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In re Mayers

Court of Appeals of Columbia District

May 21, 2015

IN RE OSCAR S. MAYERS, JR., RESPONDENT

Submitted March 11, 2015 [1]

Editorial Note:

This is an unpublished decision under D.C.App. R. 28 (h) and is of no precedential value except when used under res judicata, collateral estoppel, in a criminal action against same defendant or in a disciplinary action against the same respondent.

A Suspended Member of the Bar of the District of Columbia Court of Appeals. (Bar Registration No. 407619). On Report and Recommendation of the Board on Professional Responsibility. (BDN-515-08).

Oscar S. Mayers, Jr., pro se.

Wallace E. Shipp, Jr., Bar Counsel, Jennifer P. Lyman, Senior Assistant Bar Counsel, and Elizabeth A. Herman, Deputy Bar Counsel, were on the brief for the Office of Bar Counsel.

Before WASHINGTON, Chief Judge, and GLICKMAN, Associate Judge, and BELSON, Senior Judge.

OPINION

PER CURIAM:

The Board on Professional Responsibility (the Board) recommends disbarment of Oscar S. Mayers, Jr., respondent, based on numerous violations of the District of Columbia Rules of Professional Conduct, the most 2 serious of which is reckless misappropriation of client funds. We agree with the Board's recommendation and order that respondent be disbarred from the practice of law in the District of Columbia and that, as a condition of reinstatement, he must pay restitution in the amount of $1,500, plus interest at the legal rate from the date respondent deposited Shepard's check, to the Estate of Alexander Shepard or the Client's Security Fund.

I.

Respondent has been a member of the Bar of the District of Columbia Court of Appeals since February 6, 1987. On March 15, 2006, in connection with an unrelated disciplinary matter involving dishonesty to the court, altering evidence, and criminal activity, the Board ordered respondent, who at that time was voluntarily not practicing law, to " give Bar Counsel 90-days' advance notification of his intention to resume the practice of law . . . and to submit a medical report . . . demonstrating his fitness to resume practice" before doing so.

In April 2007, respondent consulted with Alexander Shepard, a former member of the Metropolitan Police Department of the District of Columbia (MPD), regarding a potential medical malpractice claim and potential claims against MPD. Shepard provided respondent with 1,500 pages of medical records; signed a retainer agreement; and gave respondent a check, dated April 22, 2007, in the amount of $1,500, which contained the words, " MAY-JULY 2007 MONTHLY LEGAL PYMTS PER AGREEMENT" on the memo line. Respondent conducted research and provided Shepard with legal advice regarding the viability of his claim, possible damages, the applicable statute of limitations, and the standard of care for medical malpractice cases. Respondent deposited the check into his personal account and failed to keep adequate records regarding the use of the money deposited. Respondent's account was neither a trust account nor an IOLTA account.

Respondent had not provided Bar Counsel with the required ninety-day prior notification and medical report, as required bye the Board's March 2006 order. Pursuant to the Board's recommendation in the underlying disciplinary case, this court suspended respondent's license to practice law for eighteen months, effective March 20, 2008.[2] On March 31, 2008, respondent filed an affidavit with this court in connection with his suspension, in accordance with D.C. Bar Rule XI, § 14 (g), stating that he did not have any clients, client property or papers, or active matters. He did so almost one year after his above-mentioned meeting with Shepard.

On November 5, 2008, Shepard sent a certified letter to respondent terminating their relationship after he found out that respondent's license had been suspended. Shepard requested a refund of all funds paid and that respondent mail his entire file to one Joseph Thomas within ten days. Shortly afterwards, Shepard filed a complaint with Bar Counsel stating that he had retained respondent for representation in a medical malpractice case, but he was unaware that respondent was prohibited from practicing law. On January 28, 2009, Bar Counsel requested that respondent provide an explanation of his ...


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