On Tuesday, March 5, 2024, the Supreme Court of Georgia disbarred attorney Andrea Jo Anne David-Vega after finding numerous ethics violations in her representation of a client

The case is entitled “In the Matter of Andrea Jo Anne David-Vega,” with case no. S24Y0099.

The charges cited Georgia Rules of Professional Conduct 1.2, 1.3, 1.4(a), 1.5(c), 1.16(d), 3.4(a), 8.1(a), 8.4(a)(4), and 9.3. 

The case began in 2020 when David-Vega’s long-time client Fadi L. Milan filed a grievance against her with the State Bar of Georgia. Milan alleged that David-Vega failed to pursue his personal injury claim from a 2016 car accident in a timely manner, missing the statute of limitations. David-Vega had agreed to represent Milan regarding injuries to his eye, neck, head, back, and brain from the accident.

However, David-Vega failed to respond to the initial grievance or subsequent investigations by the State Bar. She also did not timely file an answer to the formal complaint filed against her in 2022. This resulted in the facts of the case being deemed admitted due to default. The record showed that David-Vega cut off communication with the insurer, failed to provide Milan with a written fee agreement, and neglected to file suit before the statute of limitations expired in 2018.

Between 2019 and 2020, Milan made 65 unanswered calls, emails, and texts to David-Vega’s office asking for updates on his case. David-Vega fabricated an email purportedly from Milan terminating her representation in 2018. However, the formatting and grammar were inconsistent with Milan’s actual correspondence. When Milan terminated David-Vega and requested his file in May 2020, she asked him why he was “firing” her.

Milan then sued David-Vega for legal malpractice. During the litigation, David-Vega provided incomplete and untruthful discovery responses. The lawsuit was eventually settled just before the disciplinary hearing.

Based on these facts, the Special Master investigating the case determined David-Vega violated numerous Bar rules regarding competence, diligence, communication, and candor. At a mitigation hearing, David-Vega admitted to creating the fabricated documents but could not explain her actions. She claimed personal issues and an overwhelming workload prevented her from properly handling Milan’s case.

However, the Special Master found many aggravating factors applied, including dishonest motive, a pattern of misconduct, harming a vulnerable victim, and refusing to acknowledge wrongdoing. The Master recommended at least a two-year suspension. But noting the deception was among the most serious offenses, the Georgia Supreme Court ruled disbarment was the appropriate sanction.

The Court has disbarred attorneys in past cases for similar behavior like false statements to courts or disciplinary bodies and fabrication of evidence. David-Vega is now removed from the rolls of lawyers allowed to practice in Georgia.

The Disposition states:

“Accordingly, it is hereby ordered that the name of Andrea Jo Anne David-Vega be removed from the rolls of persons authorized to practice law in the State of Georgia. David-Vega is reminded of her duties pursuant to Bar Rule 4-219 (b).”

According to avvo.com, Ms. David-Vega was a criminal defense attorney in Lawrenceville, Georgia. She attended the Fordham University School of Law, graduating in 2005. She acquired her law license in Georgia in 2006.

A copy of the original filing can be found here.