On Wednesday, April 5, 2023, the District of Columbia Court of Appeals Board on Professional Responsibility Ad Hoc Hearing Committee, suspended attorney Denise A. Daniels for communicating with parties who were already represented by another counsel.

The case is entitled “In the Matter of Denise A. Daniels,” with case no. 22-BD-014.

The charges cited DC Rules of Professional Conduct 4.2(a), 8.1(b), 8.4(d) and 2(b)(3) of D.C. Bar Rule which states:

Communication between lawyer and person knew to be represented by counsel.

Knowing failure to respond to Disciplinary Counsel.

Serious interference with the administration of justice.

Failure to comply with Board Order.

The Rules of Professional Conduct can be found here.

The charges arose while the respondent was representing the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). It was alleged that during this time, the respondent committed misconduct by communicating with parties whom he knew were represented by another counsel and by failing to respond to disciplinary counsel’s investigations.

The Specification of charges states:

“Respondent’s conduct in Count II violated Rule 4.2(a) of the District of Columbia Rules of Professional Conduct in that while representing the TSA, she communicated about the subject of the representation with a person known to be represented by another lawyer in the matter, and she did so without authorization or the lawyer’s prior consent.”

The Specification of charges continues:

“On July 13, 2021, Disciplinary Counsel filed with the Board of Professional Responsibility an amended motion to compel the Respondent’s written response to the complaint. Disciplinary Counsel served its amended motion on Respondent by email to her email address of record and her official TSA email address, as well as by first-class mail to her mailing address of record. Disciplinary Counsel’s correspondence was not returned undelivered. Respondent did not file an opposition or otherwise respond to Disciplinary Counsel’s amended motion.”

According to the committee, in consideration of the facts, the charges, and their own inquiry, they have serious concerns about the respondent’s future ability to act ethically and competently. Based on this foregoing reason, the committee recommended a 30-day suspension against the respondent.

The Recommendation states:

“For the foregoing reasons, the Committee finds that Respondent violated Rule 4.2(a), Rule 8.1(b), Rule 8. 4(d), and D.C. Bar R. XI, § 2(b)(3), and should receive the sanction of a 30-day suspension, with fitness. We further recommend that the Respondent’s attention be directed to the requirements of D.C. Bar R. XI, § 14, and their effect on eligibility for reinstatement. See D.C. Bar R. XI, § 16(c).”

Ms. Daniels attended the University of Maryland, graduating in 1984. She practices in Washington, DC. She is licensed in Maryland, Virginia, as well as in the District of Columbia with licensed no. 399285. Her info can be found on martindale.com.

A copy of the original filing can be found here.