February 18, 1999
IN RE DAVID J. ONTELL, RESPONDENT
Before Wagner, Chief Judge, and Steadman, Associate Judge, and Kern, Senior Judge.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Per Curiam
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A Member of the Bar of the District of Columbia Court of Appeals
On Report and Recommendation of the Board on Professional Responsibility
Submitted January 26, 199
Respondent comes before this court for a second time upon charges that he has neglected legal matters on behalf of clients. See In re Ontell, 593 A.2d 1038 (D.C. 1991). In the instant case, the Board on Professional Responsibility ("Board"), in accord with the Hearing Committee ("Committee"), concluded that the respondent, David J. Ontell, violated Rules 1.1 (a) and (b); 1.3 (a), (b) and (c); 1.4 (a); 1.16 (a) and (d); and 8.4 (d) of the District of Columbia Rules of Professional Conduct by neglecting the legal matters of his clients. Accordingly, the Board recommends that this court impose a ninety-day suspension (with sixty days stayed) and "that Respondent be placed on probation for a period of one year" under the condition that a "practice monitor" appointed by the Board supervises respondent's professional conduct during his probation.*fn1
We recognize that instances of gross and persistent neglect may warrant as much as a two-year suspension. See, e.g., In re Mintz, 626 A.2d 926 (D.C. 1993). We cannot say, however, that the Board's recommendation in this case is so inconsistent with similar Dispositions as to warrant a higher penalty. D.C. Bar R. XI, § 9 (g); See In re Hutchinson, 534 A.2d 919, 924 (D.C. 1987) ("we should respect the Board's sense of equity in these matters") (citations omitted). Specifically, we note the mitigating factor of repondent's medical condition which the Board took into account when rendering its recommended sanction.*fn2 Of course, we expect the Board will make certain that the practice monitor during respondent's year of probation will report regularly to both the Board and Bar Counsel on respondent's professional conduct.
Accordingly, respondent is hereby suspended for ninety days, the final sixty of which shall be suspended contingent upon respondent's acceptance and successful completion of a one-year probation period under the supervision of a Practice Monitor, who shall be appointed by the Board and make regular reports on respondent's professional conduct to the Board and Bar Counsel.*fn3