Disciplinary Reporter Case Digest

Attorney ID 83720
Attorney Name Gilliland, David M.
DBP Docket No. 17 DB 2010
Supreme Court Docket No. 1737 DD No.3
County Allegheny
Disciplinary Counsel William R. Friedman
Counsel for Respondent None
Decision Date 2011-09-08
Effective Date 2011-10-08
Case Digest Respondent was engaged to represent the Hunter Christian Memorial Trust by preparing and recording documents and curing defects in other previously prepared documents. Although Respondent prepared the documents he failed to record them. The Board found that Respondent gave the documents to “young people” in the community to be recorded and stated that “it is somewhat incredible that a professional would allow ‘kids’ in the neighborhood to handle an important task such as recording documents, and it is equally unbelievable that Respondent did not verify that the documents had actually been recorded.” The Board characterized Respondent’s actions as “gross neglect.” When Respondent’s representation was terminated and was asked to return the files and documents to the Trust, he failed to do so. Respondent had engaged in similar misconduct in the past and received an Informal Admonition in 2004. The Disciplinary Board found that the testimony of witnesses called by Respondent at the disciplinary hearing showed that Respondent is a “diligent and responsible employee [for the Allegheny County Bar Foundation Juvenile Court Project] who performs his job duties in a satisfactory manner.” The Board, acknowledging that Respondent is “making a valuable contribution of services to the Juvenile Court Project,” felt that Respondent should be permitted to continue the work. Thus, the Board recommended that Respondent be suspended for a period of three years, with the suspension stayed in its entirety and a three year period of probation imposed, subject to conditions related to the selection of a practice monitor.
Rule Violation(s) 1.3; 1.4(a)(3); 1.4(a)(4); 1.5(b); and 1.16(d)
Discipline Imposed Suspension for 3 years, stayed in full with probation for 5 years under supervision of a practice monitor.
Points of Law Although Respondent engaged in conduct described as “gross neglect” and had received private discipline in the past for similar misconduct, his contribution as an attorney for the Juvenile Court Project weighs in favor of a suspension stayed in its entirety and probation with conditions.
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