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10/29/91 JAC EDWARD KNUST RESPONDENT. A MEMBER BAR

October 29, 1991

IN RE JAC EDWARD KNUST, RESPONDENT. A MEMBER OF THE BAR OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA COURT OF APPEALS


On Report and Recommendation of the Board on Professional Responsibility.

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

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Per Curiam

Jac Edward Knust, a member of the bars of Maryland and the District of Columbia, was suspended from the practice of law in Maryland on September 12, 1990, effective October 12, 1990, after the Court of Appeals of Maryland found that he had violated DR 2-106(A) (charging an excessive fee); DR 5-107(A)(1) (accepting compensation for his legal services from persons other than the client); and DR 7-101(A)(1) and (3) (failing to represent his client zealously). The Report and Recommendation of the Board of Professional Responsibility (the Board) is before us in which it recommends the imposition of reciprocal discipline pursuant to D.C. App. R. XI, § 11 (1990), nunc pro tunc. Respondent does not object to the proposed action.

We agree generally with the Board's analysis and recommendation as set forth in its report, which appears as an appendix. The applicable Bar rule provides for identical discipline unless one of five factors is demonstrated. *fn1 D.C. App. R. XI, § 11 (c). Only one of those five factors is pertinent to our consideration of this case. Identical discipline will not be imposed when "the misconduct established warrants substantially different discipline in the District of Columbia." D.C. App. R. XI, § 11 (c)(4). While this jurisdiction might have imposed a more severe sanction, it would not have been substantially different. As the Board points out, the sanction imposed is sufficiently within the range which this jurisdiction might have imposed to warrant identical discipline. In re Garner, 576 A.2d 1356, 1357 (D.C. 1990) (citing In re Hirschberg, 565 A.2d 610, 614 (D.C. 1989)). We defer to the Board's determination on the issue. See id. at 1357.

The Board cites cases supporting its Conclusion that a six-month suspension is within the range of sanctions which might have been imposed in this case. Other reported cases also support the Board's position. See, e.g., In re Delate, 579 A.2d 1177 (D.C. 1990) (six month suspension imposed for failure to deliver files and assets to client, two instances of conduct prejudicial to the administration of Justice, two instances of neglect of legal matter, and failure to seek client's lawful objectives); see also In re Whitlock, 441 A.2d 989 (D.C. 1982) (neglect of legal matters, failure to seek lawful objectives of clients, and failure to comply with court order to respond to inquiries of Bar Counsel warranted a six month suspension). Therefore, we accept the Board's recommendation for a six month suspension.

Respondent filed an affividavit that he has not practiced law in the District of Columbia after midnight, October 11, 1990. Under the circumstances, we concluded that reciprocal discipline should be imposed nunc pro tunc to October 12, 1990. *fn2 See In re Chadwick, 585 A.2d 798, 799 (D.C. 1991) (citing In re Goldberg, 460 A.2d 982 (D.C. 1983)).

Accordingly, it is ORDERED that respondent, Jac Edward Knust, is suspended from the practice of law in the District of Columbia for six months, commencing nunc pro tunc on October 12, 1990.

So Ordered.

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA COURT OF APPEALS BOARD ON PROFESSIONAL RESPONSIBILITY

Bar Docket No. 414-90

In the Matter of: JAC EDWARD KNUST, ESQ. RESPONDENT.

REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION OF THE BOARD ON PROFESSIONAL RESPONSIBILITY

I. INTRODUCTION

On September 12, 1990, the Court of Appeals of Maryland found that Respondent had violated DR 2-106 (A) (charging an excessive fee); DR 5-107 (A) (accepting compensation for his legal services from persons other than the client); and DR 7-101 (A)(1) and (3) (failing to represent a client zealously). The Court determined that the appropriate sanction was a ...


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