Washington Lawyer - November 2018 - 44

DISCIPLINARY SUMMARIES
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Disciplinary Actions Taken
by the District of Columbia
Court of Appeals
Original Matters
In re Brigitte L. Adams. Bar No.
426034. August 30, 2018. The D.C.
Court of Appeals suspended
Adams for six months, with all
but 90 days stayed, provided that
she consents to an 18-month
period of probation, with conditions and with practice monitoring should she resume her
practice during the probationary
period. Within 30 days of the date
of the court's order of discipline,
Adams is directed to file with
the Board on Professional
Responsibility a statement certifying that she accepts the conditions of probation and agrees
that during the period of stayed
suspension, she (1) shall not
commit any other disciplinary
rule violations; (2) shall be evaluated by the D.C. Bar Lawyer
Assistance Program and sign a
limited waiver permitting that
program to confirm compliance
with this condition and cooperation with the evaluation process;
and (3) shall comply with any
recommendations of the Lawyer
Assistance Program, including
but not limited to attending and
completing additional psychotherapy during some or all of the
period of probation. Further,
Adams is removed from all panel
lists for court-appointed counsel
in D.C. Superior Court and the
D.C. Court of Appeals. The rule
violations arose in connection
with Adams's representation of
five different clients pursuing
appeals of their criminal convictions. Adams had accepted
appointment by the D.C. Court of
Appeals to represent each of

these clients pursuant to the
Criminal Justice Act. During a
period from late 2009 or early
2010 until the end of September
2010, Adams effectively abandoned the five criminal appeal
clients, failing to communicate
with them, failing to pursue their
appeals, missing briefing and
filing deadlines, and failing to
comply with multiple orders from
the court. In late September and
early October 2010, the court
vacated Adams's appointment in
each of the five cases, appointed
successor counsel, and ordered
Adams to transfer the case files to
new counsel forthwith. Adams
failed to comply with the court's
orders to transfer case files to
successor counsel. In late 2010,
Disciplinary Counsel commenced
an investigation into Adams's
handling of the five cases, but
Adams failed to respond to any
inquiries, including subpoenas.
Rules 1.1(a), 1.1(b), 1.3(a), 1.3(b)(1),
1.3(c), 1.4(a), 1.4(b), 1.16(d), 3.4(c),
5.5(a), and 8.4(d) and D.C. Bar R. XI,
ยงยง 2(b)(3) and 2(b)(4).
In re Michael L. Avery Sr. Bar No.
447083. August 2, 2018. The D.C.
Court of Appeals suspended
Avery for 60 days, with 30 days
stayed in favor of a one-year
period of probation. While
retained to represent a client in
a personal injury matter, Avery
neglected his client's case, delegating responsibility to others;
failed to investigate the accident
and the precise nature of his
client's injuries; failed to discuss
the insurer's settlement offer with
his client; settled the case
without his client's authorization;
and failed to comply with his
client's instructions to rescind the
settlement and return the settlement funds, doing so only after

the client filed a disciplinary complaint. In addition, Avery provided
misleading testimony to the
Hearing Committee. Rules 1.1(a),
1.1(b), 1.2(a), 1.3(a), 1.3(c), 1.4(a),
1.4(b), 1.4(c), and 1.15(b) (now Rule
1.15(c).
In re Seth Adam Robbins. Bar No.
471812. August 30, 2018. The D.C.
Court of Appeals suspended
Robbins for 60 days, effective 30
days from the date of the
opinion, with reinstatement conditioned on completing four
hours of ethics CLE during or
before the period of suspension
and filing with the Board on
Professional Responsibility and
Disciplinary Counsel a certificate
that he has completed the
requirement. This conflict of
interest matter arises out of a
business relationship between
(1) a government contractor
company represented by
Robbins, (2) an individual client
of Robbins's who agreed to
indemnify the government
contractor company's surety in
the event of default, and (3) a
second company in which
Robbins owned an interest and
which was performing services
for the government contractor.
Prior to the events at issue,
Robbins had represented the
individual client in four or five
different matters. The primary
issue presented was whether
Robbins also acted as the individual client's attorney here, or
whether, as Robbins contends, he
was merely presenting a business
opportunity to a friend. Robbins
represented both the government contractor company and
his former client, that his representation of his former client was
adversely affected by his representation of the government

contractor company, and that it
was likely adversely affected by
his ownership interest in the
second company. In addition,
Robbins did not obtain the
former client's informed consent
to the conflicting representations.
After the Hearing Committee
issued its report, finding that
Robbins had an attorney-client
relationship with the individual,
a Virginia court found that the
existence of the relationship had
not been proven by clear and
convincing evidence. The Virginia
court considered the written
record in the D.C. hearing, but did
not hear live testimony. The court
ruled that D.C. was not collaterally
estopped from finding that there
was such a relationship because
Disciplinary Counsel was not a
party to the Virginia proceedings.
Rules 1.4(a), 1.7(b)(2), and 1.7(b)(4).
In re Wayne R. Rohde. Bar No.
421213. August 30, 2018. The D.C.
Court of Appeals suspended
Rohde for two years with a
requirement to prove his fitness
to practice as a condition of reinstatement, and that the suspension be stayed in favor of a
three-year period of supervised
probation, on the conditions that
he (1) not commit any other disciplinary rule violations; (2)
maintain his sobriety; (3) be
subject to sobriety monitoring;
(4) meet as frequently as necessary to maintain his sobriety with
a representative of the D.C. Bar
Lawyer Assistance Program; and
(5) attend Alcoholics Anonymous
meetings as often as he, his LAP
representative, and other
involved experts deem necessary. Rohde fled the scene following his head-on collision with
another vehicle and, thereafter,
pleaded guilty to felony hit and

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44 WASHINGTON LAWYER

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NOVEMBER 2018

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http://www.dcbar.org

Washington Lawyer - November 2018

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Washington Lawyer - November 2018

Washington Lawyer - November 2018
Contents
Digital Extras
Your Voice
From Our President
Career & Professional Development
Calendar
Government & Gavel
Smart Cities: The Future of Living
I, Lawyer? Ai & the Law
Cybersecurity: Preparing for the Inevitable
Member Spotlight
Global & Domestic Outlook
Worth Reading
Media Bytes
Attorney Briefs
Ask the Ethics Experts
Disciplinary Summaries
Community & Connections
Last Word
Washington Lawyer - November 2018 - Washington Lawyer - November 2018
Washington Lawyer - November 2018 - Cover2
Washington Lawyer - November 2018 - 1
Washington Lawyer - November 2018 - Contents
Washington Lawyer - November 2018 - 3
Washington Lawyer - November 2018 - Digital Extras
Washington Lawyer - November 2018 - Your Voice
Washington Lawyer - November 2018 - From Our President
Washington Lawyer - November 2018 - 7
Washington Lawyer - November 2018 - Career & Professional Development
Washington Lawyer - November 2018 - 9
Washington Lawyer - November 2018 - Calendar
Washington Lawyer - November 2018 - 11
Washington Lawyer - November 2018 - Government & Gavel
Washington Lawyer - November 2018 - 13
Washington Lawyer - November 2018 - 14
Washington Lawyer - November 2018 - 15
Washington Lawyer - November 2018 - Smart Cities: The Future of Living
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Washington Lawyer - November 2018 - I, Lawyer? Ai & the Law
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Washington Lawyer - November 2018 - Cybersecurity: Preparing for the Inevitable
Washington Lawyer - November 2018 - 29
Washington Lawyer - November 2018 - 30
Washington Lawyer - November 2018 - 31
Washington Lawyer - November 2018 - Member Spotlight
Washington Lawyer - November 2018 - 33
Washington Lawyer - November 2018 - Global & Domestic Outlook
Washington Lawyer - November 2018 - 35
Washington Lawyer - November 2018 - Worth Reading
Washington Lawyer - November 2018 - 37
Washington Lawyer - November 2018 - Media Bytes
Washington Lawyer - November 2018 - 39
Washington Lawyer - November 2018 - Attorney Briefs
Washington Lawyer - November 2018 - 41
Washington Lawyer - November 2018 - Ask the Ethics Experts
Washington Lawyer - November 2018 - 43
Washington Lawyer - November 2018 - Disciplinary Summaries
Washington Lawyer - November 2018 - 45
Washington Lawyer - November 2018 - Community & Connections
Washington Lawyer - November 2018 - 47
Washington Lawyer - November 2018 - Last Word
Washington Lawyer - November 2018 - Cover3
Washington Lawyer - November 2018 - Cover4
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