December 09, 1999
IN RE ANNETTE REGENT, RESPONDENT
Before Terry and Glickman, Associate Judges, and Ferren, Senior
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Per Curiam
A Member of the Bar of the District of Columbia Court of Appeals
On Report and Recommendation of the Board on Professional Responsibility
Submitted November 9, 1999
This case is before us on the Report and Recommendation of the Board on Professional Responsibility (the Board) recommending that respondent Annette Regent be disbarred from the practice of law in the District of Columbia. The Board found grounds for disbarrment based on violations of three Rules of Professional Conduct, 8.1 (a), 8.1 (b), and 8.4 (c). *fn1
Respondent was admitted to the State Bar of Hawaii and the Bar of the District of Columbia. On May 23, 1995, the Supreme Court of the State of Hawaii disbarred respondent. The charges arose from respondent's submission of false and misleading statements on her Arizona and Nevada bar applications and in the Arizona fitness investigation.
After learning of respondent's disbarrment in Hawaii, Bar Counsel filed with this court a certified copy of the Hawaii disciplinary order. On July 26, 1995, this court temporarily suspended respondent pursuant to D.C. Bar R. XI, § 11(d). This court also directed respondent to show cause why reciprocal discipline should not be imposed and ordered "the Board on Professional Responsibility . . . to recommend . . . whether identical, greater or lesser discipline should be imposed as reciprocal discipline, or whether the Board instead elects to proceed de novo." The Board ordered that reciprocal discipline not be imposed because it did not appear that respondent had received actual notice of the Hawaii disciplinary proceedings. Thereafter, Bar Counsel filed a Petition and Specification of Charges, which were served on respondent by first-class mail and certified mail at her last known address. *fn2 The Hearing Committee held a hearing on the charges at which respondent did not appear. The Hearing Committee adopted Bar Counsel's proposed findings of fact based on the uncontested evidence (which was substantially documentary in character), and concluded that the disciplinary violations were established. The Board adopted the Hearing Committee's findings.
In brief, the Hearing Committee and the Board found that in December 1991, respondent applied for admission to the Arizona Bar and swore upon oath or affirmation that her answers on the bar application were full, true, and complete in all respects. She responded falsely to specific questions, however, in a number of material respects.
Specifically, she did not disclose the following information which she was required to provide:
(1) that she was a member of the Bar of the District of Columbia;
(2) that she had applied to the California Bar and had sat for eleven California Bar examinations but had not been admitted to practice in California;
(3) that she had been charged with disturbing the peace in a criminal complaint in California; *fn3
(4) that she had been a party to three civil lawsuits; and
(5) that she had been the subject of three separate ethics complaints filed against her in Hawaii.
The Arizona Bar Committee requested respondent to provide more complete information with respect to some of the above areas, giving her repeated opportunities to correct her answers and calling her attention to apparent discrepancies. Respondent failed to remedy the incompleteness of most of her previous responses, and furnished additional false or misleading information, including statements that she had been involved in only one civil lawsuit, that she had sat for the California Bar examination only in "1981 or 1982," and that she had never been the subject of any ethical complaints. *fn4 The Arizona Bar Committee persisted in investigating respondent's application, and she eventually withdrew it before it was acted upon.
The Hearing Committee and Board further found that in January 1992, respondent completed an application for admission to the Bar of Nevada. As with her Arizona application, she swore upon oath or affirmation that her answers on the application were true and complete. On this application, respondent again failed to disclose the information set forth above. This application came to naught, as respondent did not pass the Nevada Bar examination.
The Board has recommended disbarrment. Bar Counsel has informed the court that he takes no exception to the Board's report and recommendation. Respondent has not filed any opposition to the Board's report and recommendation. *fn5 We review the Board's recommendation in accordance with D.C. Bar R. XI, § 9 (g) (1998), which states that "the Court shall accept the findings of fact made by the Board unless they are unsupported by substantial evidence of record, and shall adopt the recommended Disposition of the Board unless to do so would foster a tendency toward inconsistent Dispositions for comparable conduct or otherwise would be unwarranted." We accept the Board's recommendation; the findings that respondent violated Rules 8.1 (a), 8.1 (b) and 8.4(c) in connection with her Arizona and Nevada Bar applications are amply supported by the record. Disbarrment is an appropriate sanction under these circumstances. See In re Gilbert, 538 A.2d 742 (D.C.1988) (finding disbarrment appropriate where respondent failed to disclose material facts on his application for the Maryland Bar), cert. denied, 488 U.S. 828 (1988); accord, In re Webster, 661 A.2d 144 (D.C. 1995). Accordingly, it is
ORDERED that Annette Regent is disbarred from the practice of law in the District of Columbia, commencing on the date on which she files an affidavit in compliance with D.C. Bar R. XI, § 14 (g). Until she files her affidavit, her temporary suspension remains in effect.