Attorney Discipline, 0821 GABJ, GSB Vol. 27, No. 1, Pg. 63

PositionVol. 27 1 Pg. 63

Attorney Discipline

No. Vol. 27 No. 1 Pg. 63

Georgia Bar Journal

August, 2021

April 19, 2021 – June 21, 2021

Attorney Discipline Summaries



Cynthia Ann Lain

4470 Satellite Blvd., Suite 101

Duluth, GA 30096

Admitted to the Bar 2007

On April 19, 2021, the Supreme Court of Georgia disbarred attorney Cynthia Ann Lain (State Bar No. 705135) from the practice of law in Georgia. The disciplinary matters came before the Court on the reports and recommendations of the Special Master who recommended that Lain be disbarred as a result of five State Disciplinary Board matters, each pursued in a separate formal complaint. In connection with these matters, the Special Master concluded that Lain violated Rules 1.2 (a), 1.3, 1.4, 1.5 (a), 1.16 (d), 3.1 (b), 3.2, 3.3 (a), 3.5 (d) and 8.4 (a) (4) of the Georgia Rules of Professional Conduct. The maximum sanction for a violation of Rules 1.2, 1.3, 3.3, and 8.4 (a) (4) is disbarment while the maximum penalty for the remainder of the rules is a public reprimand. Because Lain engaged in a pattern of serious misconduct that included contempt of court and contempt for the disciplinary process, the Court agreed that disbarment was the appropriate sanction.

The State Bar filed a formal complaint in each matter in January 2019, and Lain filed an answer in each matter in April 2019. Thereafter, the Special Master entered an initial scheduling order and the Bar served interrogatories, requests for admissions and requests for production of documents on Lain. Lain, however, failed to respond adequately to the Bar’s requests, and her response to the Bar’s requests for admissions became the subject of a discovery dispute. The Special Master attempted to resolve the dispute by issuing a discovery deadline order, but Lain still failed to comply with the discovery order and never supplemented her responses to the Bar’s discovery requests. The Bar filed three motions to compel, and in December 2019, the Special Master entered orders on the motions to compel, directing Lain to comply with her discovery obligations. Lain failed to comply, and the Bar filed a motion for sanctions. Lain then filed a frivolous motion to dismiss the Bar’s complaints on the grounds that they were not timely prosecuted. The motion to dismiss was denied, and following a show cause hearing on the matter, the Special Master found that Lain failed to show why her answers should not be stricken. In addition, although Lain had agreed to attend a deposition in January 2020, she failed to appear, leading the Bar to file a second motion for sanctions.

The Special Master said that Lain’s conduct in the underlying actions was consistent with her approach to the disciplinary proceedings, in which she refused to participate in good faith, failed to respond to motions, failed to attend scheduled status conferences or hearings, and attempted to advance factual and legal positions inconsistent with the facts and law governing proceedings. The Special Master determined that her conduct was so consistent and pervasive that, at best, it could be characterized as reckless disregard for the disciplinary process and those involved in it, and at worst, an intentional effort to avoid or delay the process. In April 2020, the Special Master entered an order granting the Bar’s first motion for sanctions and ordering that Lain’s answer to each formal complaint be stricken and that all facts alleged in the Bar’s formal complaints be deemed admitted.

In Case No. S21Y0652, the Special Master concluded that Lain violated Rule 1.3 by failing to act with reasonable diligence when she failed to appear for scheduled court appearances without notifying the court in advance, resulting in the court finding her in contempt and assessing attorney fees against her and her client causing detriment to her client The Special Master also concluded that Lain violated Rule 1.4 (a) by failing to notify her client of scheduled court appearances, resulting in attorney fees being assessed to her client and a finding of contempt by the court. Finally, the Special Master concluded that Lain violated Rule 3.1 when she...

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