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IN RE GOLDBERG

District of Columbia Court of Appeals.


December 24, 1998

IN RE JAMES M. GOLDBERG, RESPONDENT. A MEMBER OF THE BAR OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA COURT OF APPEALS.

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

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

Respondent James M. Goldberg, who had a management position in his law firm, commingled certain law firm operating funds with funds in the firm's escrow accounts for a brief period in October 1995. By such commingling, Goldberg violated "[o]ne of the most basic rules of fiduciary conduct," embodied in D.C. Rule of Professional Conduct 1.15(a) (clients' property must be held separately from lawyer's own property). See In re Hessler, 549 A.2d 700, 700 (D.C. 1988). Goldberg subsequently enrolled himself voluntarily in a D.C. Bar class on Ethics and Lawyers Trust Accounting. Cf. In re Millstein, 667 A.2d 1355, 1356 (D.C. 1995) (per curiam) (imposing an ethics course attendance requirement as part of discipline for commingling).

The Board on Professional Responsibility (Board) recommends that respondent, James M. Goldberg, be publicly censured, a sanction consistent with that imposed in other cases of commingling violations. See, e.g., In re Teitelbaum, 686 A.2d 1037 (D.C. 1996) (per curiam); In re Parsons, 678 A.2d 1022 (D.C. 1996) (per curiam). Neither Bar Counsel nor respondent has filed any exception to this recommendation. "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 D.C. Bar R. XI, § 9(g). *fn1 Accordingly, it is

ORDERED that respondent James M. Goldberg be and he hereby is publicly censured by the court. [721 A2d Page 936]


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