October 09, 2003
IN RE ROBERT BROWN PATTERSON, RESPONDENT. A MEMBER OF THE BAR OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA COURT OF APPEALS
Before Farrell and Washington, Associate Judges, and King, Senior Judge.
On Report and Recommendation of the District of Columbia Board on Professional Responsibility
Submitted September 11, 2003
On May 9, 2002, respondent pleaded guilty to the felony of stealing property in excess of $1,000 belonging to the United States Government, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 641. The matter is before this court on the recommendation of the Board on Professional Responsibility that respondent be disbarred pursuant to D.C. Code § 11-2503 (a) (2001) (disbarrment upon conviction of crime involving moral turpitude).
Disbarrment for conviction of an offense reached by § 11-2503 (a) -- i.e., involving moral turpitude -- is mandatory. See In re Spiridon, 755 A.2d 463, 466 (D.C. 2000). Respondent's executed plea agreement is proof of his criminal conviction. D.C. Bar R. XI, § 10 (f). "[A] valid guilty plea acts as a conviction of the crime charged, as well as an admission of all the material facts alleged by the government." In re Untalan, 619 A.2d 978, 981 (D.C. 1993); see also In re Shillaire, 549 A.2d 336, 343 (D.C. 1988). Having stolen property from the United States worth more than $1,000, appellant was convicted of felony theft, a crime this court has previously determined to involve moral turpitude per se. See In re Caplan, 691 A.2d 1152 (D.C. 1997) (grand theft; California statute); In re Sluys, 632 A.2d 734 (D.C. 1993) (grand larceny; New York statute); In re Slater, 627 A.2d 508 (D.C. 1993) (grand larceny; Virginia statute); In re Hopmayer, 602 A.2d 655 (D.C. 1992) (theft; New Jersey statute); In re Solerwitz, 601 A.2d 1083 (D.C. 1992) (grand larceny; New York statute).
Accordingly, respondent is hereby disbarred pursuant to § 11-2503 (a). *fn1 For purposes of reinstatement, the period of disbarrment shall not be deemed to commence until respondent files the affidavit required by D.C. Bar R. XI, § 14 (g).