On Wednesday, August 16, 2023, the Supreme Court of Georgia retroactively suspended attorney Andrew Matteson from practicing law, nunc pro tunc as of April 1, 2019. Furthermore, the court simultaneously reinstated him, subject to specified conditions.

The case is entitled “In the Matter of Andrew Matteson,” with case no. S23Y0585.

According to the filing, the court had previously rejected Matteson’s first petition for voluntary discipline due to inadequacies in supporting his mental health conditions and restitution to clients. The court’s findings were presented in “In the Matter of Matteson,” 314 Ga. 576 (2022).

Matteson sought suspension for three to six months for violations linked to two disciplinary matters. In the renewed petition, he addressed the court’s concerns by providing proof of his mental health conditions, restitution to clients, and conditions for his reinstatement. The case involved multiple Rule violations, including 1.2(a), 1.4(a), 1.15(I)(c), and 1.16(a)(2) of the Georgia Rules of Professional Conduct.

In the first disciplinary case, Matteson acknowledged that he had provided legal representation to a client across multiple legal matters spanning several years. At a certain point, he had ceased to keep the client informed about his work and the crucial developments in these legal affairs. Subsequently, the client filed a lawsuit against Matteson, who had chosen not to contest the claims. This led to a consent judgment being entered against Matteson, amounting to $86,520, prompting him to promptly take measures to satisfy the judgment.

In the second disciplinary case, Matteson conceded to accepting the representation of a client and their company in a lawsuit concerning damages arising from a business dispute. Despite initially filing a motion to dismiss the lawsuit, he had failed to take any further substantial action in the case. This had continued even after a motion for default judgment was filed, and granted, and a substantial judgment was rendered against his clients. Consequently, these clients had pursued a legal malpractice claim against Matteson and his former law firm. The claim had gone through arbitration, resulting in an award of over $640,000 in favor of the client.

After thoroughly reviewing the case’s records, which encompassed the confidential submissions including Matteson’s affirmed affidavit, 2019 tax filings, and correspondence from clients, the court concurred that a six-month suspension was fitting, considering the prevailing circumstances and aligning with the precedent established previously. The court also acknowledged that Matteson’s compliance met the prerequisites set forth in Onipede, warranting the retroactive application of a six-month suspension, effective from April 1, 2019. Notably, because Matteson substantiated his voluntary cessation of legal practice between April 1, 2019, and September 30, 2019, he fulfilled the duration of his suspension.

Consequently, the court reinstated Matteson, subject to conditions stipulating that, within 90 days from the ruling’s date, he must present an evaluation from a mental health expert confirming his capability to practice law without hindrance due to mental health concerns. Furthermore, for the inaugural year of his reinstatement, Matteson must procure such evaluations every three months and must diligently incorporate any recommendations provided by the State Bar of Georgia’s Law Practice Management Program’s General Consultation service.

According to avvo.com, Mr. Matteson had been practicing at Stout Kaiser Matteson Peake & Hendrick, LLC. He practices in Atlanta, Georgia. He is licensed in Georgia.

A copy of the original filing can be found here.