In re David E. Fox, Respondent.
Argued January 10, 2013
A Member of the Bar of the District of Columbia Court of Appeals (Bar Registration No. 165258)
On Report and Recommendation of the Board on Professional
David E. Fox, pro se.
William R. Ross, Assistant Bar Counsel, with whom Wallace E. Shipp, Jr., Bar Counsel, and Jennifer P. Lyman, Senior Assistant Bar Counsel, were on the brief, for the Office of Bar Counsel.
Before Washington, Chief Judge, and Fisher and Thompson, Associate Judges.
Fisher, Associate Judge
In this reciprocal discipline proceeding against respondent David E. Fox, the Board on Professional Responsibility ("Board") recommends that we impose a two-year suspension with conditions. Bar Counsel argues that respondent should receive the identical reciprocal discipline of disbarment. We adopt the Board's recommendation.
I. Factual and Procedural Background
On December 20, 2010, the Maryland Court of Appeals disbarred respondent from the practice of law. Attorney Grievance Comm 'n of Maryland v. Fox, 11 A.3d 762 (Md. 2010). This sanction was based upon findings by a judge of the Circuit Court for Montgomery County, Maryland, that respondent had violated several Maryland Rules of Professional Conduct in connection with his work on two separate personal injury matters. Id. at 766-76. In connection with one matter, his representation of Miller and Pearson, respondent was found to have violated Maryland Rules of Professional Conduct 1.1 (Competence), 1.2 (Scope of Representation), 1.3 (Diligence), 1.4 (Communication), 1.16 (Terminating Representation), and 8.4 (Misconduct). 11 A.3d at 768-70. In the other matter, the representation of Barrie, respondent was found to have violated many of the same rules. Id at 772-74. For a convenient summary of respondent's misconduct, a portion of the Board's report is included in the following paragraphs. Additional details are available in the opinion of the Maryland Court of Appeals.
A. Ronnie E. Miller and David A. Pearson
Respondent undertook the representation of two individuals, Ronnie E. Miller and David A. Pearson, who were involved in an automobile accident. He filed a complaint in March 2004 without obtaining a copy of the accident report and sent the summons to the wrong address for the defendant.  Both Mr. Miller and Mr. Pearson notified him that he had the wrong address, but Respondent did not correct the information.
In October 2004, the court sent Respondent a notice stating that the complaint was subject to being dismissed for lack of service. Respondent maintains that he never received the notice, but he never checked with the Court to determine the status of the case. The case was dismissed in December 2004. In 2006, Respondent twice attempted to re-serve the defendant, notwithstanding that the case had been dismissed. However, he never obtained the correct address and service was never effected. In addition to these difficulties, the Circuit Court found that Respondent failed to return his clients' telephone calls. When Mr. Miller finally managed to reach him, Respondent told Mr. Miller that "We've already been to court, " and terminated the call abruptly on the grounds that his voice was sore from having been in court. [Attorney Grievance Comm'n of Maryland v. Fox, 11 A.3d 762, 767 (Md. 2010)].
Mr. Pearson learned that his case had been dismissed in 2007, after he had retained a new attorney. Mr. Miller learned that the case had been dismissed in 2008, after he too had retained new counsel. When contacted by Mr. Pearson's new counsel, Respondent told him that he was trying to find the defendant and was waiting for the judge to give him a court date.Subsequently, when asked by Mr. Miller to attempt to have the dismissal set aside, Respondent refused to act on the grounds that Mr. Miller had retained new counsel. The Circuit Court found that, due to Respondent's delays, the "possibilities of reviving the case, or ...