Case Caption: In re Elmo A. Adams, EsquireCase Number: S. Ct. Civ. No. 2013-0013Date: 04/11/2013Author: Per CuriamCitation: Summary:

Upon a petition filed by the Ethics & Grievance Committee of the Virgin Islands Bar Association requesting suspension of an attorney from the practice of law in the Virgin Islands, the attorney's attempted resignation was not submitted to the Court as an offer to consent, admitting violations of the Model Rules of Professional Conduct, and thus it is a nullity having no effect on the proceeding. On the charged ethical violations, the Committee correctly found that the attorney violated Model Rule 8.1(b) in failing to respond properly to the charges. His conduct violated the requirement of Model Rule 1.3 that an attorney represent the client with reasonable diligence and promptness, as well as Model Rule 1.4(a)(3), which mandates that a lawyer keep the client reasonably informed about the status of the matter. In reviewing the duty violated, the lawyer's mental state, the potential or actual injury caused by the lawyer's misconduct, and the existence of aggravating or mitigating factors, the Committee' recommendation that this Court indefinitely suspend the attorney until and unless he pays a certain judgment in a Superior Court action, is inconsistent with the purpose of the attorney discipline system. Under the circumstances here, a serious, intentional ethical breach that resulted in injury, but only with respect to a single client matter, a six month suspension and a public reprimand represents the appropriate sanction.

Attachment: Open Document or Opinion