On Monday, February 6, 2023, the District of Columbia Court of Appeals suspended on an interim basis attorney Gary Wright based upon its discipline imposed in the State of Virginia.

The case is entitled “In the matter of Gary Wright” with case no. 2022-D120.

The charges cited Virginia Rules of Professional Conduct 1.2(a), 1.7,  1.15,  and 8.1 which state:

A lawyer shall abide by a client’s decisions concerning the objectives of (a) representation, subject to paragraphs (b), (c), and (d), and shall consult with the client as to the means by which they are to be pursued. A lawyer shall abide by a client’s decision, after consultation with the lawyer, whether to accept an offer of settlement of a matter. In a criminal case, the lawyer shall abide by the client’s decision, after consultation with the lawyer, as to a plea to be entered, whether to waive a jury trial, and whether the client will testify.

Except as provided in paragraph (b), a lawyer shall not represent a client if the representation involves a concurrent conflict of interest. A concurrent conflict of interest exists if the representation of one client will be directly averse to another (1) client; 2) will be materially limited by the lawyer’s responsibilities to another client, a former client, or a third person, or by a personal interest of the lawyer. there is a significant risk that the representation of one or more clients b) Notwithstanding the existence of a concurrent conflict of interest under paragraph (a), a lawyer may represent a client if each affected client consents after consultation, and: () the lawyer reasonably believes that the lawyer will be able to provide competent and diligent representation to each affected client; (2) the representation is not prohibited by law.

Required Trust Accounting Procedures, In addition to the requirements set forth in Rule 1.15 (a) through (e), the following minimum trust accounting procedures are applicable to all trust accounts.

An applicant for admission to the bar, or a lawyer already admitted to the bar, in connection with a bar admission application, any certification required to be filed as a condition of maintaining or renewing a license to practice law, or in connection with a disciplinary matter, shall not knowingly make a false statement of material fact.

The Rules of Professional Conduct can be found here.

On June 9, 2022, the Virginia State Bar in a Memorandum Order, revoked the license of the respondent to practice in the State of Virginia. This is in relation to the respondent’s misconduct, which according to the Order while handling a client as a representative in both bankruptcy and divorce matter, the respondent lied in several instances during the representation and investigation.

The filing states:

“In July 2016, Mr. Simon filed for bankruptcy and listed Nine Lenders as a creditor and Respondent as Nine Lenders’ legal counsel. In August of 2016, Respondent represented Nine Lenders with respect to its claim in Mr. Simon’s bankruptcy case before the United States Bankruptcy Court; The Respondent testified before D.C. Superior Court Judge O’Keefe during Ms. Smith and Mr. Simon’s Divorce Proceedings in 2018 that he represented Nine Lenders. But in his interview with the Bar Investigator during the investigation of this complaint, however, the Respondent stated that he had never represented Nine Lenders.”

The filing continues:

“On August 17, 2016, Respondent filed a Verified Complaint for Possession of Real Property in the D.C. Superior Court on behalf of the Simon Family Trust, seeking to evict Ms. Smith from her marital home with Mr. Simon. Respondent checked the box on the Complaint that stated, “Defendant is not a tenant and has no legal right to occupy the premises” VSB Ex. 29. This representation was false because at the time that Respondent filed the Complaint, Ms. Smith and Mr. Simon was still married.”

The filing further states:

“When Ms. Smith attempted to resolve the dispute with the Condo Association, its representative refused to speak with her because she was represented by Respondent. Ms. Smith had not authorized Respondent to represent her or the Summer Smith Simon Revocable Trust. She wrote to Respondent when she leamed of his unauthorized appearance as her legal counsel: “Please be advised that you are not and have never been authorized to represent me or my personal or property interests. Please immediately cease and desist in any such claim or representation.” VSB Ex. 26, p. 0848. Rather than acknowledging Ms. Smith’s request and withdrawing from the representation, Respondent responded, “[w]hben I first began representing the trust, I confirmed that there were two trustees and that Geary Simon had the authority, per the terms of the trust, to hire me to represent the trust regarding the above-referenced property. I have always proceeded under that authority. I am not aware that the terms of the trust have been amended, but I will check with my client.”

The Ruling of the Virginia State Bar states:

“Accordingly, upon consideration of the evidence and the nature of the misconduct committed by Respondent, it is ORDERED that the Respondent, Gary Don Wright’s, license to practice law in the Commonwealth of Virginia be revoked, effective April 22, 2022.”

Considering all the factual allegations, and documentary evidence, the Virginia State Bar decided to suspend the respondent. Consistent with this sanction, the District of Columbia Court of Appeals decided to disbar the respondent as well.

As of today, Mr. Wright runs his own law firm, the Law Offices of Gary D. Wright. He attended the Baylor Law School, graduating in 1986. He practices in Annandale, Virginia. He is licensed in Virginia as well as in the District of Columbia. His info can be found on lawyer.justia.com.

A copy of the original filing can be found here.