April 18, 2002
IN RE JEFFREY M. FORD, RESPONDENT.
A MEMBER OF THE BAR OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA COURT OF APPEALS
Before Terry, Farrell, and Washington, Associate Judges.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Per Curiam
On Order of the Board on Professional Responsibility
Argued March 19, 2002
This disciplinary matter is before this court on an Order of the Board of Professional Responsibility (Board), dismissing the Hearing Committee's finding of professional misconduct by Respondent. The Board concluded that Bar Counsel's charges that Respondent failed in his duty of competent representation, in violation of D.C. Rules of Prof'l Conduct 1.1 (a) *fn1 and 1.1 (b), *fn2 for errors found in a probate petition, were not supported by substantial evidence in the record. Bar Counsel has filed an exception to the Board's Order, arguing that Respondent should be informally admonished.
Substantially for the reasons stated in the Board's Order, we accept the Board's recommendation to dismiss the charges against Respondent. *fn3 Our decisions imposing discipline for incompetent representation have required proof of deficiency more serious than that demonstrated here. See In re Shorter, 707 A.2d 1305, 1306 (D.C. 1998) (noting that the conduct of respondent was serious and that respondent had a record of prior discipline); see also In re Bland, 714 A.2d 787 (D.C. 1998) (per curiam) (illustrating that serious deficiencies in the preparation of a particular case, as opposed to mere careless errors, rise to the level of ethical misconduct); see also In re Sumner, 665 A.2d 986, 989 (D.C. 1995) (per curiam) (holding that the unexcused failure to make required filings, caused by a lack of competence, in a criminal appeal, unquestionably violates D.C. Rules. of Prof'l Conduct 1.1 (a) and 1.1 (b)).