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In re Dechowitz

District of Columbia Court of Appeals


December 23, 1999

IN RE CARY D. DECHOWITZ, RESPONDENT.

Before Schwelb and Farrell, Associate Judges, and Gallagher, Senior Judge.

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 30, 1999

Per Curiam: On May 15, 1998, this court entered an order suspending respondent Cary D. Dechowitz from the practice of law in the District of Columbia following his suspension by the Court of Appeals of Maryland. Because respondent's suspension in Maryland was based on a criminal conviction on a charge of possession with the intent to distribute marijuana, the Board on Professional Responsibility recommends that he be disbarred nunc pro tunc to March 18, 1998, when he was originally suspended in Maryland. Respondent has not filed a brief addressing moral turpitude or the final discipline to be imposed.

Once the court has determined that a particular crime of which a respondent stands convicted involves moral turpitude, the Board must recommend disbarrment. In re Colson, 412 A.2d 1160, 1165 (D.C. 1979) (en banc). We have consistently held that possession of a controlled substance with the intent to distribute involves moral turpitude per se, requiring disbarrment pursuant to D.C. Code § 11-2503 (a). See, e.g., In re Campbell, 572 A.2d 1059 (D.C. 1990). Disbarrment is therefore mandated by § 11-2503 (a).

Accordingly, respondent is disbarred, effective nunc pro tunc to May 15, 1998, the date of his interim suspension by this court. *fn1 The reciprocal matter, which is based on his suspension by the Maryland court, is dismissed as moot. *fn2

So ordered.


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