Case Caption: In re Disbarment of Kenth W. Rogers, EsquireCase Number: S. Ct. Civ. No. 2013-0079Date: 12/11/2013Author: Per CuriamCitation: Summary:

Upon a consolidated petition for disciplinary action filed by the Ethics & Grievance Committee requesting approval of a recommendations to, among other things, disbar Kenth W. Rogers-a suspended attorney-as a member of the Virgin Islands Bar Association, the petition is granted. The attorney clearly violated Model Rule 8.1(b) by failing to file an answer with the Committee with respect to certain matters involving a judge and unauthorized practice of law, which caused the panels to proceed on a default basis. The attorney's false statements about another judge in an affidavit accompanying a recusal motion violated Model Rules 3.1, 3.3(a), 3.5(d) and 8.2(d), and filing of the frivolous recusal motion disrupted the Superior Court proceedings so as to violate Model Rule 3.5(d) since it resulted in an unnecessary hearing and other collateral proceedings. In regard to the other judge the attorney's conduct violated Model Rule 8.1(b). He violated Model Rule 3.4(c) on four separate occasions, as well as committed violations of Model Rules 3.5(d), 8.1(b), and 8.4(d). He also engaged in the unauthorized practice of law, in violation of 4 V.I.C. § 443 and Model Rule 5.5, on numerous occasions. Considering [1] the duties violated; [2] the lawyer's mental state; [3] the potential or actual injury caused by the lawyer's misconduct; and [4] the existence of aggravating or mitigating factors, an attorney who engages in the unauthorized practice of law in flagrant disregard of a suspension order has breached an exceptionally important duty to the legal system and caused actual injury to the administration of justice, so as to warrant the presumptive baseline sanction of disbarment when combined with a knowing mental state. The absence of any mitigation makes it unnecessary to analyze the aggravating factors. This attorney has an extensive history of formal discipline, and for the foregoing reasons, the petition to disbar him is granted. Since the attorney is presently suspended from the practice of law for prior ethical misconduct, his disbarment shall be effective immediately, and he is directed to reimburse the Ethics & Grievance Committee for the $1,536 in costs it incurred.

Attachment: Open Document or Opinion