Case Caption: In re: Attorney DoeCase Number: S. Ct. Civ. No. 2012-0134Date: 01/10/2013Author: Per CuriamCitation: Summary:

Concerning a petition for a writ of prohibition filed by an attorney under a fictitious name, requesting that the Supreme Court enjoin a panel of the Virgin Islands Bar Association Ethics and Grievance Committee from conducting further proceedings with respect to two pending grievances, the petitioner has not established that he or she is entitled to the writ. The language of Supreme Court Rule 207.1.3(a) providing that “[t]he Committee shall investigate all charges of professional misconduct that may be brought to its attention in writing, or it may initiate such investigation on its own," authorizes the Committee to investigate alleged misconduct even if the matter was not brought to its attention by a “grievant,” and this interpretation of the rule's language does not render the definition of “grievant” in Supreme Court Rule 207.1.2(a) meaningless. Thus, in this case, where Disciplinary Counsel initiated the first investigation sua sponte, and the second grievance came before the Committee as a result of a referral from a Superior Court magistrate, the Committee has not exceeded its authority by permitting both matters to proceed. In addition, the petitioner possesses an adequate alternate means of attaining the relief he or she desires, in that he or she may simply allow both pending proceedings to run their natural course, and if the Committee ultimately disagrees with his or her interpretation of the standing requirements of Rule 207, the petitioner could appeal the adverse decision to this Court, pursuant to Supreme Court Rule 207.4.11(a)-(b). Accordingly, the petitioner failed to establish that he or she has no adequate means to attain the desired relief other than the desired writ of prohibition, and failed to establish that his or her right to the writ is clear and indisputable; thus, the petition is denied.

Attachment: Open Document or Opinion