute of limitations, and that she could
pay the clients from her own funds without disclosure that she was doing
so and thus lead them to believe that the case had settled and that
payment was from the defendant’s insurer. Rules 1.1(a), 1.2(e),
8.4(a), and 8.4(c). (Opinion was issued in conjunction with In re Jill
In re Marc A. Calello. Bar No. 450262. April 19, 2007. In a reciprocal
matter from New Jersey, the D.C. Court of Appeals imposed identical
reciprocal discipline and suspended Calello for three months, nunc pro
tunc, to October 19, 2006. The Supreme Court of New Jersey suspended
Calello for violating New Jersey Rules of Professional Conduct pertaining
to scope of representation, failure to communicate with client, improper
contingent fee agreements, conflict of interest, commingling, failure
to notify client or third party of receipt of funds in which they have
an interest, and requiring separate maintenance of funds in which multiple
parties have and interest.
In re John O. Iweanoge Jr. Bar No. 439913. April 6, 2007. In a consolidated
reciprocal matter from Maryland and Virginia, the D.C. Court of Appeals
imposed functionally equivalent reciprocal discipline and publicly censured
Iweanoge. The Circuit Court for Arlington County, Virginia, publicly
reprimanded Iweanoge for engaging in a pattern of conduct whereby he
authorized a nonlawyer employee to sign pleadings and endorse orders.
The Maryland court publicly censured Iweanoge for violating Maryland
Rules of Professional Conduct stemming from representation of three
In re Chirayu A. Patel. Bar No. 460469. May 17, 2007. In a reciprocal
matter from New Jersey, the D.C. Court of Appeals imposed substantially
different discipline and suspended Patel for six months, effective immediately.
The Supreme Court of New Jersey reprimanded Patel for negligent misappropriation
of client trust funds and failure to comply with record-keeping requirements.
In re Jill Johnson Pennington. Bar No. 362592. April 26, 2007. In a
reciprocal matter from Maryland, the D.C. Court of Appeals imposed nonidentical
reciprocal discipline and suspended Pennington for two years with fitness,
nunc pro tunc, to September 13, 2005. The Maryland Court of Appeals
disbarred Pennington based upon a finding of “misrepresentation[s]”
and “deceitful conduct.” While retained to represent clients
in a personal injury matter, Pennington failed to advise the clients
that due to an error that occurred with the filing of their complaint,
it was not properly docketed and that the statute of limitations now
barred their claims. Thereafter, Pennington advised the insurer that
the case could be dismissed with prejudice. Pennington was incorrectly
advised by another lawyer that she could conceal from her clients that
their personal injury case had not been accepted for filing and that
she could pay the clients from her own funds, without disclosure that
she was doing so, and thus lead them to believe that the case had settled
and that payment was from the defendant insurer. Pennington violated
Maryland Rules 1.2, 1.4, 1.7(b), 1.16(a), 8.4(c), and 8.4(d). (Opinion
was issued in conjunction with In re N. Frank Wiggins.)
In re Jeffrey N. Schwartz. Bar No. 462769. May 31, 2007. In a reciprocal
matter from Georgia, the D.C. Court of Appeals imposed identical reciprocal
discipline and suspended Schwartz for 18 months, nunc pro tunc, to October
3, 2006. The Supreme Court of Georgia suspended Schwartz for accessing,
listening to, and randomly deleting voicemail messages on the system
of his former employer, an Atlanta law firm.
In re Stephen M. Zukoff. Bar No. 365116. May 17, 2007. In a reciprocal
matter from Florida, the D.C. Court of Appeals imposed functionally
equivalent reciprocal discipline and publicly censured Zukoff. The Supreme
Court of Florida publicly reprimanded Zukoff, with conditions, for violating
Florida rules in connection with his representation of clients in a
professional malpractice case and tenet eviction case.
Informal Admonitions Issued by the Office of Bar Counsel
In re Desmond P. Brown. Bar No. 427949. March 19, 2007. Bar Counsel
issued Brown an informal admonition for failing to provide competent
and diligent representation and engaging in conduct that seriously interferes
with the administration of justice, while appointed as guardian in three
separate matters. Rules 1.1(a), 1.1(b), 1.3(a), and 8.4(d).
In re John H. Dodds. Bar No. 462324. February 9, 2007. Bar Counsel
issued Dodds an informal admonition for engaging in the unauthorized
practice of law in Arizona and thereby seriously interfering with the
administration of justice, while representing a corporation and its
owners. Rules 5.5(a) and 8.4(d).
In re Frederick D. Iverson. Bar No. 457180. March 26, 2007. Bar Counsel
issued Iverson an informal admonition based on his writing a letter
offering his wife a job as an attorney in his firm that she submitted
to her prospective employer, and acting as a professional reference
for his wife in connection with her application for employment, without
disclosing to the prospective employer their marital relationship, which
was a material fact he knew the prospective employer did not know. Rule
In re Jeffrey F. Orchard. Bar No. 439582. March 1, 2007. Bar Counsel
issued Orchard an informal admonition for failing to provide competent
representation to a client, failing to serve a client with skill and
care, failing to represent a client zealously and diligently within
the bounds of the law, and failing to keep a client reasonably informed
about the status of a matter and promptly comply with requests for information,
while appointed by the Superior Court to represent a client’s
postconviction interests. Rules 1.1(a), 1.1(b), 1.3(b), and 1.4(a).
The Office of Bar Counsel compiled the foregoing summaries of disciplinary
actions. Reports and recommendations issued by the Board on Professional
Responsibility, as well as informal admonitions issued by the Office
of Bar Counsel, are posted on the D.C. Bar’s Web site at www.dcbar.org/for_
lawyers/ethics/discipline/index.cfm. Court opinions are printed
in the Atlantic Reporter and, for decisions issued since mid-1998, are
also available online. To obtain a copy of a recent slip opinion, visit
/opinions _mojs.jsp. Please note that in some cases Bar members
may have the same name. To confirm the identity of individuals who have
been subject to discipline, contact the D.C. Bar Member Service Center
at 202-626-3475 or email@example.com.