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State bar disciplinary board suspends attorney's license


By Joe Beck -- jbeck@nvdaily.com

The Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board filed a summary order Monday suspending the law license of Winchester attorney Phillip S. Griffin II.

The suspension, which takes effect Friday, was issued under an agreed disposition reached between Griffin and unspecified other parties, according to the summary order. The order states that the board "accepts the agreed disposition, as modified, and the respondent shall receive a six-month suspension, effective Aug. 24, 2012" as specified in the disposition.

The order identifies 12 violations of rules of professional conduct that "have been proved by clear and convincing evidence." The order also states that the board was dismissing "all other disciplinary violations charged against" Griffin contained in an earlier document.

A call to Griffin's law office seeking comment on the case was not returned Wednesday.

The summary order does not identify who brought the case to the disciplinary board's attention or give details about the circumstances of the violations.

According to the summary order, the list of 12 rules of professional conduct that were violated include:

• A lawyer shall act with reasonable diligence and promptness in representing a client.

• A lawyer shall keep a client reasonably informed about the status of a matter and promptly comply with reasonable requests for information.

• The lawyer's fee shall be adequately explained to the client. When the lawyer has not regularly represented the client, the amount, basis, or rate of the fee shall be communicated to the client, preferably in writing, before or within a reasonable time after commencing representation.

Several other rules cited in the summary order warn that lawyers shall not:

• Knowingly disobey or advise a client to disregard a standing rule or a ruling of a tribunal made in the course of a proceeding, but the lawyer may take steps, in good faith to test the validity of such a rule or ruling.

• Present or threaten to present criminal or disciplinary charges solely to obtain an advantage in a civil matter.






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