May 1, 2014
IN RE STEVEN B. KELBER, RESPONDENT, A Member of the Bar of the District of Columbia Court of Appeals (Bar Registration No. 358515)
Amended May 8, 2014
Before BLACKBURNE-RIGSBY and BECKWITH, Associate Judges, and KING, Senior Judge.
On Report and Recommendation of Hearing Committee Number Five Approving Petition for Negotiated Discipline
This decision is issued as non-precedential. Please refer to D.C. Bar R. XI, § 12.1 (d) governing the appropriate citation of this opinion.
Per Curiam: Respondent, Steven B. Kelber, a member of the Bar of this Court, has admitted to violating District of Columbia Rules of Professional Conduct 8.4 (c) and (d) by making false statements and undertaking actions that interfered with the administration of justice. After respondent submitted a petition for negotiated discipline, Hearing Committee Number Five (" Committee" ) issued its Report and Recommendation approving respondent's petition. See D.C. Bar Rule XI, § 12.1. The Committee concluded, after a limited hearing on the petition, reviewing a supporting amended affidavit from respondent, considering the representations of respondent's counsel and Bar Counsel during the hearing, the testimony of respondent, an in camera review of Bar Counsel's files and records, and an ex parte meeting with Assistant Bar Counsel, that respondent violated Rules of Professional Conduct 8.4 (c) & (d) during his representation in two separate matters. In addition, the Committee concluded that the negotiated sixty-day suspension should be stayed in favor of a one-year period of unsupervised probation conditioned upon respondent not being subject to a new disciplinary complaint that results in a finding that he violated a disciplinary rule. Further, the Committee found that a fitness requirement should only be imposed in the event respondent does not successfully complete his probation.
We agree with the Committee's recommendation because it properly applied D.C. Bar XI 12.1 (c) 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, acknowledged the deterring impact of a prior suspension on his practice and found that the negotiated discipline - a sixty-day suspension - falls within the range of discipline imposed for similar actions. As the recommendation is to stay imposition of any sanction in lieu of one-year of unsupervised probation conditioned upon respondent not violating a disciplinary rule in a jurisdiction in which he is licensed, the affidavit required by D.C. Bar R. XI, § 14 (g) is not required. However, we also agree with the imposition of a fitness requirement if, during the period of his probation, respondent violates any disciplinary rule in a jurisdiction in which he is licensed.
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 Steven B. Kelber is suspended from the practice of law in the District of Columbia for the period of sixty days, stayed in favor of a one-year period of unsupervised probation and said probation is conditioned upon respondent not being the subject of a disciplinary complaint that results in a finding that he violated a disciplinary rules of any jurisdiction in which he is licensed. In the event that respondent does not successfully complete probation, he shall be suspended for sixty days and required to demonstrate fitness to practice law as a condition to reinstatement.
So ordered .