December 22, 1993
IN RE: JOHN SPAULDING, RESPONDENT, A MEMBER OF THE BAR OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA COURT OF APPEALS
On Report and Recommendation of the Board on Professional Responsibility
Before Farrell and Wagner, Associate Judges, and Mack, Senior Judge.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Per Curiam
PER CURIAM: In its Report and Recommendation, the Board on Professional Responsibility agreed with the findings of a Hearing Committee that respondent, an attorney,
(a) violated DR 6-101 (A)(3) by neglecting a matter entrusted to him; *fn1
(b) violated DR 6-101 (A)(2) by undertaking to handle a legal matter he was not competent to handle; and
(c) violated DR 1-102 (A)(4) by engaging in conduct involving dishonesty or misrepresentation. *fn2
However, contrary to the recommendation of the Hearing Committee that the sanction be limited to public censure, the Board has recommended that respondent be suspended from the practice of law for thirty days, but that the suspension be stayed in favor of probation for a period of one year, subject to specific conditions. Respondent litigated the issues before the Hearing Committee and the Board, but has filed no exceptions in this court to the Board's Report and Recommendation.
We agree, substantially for the reasons stated by the Board, that respondent violated the disciplinary rules in the respects found by the Hearing Committee and the Board. We further hold that the sanction of probation, upon the conditions enumerated by the Board, is appropriate. See In re Charles F. Stow, III, 633 A.2d 782 (D.C. November 15, 1993) (sanction of probation appropriate even though case involved no allegation of use of or addiction to a controlled substance or to alcohol).
Accordingly, to commence within thirty days from the date of this opinion, respondent John Spaulding shall be suspended from the practice of law for a period of thirty days, but this suspension shall be stayed and instead respondent shall be placed on probation for a period of one year, conditioned upon the following terms:
(a) respondent shall not, during the probationary term, undertake any client representation in matters that he is not competent to handle;
(b) respondent shall enroll in, and complete, at least two Continuing Legal Education courses, one of which must be in the subject of professional responsibility, and shall provide written certification to Bar Counsel that he has completed these courses; and
(c) in the event that issues arise in an existing representation that involve unanticipated areas of expertise, as to which respondent doubts his competency, he shall consult with, and seek advice from, a member of the D.C. Bar with experience in such new areas, the consultation to be general in nature so as to avoid breach of any client confidence and to prevent any suggestion that the attorney consulted is in any way associated with the subject case. *fn3