January 26, 2012
IN RE PAUL B. ROYER, RESPONDENT.
A Member of the Bar of the District of Columbia Court of Appeals (Bar Registration No. 484398)
On Report and Recommendation of an Ad Hoc Hearing Committee Approving Petition for Negotiated Discipline (BDN 345-09)
Before GLICKMAN and EASTERLY, Associate Judges, and FARRELL, Senior Judge.
Before this division of the court is the Report and Recommendation of an Ad Hoc Hearing Committee ("Committee") recommending approval of a petition for negotiated attorney discipline. See D.C. Bar Rule XI, § 12.1. The Committee initially rejected the petition, questioning whether respondent suffered from an alcohol abuse problem. Upon submission of a joint motion to re-open the record and for reconsideration filed by Bar Counsel and respondent, which contained an affidavit from respondent's former employer attesting that he never observed any behavior of the respondent suggesting a drinking problem, the Committee convened for a limited hearing. The Committee determined that respondent's conviction for second-degree theft, based upon his failure to pay a $19 cab fare, was not a crime involving moral turpitude because it was less a deliberate act for personal gain than a misguided or aberrational one connected to his consumption of alcohol that evening. The Committee properly applied the elements established in In re Rigas*fn1 to arrive at this conclusion and we find no error in the Committee's determination. Furthermore, the Committee reviewed the circumstances of the disciplinary events, properly weighed the mitigating factors, and found that the negotiated discipline - a 30-day suspension - falls within the range of discipline imposed for similar actions.*fn2 Respondent has already served the 30-day suspension during his temporary suspension by this court pursuant to D.C. Bar R. XI, § 10 (c).
In accordance with our procedures in uncontested disciplinary cases, we agree that this case is appropriate for negotiated discipline, and we accept the Committee's recommendation Accordingly, it is
ORDERED that Paul B. Royer is suspended from the practice of law in the District of Columbia for the period of 30 days, nunc pro tunc to October 21, 2010, when respondent filed his affidavit pursuant to D.C. Bar R. XI, § 14 (g) during his interim suspension, and as such the suspension provision has been satisfied.