On Thursday, November 17, 2022, the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia suspended attorney Gregory H. Schillace for negligence.

The case is entitled “In the matter of Gregory H. Schillace” with case no. 20-0233.

The charges cited West Virginia Rules of Professional Conduct 1.1, 1.2(a), 1.3, 1.4, 1.5(b), 1.5(c), 3.2, 3.4, 8.4(c), 8.4(d), 3.4(d), 1.16(d).

Allegedly, the respondent was charged with seven counts of charges for dozens of ethics violations. Most of the charges involve the respondent’s failure to properly communicate with clients. Moreover, it was alleged that the respondent failed to disclose witnesses or respond to discovery requests, as ordered by the Circuit Court.

The filing states:

“Respondent did not inform his clients that the court dismissed their claims and continued to withhold information about the counterclaim despite the client’s extensive efforts to get status updates on their case. By January 31, 2018, the Respondent still had not responded to the counterclaim. The defense moved for a default judgment, and the circuit court granted it on March 1, 2018. Shortly before the damages trial for the default judgment, Respondent informed the clients of the counterclaim and that the circuit court dismissed their claims.”

The filing continues:

“The HPS found that a client retained Respondent sometime around January 2017 to represent her in a suit against her former employer, which her previous attorney filed on October 26, 2015. After the client and Respondent entered into a contingency fee agreement, Respondent failed to communicate with the client or respond to her requests for status updates on her case. On December 8, 2017, the client leamed that opposing counsel filed a motion to dismiss for Respondent’s failure to prosecute. She attempted to contact Respondent about the motion, but he never responded. After the Respondent failed to respond when the court ordered him to do so, the court dismissed the client’s lawsuit. Respondent baselessly assured the client that the circuit court would reinstate the case, but he made no effort toward reinstatement.”

The filing further states:

“The HPS found that a client retained Respondent sometime around January 2017 to represent her in a suit against her former employer, which her previous attorney filed on October 26, 2015. After the client and Respondent entered into a contingency fee agreement, Respondent failed to communicate with the client or respond to her requests for status updates on her case. On December 8, 2017, the client leamed that opposing counsel filed a motion to dismiss for Respondent’s failure to prosecute. She attempted to contact Respondent about the motion, but he never responded. After the Respondent failed to respond when the court ordered him to do so, the court dismissed the client’s lawsuit. Respondent baselessly assured the client that the circuit court would reinstate the case, but he made no effort toward reinstatement.”

The respondent admitted that he violated his duties to his clients, the legal system, and the profession. Moreover, he violated his duties of candor, diligence, competence, and loyalty. The court believes that the respondent knowingly acted when he disregarded his client’s interests. For all of these reasons, the court decided to suspend the respondent.

The Disposition states:

“For the above reasons, we impose the following sanctions: (1) we suspend Respondent’s law license for two years; (2) we refer Respondent to the WVJLAP for evaluation, treatment recommendation, and monitoring, if deemed necessary, and reinstatement shall be conditioned on full compliance with any such recommendations2″; 3) as a condition of reinstatement, Respondent must demonstrate that he has satisfied and paid in full pay any outstanding sanctions, penalties, or obligations owed to any tribunal in this State and all expenses related to the underlying disciplinary proceedings; and (4) if reinstated, Respondent shall maintain $1,000,000 in professional malpractice insurance, per claim, and in the aggregate.”

Mr. Schillace practices in Clarksburg, West Virginia. He is licensed in West Virginia. His info can be found on Avvo.com.

A copy of the original filing can be found here.