A Member of the Bar of the District of Columbia Court of Appeals
Before Ferren, Steadman, and Schwelb, Associate Judges.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Per Curiam
On Report and Recommendation of the Board on Professional Responsibility
PER CURIAM: Respondent was suspended from the practice of law in New Jersey for a period of three months and required to prove fitness to practice as a condition of reinstatement to the bar, as a result of having violated several Rules of Professional Conduct: 1.1(a) (a lawyer shall provide competent representation), 1.4 (a lawyer shall keep the client informed about the representation), and 1.3 (a lawyer shall represent the client zealously and diligently). On the basis of respondent's suspension by the Supreme Court of New Jersey, and pursuant to D. C. Bar Rule XI, § 11(d), this Court temporarily suspended respondent on March 6, 1991, referring the matter to the Board on Professional Responsibility to determine whether reciprocal discipline would be appropriate.
The Board concluded that the sanctions imposed by the New Jersey Supreme Court were outside the range of discipline that would be imposed in this jurisdiction for misconduct comparable to respondent's. See D.C. Bar R. XI, § 11(c)(4). Specifically, the Board concluded that while a three-month suspension was not outside the range of discipline, the added requirement of proof of fitness would not be imposed for neglect in this jurisdiction. The Board therefore recommended that we impose a three-month suspension, retroactive to March 6, 1991, the date of our temporary suspension of appellant, without the requirement to prove fitness.
We agree with the Board's Conclusions. Accordingly, we adopt the Board's recommendation and attach its report for reference as an appendix to this opinion.
Our order is premised on the assumptions* that (1) respondent complied with the requirements of D.C. Bar R. XI, § 14 requiring suspended attorneys to promptly notify their clients of the order of suspension; (2) respondent filed the required affidavit confirming compliance with D.C. Bar R. XI, § 14; and (3) said affidavit was filed within ten days after the effective date of the order of suspension, as required by D.C. Bar R. XI, § 14 (f). For purposes of reinstatement, as we interpret D.C. Bar R. 16 (c) respondent's three-month suspension must be deemed, on these assumptions, to run as of the date of temporary suspension, March 6, 1991. Rule XI, § 16 (c) provides that "a suspended attorney shall not be eligible for reinstatement until a period of time equal to the period of suspension shall have elapsed following the attorney's compliance with section 14. . . ." (Emphasis added.) We understand this to mean that if the suspended attorney complies with Rule XI, § 14 within the required ten days, the date of "compliance with section 14" shall be deemed to relate back to the date of the suspension order, rather than to the later date on which the affidavit was filed. It follows from the foregoing assumptions, therefore, that for reinstatement purposes, respondent's suspension commenced March 6, 1991.
It is therefore ORDERED that respondent shall be, and hereby is, suspended from the practice of law in the District of Columbia for a period of three months. This order is retroactive to the date of respondent's temporary suspension by this Court on March 6, 1991.
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA COURT OF APPEALS BOARD ON PROFESSIONAL RESPONSIBILITY
IN RE WILLIAM J. MULKEEN, RESPONDENT.
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION OF THE BOARD ON PROFESSIONAL RESPONSIBILITY
The procedural background and facts of this case are relatively simple. In an order dated September 17, 1990, Respondent was suspended from practice in New Jersey for three months, and required to prove fitness as a condition to reinstatement, for violations of Rules of Professional Conduct 1.1(a) (a lawyer shall provide competent representation), 1.4 (a lawyer shall keep his client informed about the representation), and 1.3 (a lawyer shall represent his client zealously and diligently). *fn1 On the basis of this action, and under Court of appeals Rule XI, Sec. 11(d), the Court ...