Case Caption: In re Suspension of Desmond L. Maynard, Esq.Case Number: S. Ct. Civ. No. 2013-0011Date: 01/17/2014Author: Per CuriamCitation: Summary:

In a disciplinary action brought by petition of the Ethics and Grievance Committee of the Virgin Islands Bar Association, requesting among other things an order suspending an attorney from the practice of law for six months, because the Committee violated this attorney's due process rights by allowing one of its members to serve as his counsel, the petition is denied without prejudice and the matter is remanded for the Committee to conduct a new hearing before a different panel. Under Model Rule for Lawyer Disciplinary Enforcement 2.6(1) as well as Model Rules of Professional Conduct 1.7 and 1.12 counsel could not permissibly represent this attorney while simultaneously serving on the Committee, let alone actually presiding over other grievances involving this attorney. To waive a conflict Model Rule of Professional Conduct 1.7(b)(4) requires informed consent and nothing in the record reflects that the attorney was ever informed that his counsel was also a member of two panels assigned to adjudicate other grievances that were pending against him. The attorney was likely prejudiced by the representation and even assuming, without deciding, that the attorney did not suffer direct prejudice, a new hearing is warranted because to hold otherwise would cause the public to question the integrity of the attorney discipline system.

Attachment: Open Document or Opinion