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IN RE BLAND
July 23, 1998
IN RE PAUL C. BLAND, RESPONDENT. A MEMBER OF THE BAR OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA COURT OF APPEALS.
Before Terry, Steadman and Schwelb, Associate Judges.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Per Curiam.
Before us is a Report and Recommendation by the Board on Professional Responsibility that respondent Paul C. Bland be publicly censured. Although his practice is otherwise exclusively located in Petersburg, Virginia, respondent agreed to handle a worker's compensation matter in the District for his first cousin, *fn1 in the course of which he was found to have committed violations of ten disciplinary rules. *fn1 The Board agreed with the Hearing Committee's assessment that "[a]t bottom, the violations found reduce to facets of neglect by respondent in the course of a single representation and to use of a misleading letterhead." *fn1 The Board also noted, among other matters, respondent's previously unblemished record and the conclusion that respondent's inaction "was more a product of respondent's wishful thinking or bad judgment than a disregard of his client's interest." *fn1 The Board noted its intent that a "public censure would send the message that this Court and the general public have the right to expect that all members of this Bar will follow the rules of this Court and diligently prosecute cases that are filed in this jurisdiction, regardless of where the attorney lives and practices and regardless of the amount of the legal fee received in the performance of legal services."
We adopt the Board's unanimous recommendation that respondent be publicly censured. See In re Hill, 619 A.2d 936, 937 (D.C. 1993) (per curiam) (adopting Board's recommended sanction of public censure for neglect where no exceptions filed). While "a [714 A2d Page 788]
more severe sanction may not have been unreasonable[, n]either Bar Counsel nor [respondent] has filed an exception to the Board's Report, . . . and our review of the Board's recommendation is [thus] narrowly circumscribed." In re Shorter, 707 A.2d 1305, 1306 (D.C. 1998) (per curiam). "As we have repeatedly said, in such circumstances our review of the Board's recommendation is 'especially deferential.' " In re Delaney, 697 A.2d 1212, 1214 (D.C. 1997) (quoting In re Jeffries, 685 A.2d 1165, 1165 (D.C. 1996) (per curiam)). See also In re Ukwu, 712 A.2d 502, 503 (D.C. 1998) (per curiam). *fn2 Accordingly, it is
ORDERED, that respondent Paul C. Bland, a member of the bar of this court, be and he hereby is publicly censured by the court.
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