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In re Olivarius

Court of Appeals of Columbia District

May 15, 2014

IN RE ANN M. OLIVARIUS, RESPONDENT

Argued March 4, 2014

A Suspended Member of the Bar of the District of Columbia Court of Appeals. (Bar Registration No. 429231). (BDN-146-12).

Arthur D. Burger, for respondent.

William R. Ross, Assistant Bar Counsel, with whom Wallace E. Shipp, Jr., Bar Counsel, was on the brief, for the Office of Bar Counsel.

Before WASHINGTON, Chief Judge, FISHER, Associate Judge, and FERREN, Senior Judge.

OPINION

Fisher, Associate Judge :

Respondent Ann M. Olivarius practices from her office in London, England, where she is a licensed solicitor. She has also been admitted to the bars of Minnesota,

Page 1114

New Hampshire, New York, Virginia, and the District of Columbia. Following the revocation of respondent's admission to the bar of New York, the District of Columbia Office of Bar Counsel recommended that we impose reciprocal discipline in the form of an indefinite suspension with a fitness requirement. We conclude that reciprocal discipline is authorized by our rules, and that a roughly equivalent sanction is an eighteen month suspension with reinstatement conditioned upon respondent's completion of our mandatory course for new admittees.

I. Factual Background

On April 5, 2012, the Supreme Court of the State of New York, Appellate Division, Third Judicial Department, found respondent guilty of professional misconduct; revoked her admission to the bar; and ordered that, " effective immediately, her name is stricken from the roll of attorneys and . . . respondent is commanded to desist and refrain from the practice of law in any form[.]" In re Olivarius, 94 A.D.3d 1224, 941 N.Y.S.2d 763, 765 (N.Y.App.Div. 2012). The court also ordered that respondent " comply with the provisions . . . regulating the conduct of suspended or disbarred attorneys." Id. (citation omitted).

On October 31, 2012, after receiving a certified copy of this disciplinary order, we suspended respondent from the practice of law in the District of Columbia " pending final disposition of this proceeding." [1] See D.C. Bar R. XI, § 11 (d). Notice of this interim suspension was published in the official journal of the District of Columbia Bar. Interim Suspensions Issued by the District of Columbia Court of Appeals, Washington Lawyer, Jan. 2013, at 9 (" Olivarius was suspended on an interim basis based upon the revocation of her previously granted admission to the practice of law in New York." ).

The disciplinary action in New York stemmed from allegations that respondent had " made materially false statements and . . . failed to disclose material facts requested in connection with her application for admission to the New York State bar." Olivarius, 941 N.Y.S.2d at 764. The court found that respondent had violated four rules of the New York Code of Professional Responsibility (in effect at the time of her conduct), id., which correspond to rules 8.1 (a), 8.4 (c), 8.4 (d), and 8.4 (f) of the District of Columbia Rules of Professional Conduct. Because respondent's misconduct pertained to her 2008 bar application, the New York court revoked her admission, " but without prejudice to respondent's renewal of her application for admission[.]" [2]Olivarius, 941 N.Y.S.2d at ...


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