STATEWIDE GRIEVANCE COMMITTEE
Stamford/Norwalk Judicial District, Grievance Panel, Complainant††††††† vs. Peter S. Davis, Respondent
Grievance Complaint #06-0034
Pursuant to Practice Book ß2-35, the undersigned, duly appointed reviewing committee of the Statewide Grievance Committee, conducted a hearing at the Superior Court, 1061 Main Street, Bridgeport, Connecticut on July 5, 2006.† The hearing addressed the record of the complaint filed on January 13, 2006, and the probable cause determination filed by the New Haven Judicial District for the towns of Bethany, New Haven and Woodbridge Grievance Panel on April 25, 2006, finding that there existed probable cause that the Respondent violated Rules 8.1(2) and 8.4(4) of the Rules of Professional Conduct and Practice Book ß2-32(a)(1).
Notice of the hearing was mailed to the Complainant, to the Office of the Chief Disciplinary Counsel and to the Respondent on June 2, 2006.† Pursuant to Practice Book ß2-35(d), Assistant Disciplinary Counsel Frank Blando pursued the matter before this reviewing committee.† Neither the Complainant nor the Respondent appeared at the hearing.
This reviewing committee finds the following facts by clear and convincing evidence:
The Respondent was suspended from the practice of law on July 1, 2003 for failing to pay his client security fund obligation pursuant to Practice Book ß2-70.† On December 1, 2004, the Respondent filed an appearance on behalf of Gregory Lance Wood in the matter of Statewide Grievance Committee v Gregory Lance Wood, Superior Court, judicial district of Hartford, Docket No. 4002145.† The appearance form did not contain a juris number for the Respondent.† The court clerkís office telephoned the Respondentís office several times to obtain his juris number.† Finally, approximately one month later, an employee provided the clerk with the Respondentís juris number.† When the clerk input the Respondentís juris number into the court computer, the records indicated that the Respondent was suspended from the practice of law.†
By letter dated February 25, 2005, the Court (Bryant, J.) advised the Statewide Grievance Committee of the Respondentís conduct.† On March 10, 2005, the Statewide Grievance Committee forwarded the file to the Complainant, the Stamford/Norwalk Judicial District Grievance Panel, for further investigation.† In a letter dated March 22, 2005, the Complainant asked the Respondent for information and documentation to explain the Respondentís conduct. The letter gave the Respondent until April 4, 2006 to file his reply.† Thereafter, the Respondent asked for, and received, an extension of time in which to respond.† However, the Respondentís reply was not received and, on May 31, 2005, the Complainant sent a follow up letter to the Respondent.† No further communications were received from the Respondent and, as such, the Complainant filed a grievance complaint.†
The Statewide Grievance Committee sent a copy of the grievance complaint to the Respondent by certified mail on January 18, 2006 to his most recent address as reported by the Respondent to the Statewide Grievance Committee.† The complaint was returned and marked ďunclaimedĒ.† Thereafter, the Statewide Grievance Committee sent the grievance complaint to the Respondent by first class mail, which letter was not returned.† The Respondent did not answer the grievance complaint.
This reviewing committee finds the following violations of the Rules of Professional Conduct and the Practice Book by clear and convincing evidence:
The Respondentís failure to respond to the Complainantís requests for information and the Respondentís failure to answer the grievance complaint violated Rules 8.1(2) and 8.4(4) of the Rules of Professional Conduct.† The Respondentís failure to answer the grievance complaint without showing good cause also violated Practice Book ß2-32(a)(1).† Accordingly, for the aforementioned violations of the Rules of Professional Conduct and the Practice Book, we order the Office of the Chief Disciplinary Counsel to file a presentment complaint against the Respondent in the Superior Court. This reviewing committee is deeply troubled by the Respondentís conduct.† Since we are ordering a presentment, and a presentment is a de novo proceeding, this reviewing committee directs the disciplinary counselís office to add the allegation that the Respondent violated Rule 5.5 of the Rules of Professional Conduct by accepting the representation of a client while suspended from the practice of law.† In addition, this reviewing committee directs the disciplinary counselís office to add the allegation that the Respondent failed to register with the Statewide Grievance Committee on a yearly basis in violation of Practice Book ß 2-27(d).†
††††††††††† DECISION DATE : ____10/6/06_______
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††††††††††† Attorney Rita Steinberger
Attorney Dominic Rutigliano
Mr. William Carroll
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