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In re Chang

Court of Appeals of Columbia District

January 23, 2014

In re Sandy CHANG, Respondent. A Suspended Member of the Bar of the District of Columbia Court of Appeals (Bar Registration No. 989203).

Submitted Nov. 26, 2013.

Page 764

Bernard J. DiMuro, Alexandria, VA, for respondent.

Wallace E. Shipp, Jr., Bar Counsel, and Jennifer P. Lyman, Senior Assistant Bar Counsel, and Joseph C. Perry, Senior Staff Attorney, filed a statement regarding reciprocal discipline for the Office of Bar Counsel.

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

PER CURIAM:

Respondent, Sandy Chang, is a member of the Bar of the District of Columbia, having been admitted by motion on August 10, 2009. On January 23, 2013, the District of Columbia Office of Bar Counsel notified this court that respondent had been disciplined in multiple jurisdictions as a result of misconduct in over twenty-one bankruptcy cases where she appeared as the attorney of record. Respondent was suspended from practicing law for a period of one year before, respectively, the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Virginia on November 16, 2011, and the United States District Court for the District of Maryland on November 26, 2012. In addition, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia imposed a one-year reciprocal suspension in August, 2012.

Bar Counsel now recommends that this court impose reciprocal suspension for two years with reinstatement conditioned upon a showing of fitness. This court temporarily suspended respondent from the practice of law in the District of Columbia at the outset of these proceedings, beginning March 27, 2013, pending final disposition of this proceeding. We now impose reciprocal discipline of two years suspension from practice, with reinstatement conditioned upon a showing of fitness.

I.

On May 6, 2011, a bankruptcy judge in the United States District Court for the District of Maryland requested that an inquiry be conducted regarding respondent's representation of clients. Other concerns arose and disciplinary proceedings were commenced. The Disciplinary Panel found numerous irregularities and reported:

All of the Certificates of Credit Counseling filed by Ms. Chang were filed electronically using her login and password. Apparently, she provided that login and password to the former car salesman who made the alterations and entered the documents on her behalf. This is, however, a distinction without a difference and only goes to the question of mitigation of sanction. By authorizing an employee to utilize her login and password, she became personally responsible for whatever was filed.

The Panel also found that " as a result of [respondent's] mismanagement of her office and failure to supervise an employee [who] filed numerous altered documents on her behalf, she failed both directly and indirectly in her obligations to her clients and to the courts in which these cases were filed." On November 26, 2012, the United States District Court for the District of Maryland suspended respondent from practice for one year, and required respondent to file monthly status reports

Page 765

of her activities, and engage the services of a mentor to supervise her practice.

In 2011, the Office of the United States Trustee initiated an investigation in involving respondent's handling of cases in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. In eight separate cases where respondent was attorney of record, it appeared that the dates of credit counseling certificates had been altered, and, in a different case, a client's signature on a petition for relief had been forged. On November 16, 2011, pursuant to stipulation, respondent was suspended from ...


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