Washington Lawyer - September 2019 - 42

DISCIPLINARY SUMMARIES
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Disciplinary Actions Taken by the
District of Columbia Court of Appeals
Original Matters
In re Olekanma A. Ekekwe-Kauffman. Bar No.
479967. June 27, 2019. The D.C. Court of Appeals
suspended Ekekwe-Kauffman for three years with
fitness. While retained to represent a client in a
dispute with the University of the District of
Columbia, Ekekwe-Kauffman failed to provide
competent representation; failed to represent the
client with skill and care commensurate with that
generally afforded by other lawyers; failed to
represent the client with diligence and zeal; failed
to seek the client's lawful objectives; intentionally
prejudiced the client's case and failed to communicate adequately with the client; charged an
unreasonable fee; failed to hold unearned
advanced fees in trust; failed to return unearned
legal fees; and engaged in conduct involving
dishonesty, fraud, and misrepresentation (when
Ekekwe-Kauffman fabricated an invoice that she
used as evidence in proceedings before the
Attorney/Client Arbitration Board, the Superior
Court, and the Hearing Committee and testified
falsely before the Hearing Committee). Rules
1.1(a), 1.1(b), 1.3(a), 1.3(b)(1), 1.3(b)(2), 1.4(a), 1.4(b),
1.5(a), 1.15(a), 1.15(e), 1.16(d), and 8.4(c).
In re Edward Gonzalez. Bar No. 426584. May 2,
2019. The D.C. Court of Appeals suspended
Gonzalez for one year with fitness. While retained
to represent a husband and wife in a bankruptcy
matter, Gonzalez failed to explain matters to the
extent reasonably necessary to permit his clients
to make informed decisions regarding the representation, failed to take timely steps to the extent
reasonably practicable to protect his clients' interests in connection with the termination of representation, and engaged in conduct that seriously
interfered with the administration of justice. Rules
1.4(b), 1.16(d), and 8.4(d).
In re Perlesta A. Hollingsworth Jr. Bar No. 494309.
June 13, 2019. The D.C. Court of Appeals approved
a petition for negotiated discipline and suspended Hollingsworth for six months, with three
months of the suspension stayed in favor of one
year of unsupervised probation subject to the
following conditions: (1) that Hollingsworth not
engage in any misconduct, as defined in D.C. Bar
Rule XI § 2(b), in this or any jurisdiction during his
probationary period and (2) that he complete a

continuing legal education course preapproved
by Disciplinary Counsel. The petition is based on
Hollingsworth's voluntary acknowledgment that
his mismanagement of his Interest on Lawyers'
Trust Account caused him to negligently misappropriate entrusted funds in violation of D.C. Rule
of Professional Conduct 1.15(a).
In re Paul J. Manafort Jr. Bar No. 247486. May 9,
2019. The D.C. Court of Appeals disbarred
Manafort, nunc pro tunc to February 28, 2019.
Manafort pleaded guilty to a two-count
Superseding Criminal Information that charged
him with conspiring to obstruct justice by tampering with witnesses while on pretrial release (in
violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1512(b)(1)), in addition to
other federal crimes involving moral turpitude
per se, for which disbarment is mandatory under
D.C. Code § 11-2503(a) (2001).
In re Kevin J. McCants. Bar No. 493979. May 30,
2019. The D.C. Court of Appeals accepted
McCants's petition for negotiated discipline
and suspended him for 90 days, stayed in favor
of one-year unsupervised probation with
conditions. The petition is based on McCants's
voluntary acknowledgment that during his
representation of two separate clients he violated
D.C. Rules of Professional Conduct 1.4(a), 1.4(b),
1.5(b), 1.15(a), and 1.16(d). The violations included
failure to keep his clients reasonably informed,
provide them with written notice of his fees,
maintain complete records after termination
of the representation, and refund an unearned
fee in a timely manner.
In re Jean M. Robinson. Bar No. 484954. May 2,
2019. The D.C. Court of Appeals accepted
Robinson's petition for negotiated discipline.
The petition is based on Robinson's voluntary
acknowledgment that she violated Virginia Rules
of Professional Conduct 1.3(c), 1.6(a), and 8.4(c)
- which apply here in accordance with Rule
8.5(b)(2)(ii) of the D.C. Rules of Professional
Conduct - by intentionally prejudicing her
client in the course of the attorney-client
relationship, revealing client confidence or
secrets, and acting with dishonesty, fraud,
deceit, or misrepresentation.
In re Luis F. Salgado. Bar No. 342444. May 2, 2019.
The D.C. Court of Appeals suspended Salgado for
30 days with fitness. Salgado engaged in commingling and failed to keep adequate records of

his handling of entrusted funds in violation of D.C.
Rule of Professional Conduct 1.15(a) and D.C. Bar
Rule XI, § 19(f).
In re Ephraim C. Ugwuonye. Bar No. 474318. May
2, 2019. The D.C. Court of Appeals disbarred
Ugwuonye. This disciplinary proceeding involved
Ugwuonye's representation of four clients and his
conduct in handling their matters. Ugwuonye
engaged in reckless misappropriation in violation
of Rule 1.15(a) in three separate matters, failed
to promptly pay a medical care provider with
whom he had entered into an Authorization and
Assignment in violation of Rule 1.15(b), failed to
explain the limited scope of his representation in
violation of Rule 1.4(b), failed to provide a written
statement setting forth the basis for his fee in
violation of Rule 1.5(b), and charged an unreasonable fee in violation of Rule 1.5(a), with respect to
his representation of three clients.
Reciprocal Matters
In re Stewart L. Gitler. Bar No. 387303. June 13,
2019. In a reciprocal matter from Virginia, the D.C.
Court of Appeals imposed reciprocal discipline
and suspended Gitler for 90 days. Gitler, who was
suspended by consent in Virginia, acknowledged
engaging in dishonest and criminal conduct
when he forged the signature of his then-office
manager that he then falsely notarized, providing
an excuse for the client's late filing that was
not true.
In re Melinda Maldonado. Bar No. 483919. June 6,
2019. In a reciprocal matter from Maryland, the
D.C. Court of Appeals disbarred Maldonado, nunc
pro tunc to May 14, 2019. In Maryland, Maldonado
was found to have engaged in dishonesty and
the unauthorized practice of law.
In re Yolanda Thompson. Bar No. 1005834. May 2,
2019. In a reciprocal matter from Maryland, the D.C.
Court of Appeals imposed nonidentical reciprocal
discipline and suspended Thompson for six
months, nunc pro tunc to April 18, 2019, with reinstatement conditioned on the completion of the
two-day Basic Training and Beyond course conducted by the D.C. Bar Practice Management
Advisory Service. In Maryland, Thompson was
found to have engaged in the unauthorized
practice of law, failed to respond to Maryland Bar
Counsel's repeated requests for information, and
misappropriated entrusted funds.

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42 WASHINGTON LAWYER

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SEPTEMBER 2019

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Washington Lawyer - September 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Washington Lawyer - September 2019

Digital Extras
Your Voice
From Our President
Practice Management
Calendar of Events
Tomorrow’s Lawyers: Jd + Practice Ready
The Justice Gap & The Rise Of Nonlawyer Legal Providers
D.C. Bar Cle: Keeping Up With The Law
Aba Delegate’s Corner
Member Spotlight
Global & Domestic Outlook
Worth Reading
Media Bytes
Attorney Briefs
Ask The Ethics Experts
Disciplinary Summaries
2019 Celebration Of Leadership & Presidents Reception
Community & Connections
Last Word
Washington Lawyer - September 2019 - Cover1
Washington Lawyer - September 2019 - Cover2
Washington Lawyer - September 2019 - 1
Washington Lawyer - September 2019 - 2
Washington Lawyer - September 2019 - 3
Washington Lawyer - September 2019 - Digital Extras
Washington Lawyer - September 2019 - Your Voice
Washington Lawyer - September 2019 - From Our President
Washington Lawyer - September 2019 - 7
Washington Lawyer - September 2019 - Practice Management
Washington Lawyer - September 2019 - 9
Washington Lawyer - September 2019 - Calendar of Events
Washington Lawyer - September 2019 - 11
Washington Lawyer - September 2019 - Tomorrow’s Lawyers: Jd + Practice Ready
Washington Lawyer - September 2019 - 13
Washington Lawyer - September 2019 - 14
Washington Lawyer - September 2019 - 15
Washington Lawyer - September 2019 - 16
Washington Lawyer - September 2019 - 17
Washington Lawyer - September 2019 - The Justice Gap & The Rise Of Nonlawyer Legal Providers
Washington Lawyer - September 2019 - 19
Washington Lawyer - September 2019 - 20
Washington Lawyer - September 2019 - 21
Washington Lawyer - September 2019 - 22
Washington Lawyer - September 2019 - 23
Washington Lawyer - September 2019 - 24
Washington Lawyer - September 2019 - D.C. Bar Cle: Keeping Up With The Law
Washington Lawyer - September 2019 - 26
Washington Lawyer - September 2019 - 27
Washington Lawyer - September 2019 - Aba Delegate’s Corner
Washington Lawyer - September 2019 - 29
Washington Lawyer - September 2019 - Member Spotlight
Washington Lawyer - September 2019 - 31
Washington Lawyer - September 2019 - 32
Washington Lawyer - September 2019 - 33
Washington Lawyer - September 2019 - Global & Domestic Outlook
Washington Lawyer - September 2019 - 35
Washington Lawyer - September 2019 - Worth Reading
Washington Lawyer - September 2019 - 37
Washington Lawyer - September 2019 - Media Bytes
Washington Lawyer - September 2019 - 39
Washington Lawyer - September 2019 - Attorney Briefs
Washington Lawyer - September 2019 - Ask The Ethics Experts
Washington Lawyer - September 2019 - Disciplinary Summaries
Washington Lawyer - September 2019 - 43
Washington Lawyer - September 2019 - 2019 Celebration Of Leadership & Presidents Reception
Washington Lawyer - September 2019 - 45
Washington Lawyer - September 2019 - Community & Connections
Washington Lawyer - September 2019 - 47
Washington Lawyer - September 2019 - Last Word
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