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IN RE LEE

District of Columbia Court of Appeals.


March 5, 1998

IN RE CLIFFORD T. LEE, RESPONDENT. A MEMBER OF THE BAR OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA COURT OF APPEALS.

Before Wagner, Chief Judge, and Steadman and King, Associate Judges.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Per Curiam:

Petitioner, an attorney who was disbarred by statutory mandate for commission of crimes of moral turpitude, D.C. Code § 11-2503(a) (1995), seeks reinstatement pursuant to D.C. Bar R. XI, § 16. *fn1 Both the hearing committee assigned to his petition and the Board on Professional Responsibility unanimously recommend that his petition be denied.

"The burden of proof in a reinstatement case is on the petitioner to demonstrate by clear and convincing evidence that he or she is fit to resume the practice of law." In re Robinson, 705 A.2d 687, 689 (D.C. 1998) (internal quotation omitted). Furthermore, "[a]lthough the ultimate decision on whether an attorney is reinstated is [this court's] alone, we nonetheless give great weight to the findings and recommendations of the Board." Id. (second alteration in original) (internal quotations omitted).

In In re Roundtree, 503 A.2d 1215, 1217 (D.C. 1985), we set forth five factors that are to be considered in each reinstatement case, an analysis we have consistently applied, including "the nature and circumstances of the misconduct." Id. at 1237. *fn2 In cases involving statutory disbarment for the commission of crimes of moral turpitude, we have heightened our scrutiny of the factors beyond the nature of the crimes themselves where the misconduct is grave and "closely bound up with Petitioner's role and responsibilities as an attorney." In re Borders, 665 A.2d 1381, 1382 (D.C. 1995); In re Fogel, 679 A.2d 1052, 1054-55 (D.C. 1996). [706 A2d Page 1033]

Here, both the hearing committee and the Board conscientiously and carefully considered each of the factors and found petitioner wanting. The Board's Report and Recommendation is annexed to this opinion. Substantially for the reasons set forth therein, we agree that the petition should be, and it hereby is,

Denied.


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