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In Re Albert R. Zarate

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA COURT OF APPEALS


September 27, 2012

IN RE ALBERT R. ZARATE, RESPONDENT

A Member of the Bar of the District of Columbia Court of Appeals (Bar Registration No. 444609)

Per curiam.

On Report and Recommendation of an Ad Hoc Hearing Committee Approving Petition for Negotiated Discipline (BDN D388-10)

Before OBERLY and EASTERLY, Associate Judges, and PRYOR, Senior Judge.

Before 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 concluded, after a limited hearing on the petition, review of a supporting affidavit from respondent, representations by respondent and Bar Counsel, an in camera review of Bar Counsel's files and records, and an ex parte meeting with Bar Counsel, that respondent's guilty plea for petit larceny in Virginia does not involve moral turpitude as developed on this record. Respondent and Bar Counsel negotiated a ninety-day suspension nunc pro tunc to December 16, 2010, and the Committee recommends adopting the sanction.

The Committee properly applied the elements adopted 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 event, properly weighed the mitigating factors, (including treatment for depression as the cited cause of the misconduct), and found that the negotiated discipline -- a ninety-day suspension -- falls within the range of discipline imposed for similar actions.*fn2

Respondent has already served the ninety-day suspension during his temporary suspension by this court pursuant to D.C. Bar R. XI, § 10 (c) and filed the affidavit required by D.C. Bar R. XI, § 14 (g).

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 Albert R. Zarate is suspended from the practice of law in the District of Columbia for the period of ninety days, nunc pro tunc to December 30, 2010, the date he filed his affidavit pursuant to D.C. Bar R. XI, § 14 (g).

So ordered.


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