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In re Scanlan

District of Columbia Court of Appeals


January 07, 1999

IN RE ALFRED L. SCANLAN, JR., RESPONDENT. A MEMBER OF THE BAR OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA COURT OF APPEALS

Before Ruiz and Reid, Associate Judges, and King, Senior Judge.

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

On Report and Recommendation of the Board on Professional Responsibility

Submitted December 15, 199

On October 15, 1997, Alfred L. Scanlan, Jr. was suspended from the practice of law in Maryland for six months for violating an agreement regarding the division of fees in contingent fee cases that he took with him when he left one firm and joined another. *fn1 Specifically, Scanlan was found to have billed work to these contingency fee cases that neither he nor associates under his direct supervision performed in order to benefit himself under his new law firm's partnership compensation structure. Pursuant to D.C. Bar R. XI, § 11 (d), this court temporarily suspended Scanlan on November 24, 1997, the effective date of the Maryland suspension, and referred the matter to the Board on Professional Responsibility to determine the appropriateness of reciprocal discipline. *fn2 The Board recommends the imposition of reciprocal discipline, and neither Bar Counsel nor respondent has challenged this recommendation. The Board recommends that the suspension be imposed nunc pro tunc to November 24, 1997, the date Scanlan was suspended on an interim basis by this court. *fn3

Where an attorney has been subject to discipline in another jurisdiction, this court imposes reciprocal discipline unless the attorney demonstrates by clear and convincing evidence that one of the Rule XI, § 11 (c) exceptions applies. See In re Garner, 576 A.2d 1356, 1357 (D.C. 1990). Scanlan has not argued for any of these exceptions, see In re Goldsborough, 654 A.2d 1285, 1288 (D.C. 1995) (heightened deferential standard when attorney fails to contest proposed sanction), and the recommended six-month suspension is within the range of sanctions this court has imposed for fraudulent billing and handling of expenses. See, e.g., In re Appler, 669 A.2d 731 (D.C. 1995)(disbarrment for shifting fees and expenses on bills and billing clients directly to avoid payment to attorney's firm); In re Jackson, 650 A.2d 675 (D.C. 1994) (six-month suspension for dishonesty in preparation of client tax returns); In re Schneider, 553 A.2d 206 (D.C. 1989) (thirty-day suspension for altering eight credit card receipts submitted to law firm for travel reimbursement). In addition, Scanlan timely complied with D.C. Bar R. XI, § 14 which requires suspended attorneys to notify their clients of the suspension, and submit an affidavit to this court confirming their compliance. *fn4 See In re Mulkeen, 606 A.2d 136, 137 (D.C. 1992)(imposing retroactive suspension when attorney timely complies with Rule XI, § 14).

Accordingly, Alfred L. Scanlan, Jr. is hereby suspended from practice for six months, the suspension to be imposed nunc pro tunc to November 24, 1997, the original date of suspension in this jurisdiction.

So Ordered.


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