On Monday, October 25, 2023, the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board approved a one-year and one-day suspension with terms for lawyer Duncan Kenner Brent for misconduct in two client matters. The suspension stems from Brent’s representation of car accident victim Felecia Parks and chiropractor Makda Getachew.
The case is titled ‘In the Matter of Duncan Kenner Brent’ with case nos. 23-052-126721 and 23-052-128128.
The case stemmed when Brent failed to diligently pursue and communicate about Parks’ personal injury lawsuit after taking over the case from his deceased law partner in 2016. The lawsuit was nonsuited multiple times and the statute of limitations expired due to Brent’s inaction. Brent also failed to respond to the bar’s investigation of Parks’ misconduct complaint against him.
In another matter, Brent signed liens agreeing to pay Getachew’s bills for treating Brent’s clients. But Brent failed to pay Getachew $2,727 owed for a client’s treatment after settling the client’s case. Brent again failed to respond to the bar’s investigation after Getachew filed an ethics complaint. The bar suspended Brent’s law license in January 2023 for failing to comply with a subpoena.
After considering the agreed disposition, Brent’s disciplinary record, and arguments from both parties, the Disciplinary Board ordered that Brent receive a one-year-and-one-day suspension with terms. Under the terms of the suspension, Brent must notify all current clients and opposing counsel in pending litigation of the suspension within 14 days and make arrangements for pending client matters to be handled by other attorneys.
Brent must also submit proof to the Virginia State Bar within 60 days that he has complied with the notification requirements. If he has no current client matters, he must submit an affidavit to that effect. The order states Brent will bear the burden of proving his compliance with the suspension terms.
The Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board will oversee Brent’s compliance and has the authority to impose additional sanctions up to the revocation of his law license if he fails to abide by the terms of the suspension order.
According to Martindale, Mr. Brent practices in Silver Spring, Maryland. He graduated from Washington University in 1993 and acquired his law license in Virginia in 1998.
A copy of the original filing can be found here.