November 4, 2004
IN RE DAVID ROBERSON, RESPONDENT. A MEMBER OF THE BAR OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA COURT OF APPEALS
Before Reid, Associate Judge, King and Steadman, Senior Judges.
On Report and Recommendation of the Board on Professional Responsibility (BDN 175-02)
Submitted October 12, 2004
In this reciprocal disciplinary proceeding against respondent David Roberson,*fn1 the Board on Professional Responsibility ("Board") has recommended to this court that reciprocal and identical discipline of disbarrment be imposed.
On April 5, 2001, the Supreme Court of Georgia disbarred respondent for multiple violations of Georgia's Standards of Conduct set forth in Georgia State Bar Rule 4-102, including dishonesty, failure to promptly deliver and account for trust funds (misappropriation), conflicts of interest, and charging an excessive fee, all of which arose from representation of clients in a medical malpractice case. In re Roberson, 544 S.E.2d 715 (Ga. 2001). The disbarrment order also directed respondent to make restitution to a client of all moneys he received in connection with his representation as a condition of reinstatement. On June 28, 2002, after receiving notice of this discipline, Bar Counsel notified this court. On July 15, 2002, we suspended respondent pursuant to D.C. Bar R. XI, § 11 (d) and directed the Board to recommend whether identical, greater, or lesser discipline should be imposed as reciprocal discipline, or whether the Board should proceed de novo. The Board recommends reciprocal and identical discipline of disbarrment.*fn2 Neither Bar Counsel nor respondent filed exceptions.
In its report and recommendation, the Board found that the record supported the reciprocal and identical discipline of disbarrment stating that respondent's violations of the Georgia Standard of Conduct Rules comprised violations of comparable D.C. Rules of Professional Conduct.*fn3 The Board also noted that respondent had participated in the reciprocal disciplinary proceedings conducted in Maryland, but that after a full hearing, Maryland also disbarred respondent. Respondent has not participated in proceedings before the Board, has not filed any opposition to the Board's recommendation, and has not filed the required affidavit pursuant to D.C. Bar R. XI, § 14 (g).
A rebuttable presumption exists that "the discipline will be the same in the District of Columbia as it was in the original disciplining jurisdiction." In re Goldsborough, 654 A.2d 1285, 1287 (D.C. 1995) (citing In re Zilberberg, 612 A.2d 832, 834 (D.C. 1992)). Respondent's misconduct, which was detailed in the Georgia Supreme Court order of disbarrment, includes misappropriation and dishonesty, each of which offense warrants disbarrment in this jurisdiction. See In re Addams, 579 A.2d 190, 191 (D.C. 1990) (en banc); In re Slattery, 767 A.2d 203 (D.C. 2001).
As noted, the Board in this case recommends disbarrment. No exception has been taken to its report and recommendation. Therefore, the court gives heightened deference to the Board's recommendation. See D.C. Bar R. XI, § 9 (g)(2); In re Delaney, 697 A.2d 1212, 1214 (D.C. 1997). *fn4 As we find support in the record for the Board's findings, we accept them, and adopt the sanction the Board recommended. Accordingly, it is
ORDERED that David Roberson be disbarred from the practice of law in the District of Columbia and for purposes of reinstatement the time period shall begin to run from the date respondent files his affidavit as required by D.C. Bar R. XI, § 14 (g). See In re Slosberg, 650 A.2d 1329, 1331-33 (D.C. 1994) . We also direct respondent's attention to the requirements of D.C. Bar R. XI, § 14 (g), and their effect on his eligibility for reinstatement. See D.C. Bar R. XI, § 16 (c). It is
FURTHER ORDERED that reinstatement is also conditioned on respondent's compliance with the Supreme Court of Georgia's requirement of restitution.