Attorney Discipline, 0221 GABJ, GSB Vol. 26, No. 4, Pg. 38

PositionVol. 26 4 Pg. 38

Attorney Discipline

Vol. 26 No. 4 Pg. 38

Georgia Bar Journal

February, 2021

Nov. 22, 2020 – Dec. 21, 2020

Attorney Discipline Summaries



Christopher John Palazzola

395 Laurent St, Unit 3

Atlanta, GA 30318

Admitted to the Bar 1999

On Dec. 21, 2020, the Supreme Court of Georgia suspended attorney Christopher John Palazzola (State Bar No. 559321) from the practice of law nunc pro tunc as of June 1, 2020, and reinstated him with conditions regarding law practice management to be met within six months of the order.

After two of Palazzola’s former associates filed a grievance against him in October 2012, the State Bar initiated this disciplinary matter in 2014 by filing a Formal Complaint. The misconduct at issue involved dealings by Palazzola or his law firm’s staff with three clients who were seeking to contact or were represented by a former associate who had left the firm; his law firm’s false and misleading advertisements; and his dishonest failure to establish and contribute to two of his associates’ retirement accounts as promised.

Palazzola filed a petition for voluntary discipline requesting a Review Panel (now called Review Board) reprimand for violating Rules 1.4, 7.1 and 8.4 (a) (4) of the Georgia Rules of Professional Conduct. The Special Master rejected the petition in 2015 for failing to contain sufficient information about the admissions of fact and admissions of misconduct. Palazzola’s second petition for voluntary discipline, in which he again requested a Review Panel reprimand, this time for violating Rules 1.16 (d), 5.3, 7.1 and 8.4 (a) (4), was supported by the Special Master and not opposed by the State Bar. The Court, however, rejected the petition in 2017, concluding that “a reprimand is inadequate under these circumstances, particularly given the number of rules violations.”

The matter came back before the Court on the report and recommendation of the State Disciplinary Review Board, which reviewed the report and recommendation issued by the Special Master at the request of Palazzola. While the Special Master recommended a six-month suspension with conditions on reinstatement, the Review Board recommended that Palazzola be suspended from the practice of law for a period of three months without conditions. In recommending a shorter suspension, the Review Board disagreed with the Special Master only about whether...

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