Attorney Discipline, 0819 GABJ, GSB Vol. 25, No. 1, Pg. 67

Author:BY JESSICA OGLESBY
Position:Vol. 25 1 Pg. 67
 
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Attorney Discipline

Vol. 25 No. 1 Pg. 67

Georgia Bar Journal

August, 2019

May 11, 2019 through July 12, 2019

Attorney Discipline Summaries

BY JESSICA OGLESBY

Disbarment

Richard Scott Thompson 5500 Frederica Road, Suite 2213 Saint Simons Island, GA 31522

On May 20, 2019, the Supreme Court of Georgia accepted the petition for voluntary surrender of license of attorney Richard Scott Thompson (State Bar No. 709338). In his petition, Thompson stated that on Feb. 15, 2019, he was convicted of two counts of aggravated stalking in violation of O.C.G.A § 16-5-91. Thompson admitted he violated Rule 8.4 (a) (2) of the Georgia Rules of Professional Conduct, the maximum sanction for which is disbarment.

Johnnie Mae Graham P.O. Box 2303 Albany, GA 31702-2303

On June 3, 2019, the Supreme Court of Georgia disbarred Johnnie Mae Graham (State Bar No. 304625) from the practice of law. Graham failed to acknowledge service of the Notice of Discipline mailed to her at the post office box address on file with the State Bar’s Membership Department. The State Bar then properly served Graham by publication pursuant to Bar Rule 4-203.1 (b) (3) (ii), but she failed to file a Notice of Rejection. The facts, as deemed admitted by virtue of Graham’s default, are as follows.

In 2013, a client retained Graham to represent him in connection with a car accident, and she filed a lawsuit on the client’s behalf in December 2013. However, after the lawsuit was filed, Graham failed to respond to the client who attempted to contact her on numerous occasions regarding the lawsuit. In August 2015, the defendants filed a motion to dismiss the client’s case. Graham did not file a response, and the court dismissed the client’s case due to Graham’s failure to appear at a hearing. The State Disciplinary Board found that Graham failed to perform work on the client’s behalf, abandoned the legal matter the client entrusted to her to the client’s detriment, failed to return the client’s file and failed to provide information requested by the State Bar during the investigation of this disciplinary matter. Graham violated Rules 1.3, 1.4, 1.16 (d) and 3.2 of the Georgia Rules of Professional Conduct. The maximum sanction for a violation of Rule 1.3 is disbarment, while the maximum sanction for a violation of Rules 1.3, 1.16 and 3.2 is a public reprimand. In aggravation, the State Disciplinary Board found that Graham had extensive experience in the practice of law, having been admitted to the Bar in 1981, and that she has previous disciplinary history, having received a Review Panel reprimand in 2013.

Alexander Kahn 3977 St. Clair Court Atlanta, GA 30319

On June 10, 2019, the Supreme Court of Georgia disbarred Alexander E. Kahn (State Bar No. 405797) from the practice of law. On Feb. 26, 2019, a Notice of Discipline for Kahn’s gross misconduct was issued, and the State Bar personally served Kahn, but he failed to file a Notice of Rejection. The facts, as deemed admitted by virtue of Kahn’s default, are as follows.

In 2011, Kahn began providing legal and financial advice to a client. He formed Troy Holdings, LLC, and encouraged the client to invest money in the company. Between 2012 and 2018, the client delivered more than $300,000 to Kahn for investment in Troy Holdings. Kahn misrepresented to the client that she owned 75 percent of Troy Holdings and that her investment was achieving a 10 percent rate of return. The client repeatedly asked Kahn for a copy of Troy Holdings’ operating agreement, financial statements and investment records, but he failed to provide the requested documents; she also asked for a return of her investment, but Kahn failed to return any money. Additionally, in Kahn’s representation of the client in tax matters, he represented that he was preparing her tax returns but failed to provide her copies of the returns; he failed t o provide documentation related to his representation of the client in connection with a penalty assessed with regard to her 2013 taxes; and he failed to file her 2015 return after he had prepared it and she had signed it. Finally, although Kahn agreed to prepare a will for the client, he failed to deliver it despite her repeated requests.

Kahn willfully abandoned the legal matters entrusted to him; he failed to keep his client reasonably informed about the status of her legal matters; and he collected unreasonable fees, since he did not do the work he was paid to do. With regard to the business transactions, Kahn failed to disclose the terms of the transactions, failed to obtain the client’s written consent to the essential terms of the transactions and failed to advise her of the desirability of seeking the advice of independent counsel. Kahn further failed to hold the client’s funds separate from his own, failed to deliver her funds to her and failed to render a full accounting when she requested one. Finally, Kahn failed to submit a sworn, written response to the Notice of Investigation. The client obtained a judgment against him, but he failed to appear at post judgment discovery depositions.

Kahn violated Rules 1.3, 1.4, 1.5, 1.8 (a), 1.15 (I), 1.16, and 8.4 (a) (4) of the Georgia...

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