IN RE DANA W. JOHNSON, PETITIONER
Argued: September 23, 2014.
A Suspended Member of the Bar of the District of Columbia Court of Appeals. (Bar Registration No. 420592). (BDN 295-12).
Dana W. Johnson, Pro se.
Julia L. Porter, Senior Assistant Bar Counsel, with whom Wallace E. Shipp, Jr., Bar Counsel and Jennifer Lyman, Senior Assistant Bar Counsel, were on the brief for the Office of Bar Counsel.
Before GLICKMAN and BECKWITH, Associate Judges, and KING, Senior Judge.
King, Senior Judge:
This case presents the question of whether Mr. Johnson, a disbarred attorney petitioning for reinstatement, has complied with the requirement that he notify all clients of his discipline, and file an affidavit demonstrating that compliance. We conclude that he has not, and uphold the dismissal of his petition.
After the Maryland Court of Appeals disbarred petitioner Dana Johnson for conduct violating the Maryland Rules of Professional Conduct, this court imposed reciprocal discipline disbarring Mr. Johnson from the practice of law in the District of Columbia on November 27, 2002. In that opinion, we stated that since " [Mr. Johnson] has not filed the affidavit required by D.C. Bar R. XI, § 14 (g), we direct his attention to the requirements of that rule and their effect on his eligibility for reinstatement." In re Johnson, 810 A.2d 917, 917 (D.C. 2002). No " mere technicality," the affidavit required by D.C. Bar R. XI, § 14 (g) (" § 14 (g)" ) is intended to " assure the protection of clients in both non-litigated and litigated matters from any disadvantage resulting from the suspension of the attorney." In re Bowser, 771 A.2d 1002, 1010 (D.C. 2001). One of the " core requirements" of the § 14 (g) affidavit is " notice to clients." In re Hook, 912 A.2d 554, 555 (D.C. 2006). Because we find that Mr. Johnson has still failed to file a § 14 (g) affidavit " [d]emonstrating with particularity . . . that he has complied" with those requirements, he is not eligible for reinstatement. D.C. Bar R. XI, § 14 (g); D.C. Bar R. XI, § 16 (c).
Over the course of this litigation, Mr. Johnson has filed four affidavits seeking to satisfy the requirements of D.C. Bar R. XI § 14 (g). Two were filed in 2001, while the original D.C. bar discipline case was pending. In the first affidavit, Mr. Johnson says that he is " admitted to practice in the District of Columbia and the Commonwealth of Virginia." He then states: " I am currently representing an individual in arbitration under the rules of the American Arbitration Association (AAA). . . . [U]nder the rules of the AAA one need not be an attorney to undertake such representations." After Bar Counsel asserted that the first affidavit did not satisfy the requirements of § 14 (g), Mr. Johnson filed a second affidavit stating that he was admitted to practice in D.C., Virginia, and several related federal courts, and that he was " currently prosecuting no legal matters on behalf of clients in any jurisdictions." The Board on Professional Responsibility, in recommending Mr. Johnson's disbarment, found that neither affidavit complied with § 14 (g). Mr. Johnson filed exceptions to the Board's report and recommendation, but did not file a brief in this court, " despite repeated orders of this court." In re Johnson, 810 A.2d 917, 917 n.1 (D.C. 2002). We disbarred Mr. Johnson on November 27, 2002, confirming that Mr. Johnson had not filed an affidavit satisfying the requirements
of § 14 (g), and directing Mr. Johnson's attention to " the requirements of [Rule XI § 14 (g)] and their effect on his eligibility for reinstatement." Id. at 917. Following his disbarment, Mr. Johnson did not file another § 14 (g) affidavit until December 14, 2012, more than ten years later.
Mr. Johnson petitioned for reinstatement on August 13, 2012. After the Board on Professional Responsibility dismissed his petition due to failure to file a compliant § 14 (g) affidavit, Mr. Johnson filed a third affidavit, stating " I fully complied with the provisions of my suspension order and D.C. Bar R. XI, section 14(g); . . . now and at the time of my suspension I had no clients [and] thus [no] reason to satisfy the notice and delivery requirement of section 14." Bar Counsel sent a letter to Mr. Johnson on December 28, 2012, explaining that this latest affidavit still failed to explain " the uncertain nature of [Mr. Johnson's] relationship with the individual in the arbitration proceeding," and contained " ...