A Member of the Bar of the District of Columbia Court of Appeals (Bar Registration No. 471057)
On Report and Recommendation of the Board on Professional Responsibility
Submitted February 2, 2012
Before GLICKMAN and FISHER, Associate Judges, and SCHWELB, Senior Judge.
In its attached Report and Recommendation, the Board on Professional Responsibility has recommended that Walter L. Blair, a member of the Bar of this court, be disbarred. We adopt the Board's recommendation.
On December 15, 2009, as more fully described in the Board's Report, Blair was convicted, inter alia, of one felony count of witness tampering, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1512 (b)(3) (2011 Supp.), and of one felony count of obstruction of justice, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1503 (a) (2000).*fn1 The events that led to Blair's convictions are set forth in detail in Walter L. Blair v. United States, 661 F.3d 755 (4th Cir. 2011) (per curiam).
In its Report and Recommendation, which was issued on July 23, 2010, the Board concluded that Blair's convictions of witness tampering and obstruction of justice involved moral turpitude per se. The Board therefore recommended that Blair be disbarred, but that this court "should defer final action until [Blair's] appeal is decided and the convictions are final." Blair did not file an exception to the Board's recommendation, nor has he filed a brief in this court.*fn2
On September 21, 2011, the Court of Appeals reversed Blair's conviction for obstruction of justice, but affirmed his conviction for witness tampering, as well as most of his convictions for other offenses. Blair filed a petition for rehearing or rehearing en banc, but on October 28, 2011, that petition was denied.*fn3 We agree with the Board that witness tampering, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1512 (b)(3), is a crime of moral turpitude per se. See In re Luvara, 942 A.2d 1125, 1127 (D.C. 2008). Accordingly, the appropriate sanction for Blair's conduct is disbarrment. In re Colson, 412 A.2d 1160, 1165 (D.C. 1979) (en banc).
For the foregoing reasons, Walter L. Blair is hereby disbarred. For purposes of reinstatement, Blair's disbarrment shall run from the date that he files an affidavit that fully complies with D.C. Bar R. XI, § 14 (g).
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA COURT OF APPEALS BOARD ON ...