Case Caption: In re David W. IversonCase Number: S. Ct. Civ. No. 2013-0117Date: 02/12/2014Author: Per CuriamCitation: Summary:

In the course of proceedings on a petition filed by the Virgin Islands Bar Association seeking the suspension of an attorney who is licensed to practice law in the Virgin Islands for non-payment of membership dues, the Court discovered that the attorney had been suspended from the practice of law by the Supreme Court of Florida and the United States Department of Justice's Executive Office for Immigration Review based on ethical misconduct for a period of ninety days, followed by one year of probation, but that the attorney had failed to disclose either suspension to the Court as required by Supreme Court Rule 203 (c)(1). Although instances of additional ethical misconduct are typically adjudicated as new disciplinary matters, when that misconduct involves the failure to notify a court of public discipline imposed by another jurisdiction in a timely manner or to respond to a reciprocal discipline show cause order, a court is authorized to order an increased sanction as part of the reciprocal discipline proceeding. In this case, the attorney not only failed to promptly notify this Court of the public discipline imposed upon him by the Supreme Court of Florida and the Executive Office for Immigration Review, but in a filing made with the Court, also dishonestly attributed his suspension by the Executive Office to a defect in the Virgin Islands Bar Association's membership directory. Moreover, when this Court brought these matters to the attorney's attention, he failed to respond to the substance of this Court's concerns, instead agreeing to pay all outstanding membership dues to the Bar Association “under protest” and requesting that this Court simply dismiss this matter. Under these circumstances, a six month suspension represents the appropriate reciprocal discipline. The petition to suspend the attorney for non-payment of dues is dismissed as moot, but the attorney is suspended as a member of the Virgin Islands Bar for six months. Because the period of suspension exceeds three months, the attorney may not transfer to active status or otherwise resume the practice of law in the Virgin Islands until he files, and this Court grants, a petition for his reinstatement in accordance with Supreme Court Rule 203(h).

Attachment: Open Document or Opinion