Former Superior Court Judge Robert Mallory “Mack” Crawford has been handed a three-year suspension by the Supreme Court of Georgia. The court’s decision, released on Tuesday, September 19, 2023, concludes a disciplinary matter involving Crawford in two separate cases.
The disciplinary matter, involving two cases, is titled ‘In the Matter of Robert Mallory Crawford’ with case nos. S22Y0631, S23Y0279.
In Case No. S22Y0631, Crawford is charged with a violation of Rule 8.4(a)(3) of the Georgia Rules of Professional Conduct (GRPC) based on his first-offender plea to a misdemeanor count of theft related to obtaining registry funds improperly.
In Case No. S23Y0279, Crawford is charged with violating several provisions of the Georgia Rules of Professional Conduct, including mishandling client funds and dishonest conduct (Rules 1.5, 1.15 (I) (a), 1.15 (I) (c), 1.15 (I) (d), 1.15 (II) (a), 1.15 (II) (c), and 8.4(a)(4)).
The Georgia Rules of Professional Conduct can be found here.
Judge Crawford was also previously the subject of a judicial discipline proceeding with similar allegations. In that matter, the Court did not reach a conclusion regarding Crawford’s violation of the Code of Judicial Conduct because he voluntarily resigned from the bench.
In these two cases, Judge Crawford was alleged to have obtained funds from the court registry under circumstances that demonstrated he was not entitled to the funds.
Special Master Adam M. Hames oversaw the two instant matters and conducted an evidentiary hearing. The special master’s report found that Judge Crawford had committed most of the charged violations of the GRPC in Case No. S23Y0279, except for Rule 1.5. The special master recommended disbarment.
Crawford filed exceptions to the special master’s report in Case No. S23Y0279, seeking review from the Bar’s Review Board. The Review Board agreed with the special master’s analysis and conclusions except for the appropriate discipline. It recommended a three-year suspension.
After conducting its own review, the Court agreed with the Review Board that a three-year suspension is the appropriate discipline for Case No. S23Y0279. The Court determines that no additional discipline is warranted for Case No. S22Y0631.
In part, the disposition reads:
“Accordingly, we hereby order that Crawford be suspended from the practice of law in this State for three years. Because there are no conditions on Crawford’s than the passage of time, there is no need for him to take any action either through the State Bar or through this Court to effectuate his return to the practice of law. Instead, the suspension arising from this opinion will take effect as of the date this opinion is issued and will expire by its own term three years later. Crawford is reminded of his duties pursuant to Bar Rule 4-219 (b).Three-year suspension. All the Justices concur, except Colvin, J., not participating.”
Judge Robert Mallory Crawford served as a judge on the Griffin Superior Court in Georgia, having been appointed by Governor Sonny Perdue in August 2010. He acquired his Juris Doctor degree from Woodrow Wilson College of Law and acquired his law license in Georgia in 1987. More info on Crawford’s bio can be found on Avvo.com.
A copy of the original filing can be found here.