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In re Zdravkovich

September 11, 2003

IN RE DUSHAN S. ZDRAVKOVICH, RESPONDENT.
A MEMBER OF THE BAR OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA COURT OF APPEALS



On Report and Recommendation of the Board on Professional Responsibility Bar Docket 15-01

Before Steadman, Schwelb and Ruiz, Associate Judges.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Steadman, Associate Judge

Argued April 22, 2003

Before us is one of our frequent reciprocal discipline proceedings. Respondent Dushan S. Zdravkovich ("Zdravkovich") has been indefinitely suspended in Maryland. The Board on Professional Responsibility ("Board") has recommended that Zdravkovich be reciprocally disciplined by a suspension of nine months from the practice of law in the District of Columbia, and that he be required to demonstrate fitness prior to reinstatement. We reject Zdravkovich's exceptions to this recommendation and impose the recommended sanction.

A.

On December 4, 2000, the Maryland Court of Appeals indefinitely suspended respondent Zdravkovich from the practice of law in Maryland based on its determination that respondent had violated the following Maryland Rules of Professional Conduct in his representation of two clients in related litigation: 1.1 (competence), 1.3 (diligence), 1.4 (communication), 1.5 (fees), 3.1 (meritorious claims and contentions), and 8.4 (d) (conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice). The details of the events leading to his sanction in Maryland are spelled out at length in the published opinion, Attorney Grievance Comm'n of Maryland v. Zdravkovich, 762 A.2d 950 (Md. 2000), and we need not recount them herein. *fn1

As we regularly do in cases in which an attorney is suspended in another jurisdiction, we entered an interim order on February 12, 2001, suspending Zdravkovich from the practice of law in this jurisdiction pursuant to D.C. Bar. R. XI, § 11(d), and referred the matter to the Board. This routine order asked the Board to hear from Bar Counsel and Zdravkovich and, thereafter, to recommend to this court whether identical, greater, or lesser discipline should be imposed as reciprocal discipline or whether the Board instead would proceed de novo pursuant to Rule XI, § 11. *fn2

Rule XI, § 11(c) establishes the standards for reciprocal discipline and provides as follows:

Reciprocal discipline shall be imposed unless the attorney demonstrates, by clear and convincing evidence, that:

(1) The procedure elsewhere was so lacking in notice or opportunity to be heard as to constitute a deprivation of due process; or

(2) There was such infirmity of proof establishing the misconduct as to give rise to the clear conviction that the Court could not, consistently with its duty, accept as final the conclusion on that subject; or

(3) The imposition of the same discipline by the Court would result in grave injustice; or

(4) The misconduct established warrants substantially different discipline in the ...


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