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Legal Memorandum: Disqualification of an Attorney

Issue: Under the laws of the U.S. Virgin Islands, is an order disqualifying an attorney the equivalent of a finding of misconduct?

Area of Law: Ethics & Professional Responsibility, Litigation & Procedure
Keywords: Disqualification order; Finding of misconduct
Jurisdiction: Virgin Islands
Cited Cases: None
Cited Statutes: LRCi 83.2(b)(4)(B)
Date: 07/01/2007

 

Even if the disqualification order did not constitute a sanction, it nonetheless attributes misconduct to the firm by operation of law.  Superior Court Rule 303 provides that “[a]cts or omissions by an attorney admitted to practice before this court, individually or in concert with any other person or persons, which violate the Rules of Professional Conduct . . . shall constitute misconduct and be grounds for discipline.”  Super Ct. 303(e)(2); see also LRCi 83.2(b)(4)(B).  By its plain language, the rule establishes that any finding of a violation of a Rule of Professional Conduct is misconduct per se.  The rule clearly does not require any showing of bad faith or intent to violate the Rules, but rather establishes that any act of an attorney that is deemed in violation of the Rules of Professional Conduct constitutes misconduct and subjects the sanctioned attorney to potential discipline from the Virgin Islands Bar. 

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