On Thursday, November 9, 2023, the Supreme Court of Delaware disbarred Wilmington Attorney Richard L. Abbott and ordered him to pay costs associated with disciplinary proceedings.
The case is entitled “In the Matter of Richard L. Abbott.”
The charges cited Delaware Rules of Professional Conduct Rules 3.4(c)(d), 8.4(a)(c)(d) which states:
Knowingly disobeying an obligation under the rules of a tribunal, except for an open refusal based on an assertion that no valid obligation exists.
Engaging in conduct intended to disrupt a tribunal or engaging in undignified or discourteous conduct that is degrading to a tribunal.
Violating or attempting to violate the Rules of Professional Conduct, or knowingly assisting or inducing another to do so.
Engaging in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation.
Engaging in conduct that is prejudicial to the administration of justice.
The Rules of Professional Conduct can be found here.
The Court found by clear and convincing evidence that Abbott violated multiple rules of professional conduct relating to his conduct and statements made to the Court of Chancery during litigation proceedings. Abbott was also found to have engaged in sanctionable conduct during the disciplinary case itself, which began with a February 2020 petition of discipline filed by the Office of Disciplinary Counsel.
Following a post-hearing briefing by Abbott and the Office of Disciplinary Counsel, the Delaware Supreme Court found Abbott had violated the above-referenced rules and immediately disbarred him. The court’s decision was effective as of November 9, 2023.
The court also ordered Abbott to pay the costs of the disciplinary proceeding and directed the Office of Disciplinary Counsel to file a Petition in the Court of Chancery for the appointment of a Receiver of Abbott’s law practice.
According to avvo.com, Mr. Abbott practiced in Hockessin, Delaware before his disbarment. He acquired his law license in Delaware in 1989.
A copy of the original filing can be found here.