On Thursday, January 25, 2024, a three-judge panel of the Virginia Colonial Heights Circuit Court accepted an agreed-upon disposition for attorney Ernest Maxie Holleman, Jr. in a disciplinary matter brought by the Virginia State Bar.

The case is entitled “Virginia State Bar Ex Rel, Third District, Section III Committee v. Ernest Maxie Holleman, Jr.,” with case no. CL 23000469-00.

The agreed disposition stems from Holleman’s representation of Donald Kroener regarding the estate of his late daughter Stacy Morris. Morris, who resided in Arkansas, passed away in March 2021 without a will. Her estate included real and personal property in Arkansas as well as a potentially sizable 401(k) account.

Without Kroener’s knowledge, Morris’ friend Nancy Howard filed to be appointed administrator of the estate and was approved by an Arkansas probate court in May 2021. Kroener disagreed with many of Howard’s actions in handling the estate. He then hired Holleman, a Virginia attorney not licensed in Arkansas, to represent his interests.

Holleman charged Kroener $17,180.90 for his work on the matter between September 2021 and September 2022. However, the Virginia State Bar alleged Holleman’s fee was unreasonable given he was not licensed in Arkansas, the simple nature of the single-heir estate case, and the lack of meaningful results achieved. Additionally, the fee agreement and communications around contingency fees were inadequate.

Under the agreed disposition approved by the three-judge panel, Holleman receives a public reprimand. He must also immediately cease taking new clients, shutter any law firm websites and advertising, transfer to retired status with the Virginia State Bar, refund Kroener’s legal fees, and provide various certifications to the Bar. If Holleman fails to comply with any terms, his law license will be revoked.

The Disposition states:

“It is ORDERED that the Circuit Court accepts the Agreed Disposition, and the Respondent shall receive a Public Reprimand with Terms. The Agreed Disposition is attached to and incorporated in this Memorandum Order.”

According to Find Law, Mr. Holleman is an attorney in Colonial Heights, Virginia.

A copy of the original filing can be found here.