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12/14/90 MATTER JOSE A. SANTANA JR. RESPONDENT

December 14, 1990

IN THE MATTER OF JOSE A. SANTANA, JR., RESPONDENT


A Member of the Bar of the District of Columbia Court of Appeals; On the Report and Recommendation of the Board on Professional Responsibility

Newman and Wagner, Associate Judges, and Kern, Senior Judge.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Per Curiam

Respondent was charged with neglecting two separate legal matters entrusted to him in violation of DR 6-101(A)(3). Specifically, respondent was charged with failing to file appropriate documents, failing to communicate with clients after receiving pre-payment, and failing to notify clients of his change of address and that he was leaving town.

After an evidentiary hearing, the hearing committee found that by clear and convincing evidence, these violations had in fact occurred. The Board subsequently found that respondent violated DR 6-101(A)(3) by neglecting legal matters. Bar counsel recommended a suspension of 30 days. In addition, a requirement of restitution in the amount of $500.00 to complainant Barrantes and $250.00 to complainant Deskin representing half of prepayment, was recommended. At the hearing, respondent agreed to pay back the parties; however, it was never done.

The Board recommends that respondent be suspended for 60 days due to his failure to return fees as promised, his lack of contrition, and the harm and aggravation caused to his clients. In addition, the Board adopts the recommendation that restitution in the amount of $500.00 be ordered to Complainant Barrantes because no legal work was performed on her behalf. The Board made no recommendation regarding the return of fees to the complainant Deskin due to the fact that respondent did draft and negotiate a property settlement for her.

We accept the Board's findings of fact as supported by substantial evidence. We attach the Board's Report and Recommendation hereto and incorporate it by reference.

Accordingly, it is:

ORDERED that, pursuant to D.C. Code § 11-2502 (1989), respondent, JOSE A. SANTANA, JR., is suspended from the practice of law in the District of Columbia for 60 days. In addition, respondent is required to return fees in the amount of $500.00 to Eloisa Barrantes. This order shall be effective thirty (30) days from the date of this opinion. Respondent's attention is directed to the provisions of District of Columbia Bar Rule XI, § 14 governing disbarred and suspended attorneys.

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA COURT OF APPEALS BOARD ON PROFESSIONAL RESPONSIBILITY

Bar Docket Numbers: 304-88 and 375-88

IN THE MATTER OF: JOSE A. SANTANA, JR., RESPONDENT.

REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION OF THE BOARD ON PROFESSIONAL RESPONSIBILITY

Background

Hearing Committee Number Ten has found, as to two separate cases, that Respondent neglected legal matters entrusted to him in violation of DR 6-101(A)(3). The Hearing Committee has recommended that Respondent be suspended from the practice of law for thirty days. Except as specifically noted herein, the Board concurs in the factual findings of the Hearing Committee. We, however, disagree with the Hearing Committee recommendation for sanction and ...


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