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In re Massagli

District of Columbia Court of Appeals


March 01, 2001

IN RE EDWARD C. MASSAGLI, RESPONDENT.

Before Steadman and Schwelb, Associate Judges, and King, Senior Judge.

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 January 11, 2001

On December 18, 1998, the Court of Appeals of Maryland indefinitely suspended respondent Edward C. Massagli by consent from the practice of law in the State of Maryland. *fn1 Attorney Grievance Comm'n of Md. v. Massagli, 721 A.2d 698 (Md. 1998). Respondent's reinstatement in Maryland is conditioned on his: (1) having completed a course of professional responsibility or legal ethics at an accredited law school prior to petitioning for reinstatement; (2) reimbursing a client an unearned fee of $2,400.00; (3) participating in twelve hours of continuing legal education courses in each of the first two years after reinstatement; and (4) hiring a practice monitor to oversee his practice for two years. *fn2

The petition for indefinite suspension by consent, which respondent filed jointly with the Attorney Grievance Commission of Maryland, indicated that respondent was charged by Maryland Bar Counsel with failing to represent a client diligently, failing to communicate with the client, failing to terminate a representation, and failing to refund an unearned fee. The joint petition also indicated that respondent "has had problems accomplishing difficult tasks and routine matters" since his mother suffered a massive stroke in December 1995, that his father-in-law became seriously ill and came to reside with respondent in 1996, and that respondent "believes he may suffer from `situational depression' and since September 1996, has struggled to prevent a `downhill spiral'."

In light of the fact that the record of the Maryland proceedings does not describe the nature of the conduct sufficiently to enable the Board to determine what period of suspension might be appropriate in this jurisdiction, the Board recommends reciprocal discipline of an indefinite suspension with the right to apply for reinstatement after he is reinstated in Maryland or after five years, whichever occurs first, and upon a showing of fitness. *fn3 The Board further recommends that, if reinstated, respondent be supervised by an attorney monitor for a period of two years, and be required to complete twelve hours of continuing legal education in each of his first two years after reinstatement. Bar Counsel has informed the court that she takes no exception to the Board's report and recommendation. Respondent has not filed any opposition to the Board's report and recommendation.

We recently imposed this type of sanction in two very similar cases that were also uncontested. See In re Slattery, No. 98-BG-1500 (D.C. February 8, 2001); In re Blades, No. 98-BG-1850 (D.C. February 1, 2001). Given the presumption in favor of identical reciprocal discipline and our limited scope of review in uncontested bar discipline cases, we adopt the Board's recommendation. See In re Zilberberg, 612 A.2d 832, 834 (D.C. 1992); In re Goldsborough, 654 A.2d 1285 (D.C. 1995). Accordingly, it is

ORDERED that Edward C. Massagli is indefinitely suspended from the practice of law in the District of Columbia. He may apply for reinstatement after he is reinstated in Maryland or after five years, whichever occurs first. Reinstatement in the District of Columbia shall be conditioned on respondent's proof of his fitness to practice law. *fn4 Reinstatement shall be further conditioned on respondent's employment, at his own expense, of an attorney monitor for a period of two years, and on his completion of twelve hours of continuing legal education in each of his first two years of practice after reinstatement. *fn5 Finally, we note that respondent has not filed the affidavit required by D.C. Bar R. XI, § 14. We direct respondent's attention to the requirements of that rule and their effect on his eligibility for reinstatement. See D.C. Bar R. XI, § 16 (c).

So ordered.


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