||Two separate Petitions for Discipline were consolidated for a single disciplinary hearing.
For the Petition for Discipline docketed at No. 56 DB 2003, Respondent was found to have: commingled non-fiduciary funds with funds in his law firm trust account; failed to hold clients funds inviolate; failed to maintain complete records of client and third party funds for a period of five years after termination of the representation; and failed to promptly deliver to his client the funds the client was entitled to receive. The conversion of client funds was found to be negligent, rather than intentional.
For the Petition for Discipline docketed at No. 178 DB 2003, Respondent was found to have engaged in an ex parte communication with the court, to have failed to comply with three separate court Orders, and to have failed to appear at a court hearing, thereby delaying the proceedings and wasting the courtís time.
In mitigation, Respondent expressed remorse, cooperated with the Office of Disciplinary Counsel, changed his office procedures to ensure compliance with the Rules of Professional Conduct, presented character evidence, and established that he eventually complied with the courtís Orders.
In aggravation, Respondent had a prior record of discipline consisting of two informal admonitions administered in 2001 and one private reprimand administered in 2002.