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Richard McGarry violated rules of conduct in dealings with a client, a disciplinary board said.
Friday, May 3, 2013
The Virginia State Bar revoked the license of a Roanoke lawyer last week.
In an order dated April 26, a disciplinary board determined that Richard Lawrence James McGarry had violated rules of conduct in his dealings with a client.
Billy Rosser , who retained McGarry to represent him in a medical malpractice case in March 2011, filed a complaint with the state bar later that year, according to a VSB document. Online court records in 2012 listed Rosser as a resident of South Carolina.
State bar documents said that across March and April of that year, Rosser paid McGarry a total of $3,000, but McGarry admitted that those fees were not placed into a client trust account. He also told Rosser that court papers had been filed when they hadn’t been, the documents said.
In mid-May 2011, Rosser terminated services “[d]ue to the lack of communication and advancement of the case,” according to a subcommittee certification. That certification also described a lengthy period afterward in which McGarry ignored Rosser’s communication and did not respond to a VSB letter regarding Rosser’s complaint.
A subpoena was issued but not served, and McGarry’s license was subsequently suspended by the bar in February 2012, according to bar documents. Online court records said McGarry failed to appear at a June hearing in Roanoke County General District Court, and the bar said he has refused to honor a $3,000 default judgment entered against him at that hearing.
As a result, the disciplinary board determined that McGarry had failed to keep his client informed, hadn’t promptly complied with requests for information, hadn’t taken steps to protect the client’s interests after the termination, had made a false statement, hadn’t responded to a demand made by a disciplinary authority, had obstructed a lawful investigation and had engaged in dishonest conduct, according to a summary order.
McGarry, who became licensed to practice law in 1989, was reprimanded by the state bar in 2010 for a violation of profession conduct stemming from his handling of a 2006 divorce case , according to online VSB documents.
McGarry did not immediately return a phone message left Friday.
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