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In re Giacomazza

Court of Appeals of Columbia District

April 23, 2015

IN RE MICHAEL A. GIACOMAZZA, Respondent. Bar Registration No. 462435

BDN: 2014-D149.

Before GLICKMAN and THOMPSON, Associate Judges, and REID, Senior Judge.

ORDER

PER CURIAM.

Respondent, a member of the Bar of this Court, was indefinitely suspended from the practice of law in Maryland, by consent, by the Maryland Court of Appeals on May 13, 2014. In the Joint Petition for Indefinite Suspension by Consent in Maryland, respondent agreed that sufficient evidence could be presented to sustain allegations that he owed $22,654.56 in child support payments and that his conduct violated Maryland Rules of Professional Conduct 8.4(a) and 8.4(d). The Joint Petition specifies that respondent " may be subject to an appropriate investigation by Bar Counsel to determine his fitness to practice law" if he desires to be reinstated.

On June 17, 2014, this Court entered an order directing respondent to show cause why identical reciprocal discipline should not be imposed, and suspending him from the practice of law pending conclusion of this reciprocal discipline matter. In his response to that order, which requests that he not be suspended, respondent outlines the serious personal hardships he has faced in recent years but does not address any of the exceptions to the imposition of reciprocal discipline that are set forth in D.C. Bar R. XI, § 11 (c) .[1] This rule establishes a rebuttable presumption of identical reciprocal discipline and " imposes a rigid standard, as to which exceptions should be rare." [2] Respondent has not shown by clear and convincing evidence that an exception to the presumption is warranted.[3]

We have held that where a foreign jurisdiction has imposed an indefinite suspension with the right to reapply for reinstatement, the appropriate reciprocal discipline in this jurisdiction is an indefinite suspension

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with the right to reapply for reinstatement in the District of Columbia following reinstatement in the foreign jurisdiction or after five years, whichever occurs first.[4] Accordingly, on consideration of the certified order indefinitely suspending respondent by consent from the practice of law in the State of Maryland, respondent's response to this court's show cause order, and Bar Counsel's statement regarding reciprocal discipline, it is

ORDERED that Michael A. Giacomazza is hereby indefinitely suspended from the practice of law with a fitness requirement and with the right to petition for reinstatement after being reinstated in Maryland, or after five years, whichever occurs first. It is

FURTHER ORDERED that for purposes of reinstatement the period of respondent's suspension runs from August 8, 2014, the date when respondent executed an affidavit complying with his obligations as a suspended attorney pursuant to D.C. Bar R. XI, § 14(g).


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