Case Caption: In the matter of the application of Dennis Joseph Shea for admission to the Virgin Islands BarCase Number: S. Ct. BA. No. 2011-0115Date: 08/30/2013Author: Per CuriamCitation: Summary:

The application of an attorney admitted to the practice of law in California, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts, and formerly a member of the New Hampshire Bar, for admission to the Virgin Islands Bar is denied. The applicant has not met his burden of proving that he is a person of good moral character sufficient to warrant admission. Character and fitness review focuses upon the bar applicant's present moral character, and considers past misconduct because it gives insight into the applicant's current character. This applicant admitted engaging in a sexual relationship with a client, which establishes poor judgment and reflects adversely on his fitness to practice law in the Virgin Islands. His admitted intention not to pay approximately $226,000 in unpaid federal and state income taxes for prior years makes clear his lack of respect for and obedience to the laws of the nation. The sudden, unannounced closure of his California law practice also reflects adversely on his moral character. These factors, taken in the aggregate, provide more than sufficient grounds to deny this application on character and fitness grounds. In addition, the administrative suspension of this attorney from the New Hampshire bar for non-payment of dues, and his failure to remedy his suspension for 16 years, represents further proof of a pattern of simply ignoring his financial and legal obligations to the government. The applicant has failed to meet his burden of showing, by clear and convincing evidence, that he is a person of good moral character. Thus, he is unfit to practice law in the Virgin Islands and his application for membership to the Virgin Islands Bar is denied.

Attachment: Open Document or Opinion