On Tuesday, October 10, 2023, the Third District, Section I Subcommittee of the Virginia State Bar issued a public reprimand against attorney Michael Ben Gunlicks. The reprimand was issued due to Gunlicks’ violation of the Rules of Professional Conduct.
The case is entitled “In the Matter of Michael Ben Gunlicks,” with case no. 23-031-127969.
The case began in 2015 when Gunlicks agreed to represent a client, Rauseff M. Lambert, on a contingency fee basis for injuries stemming from a car accident. However, Gunlicks failed to communicate with Lambert and did not take action on the case for three and a half years. In 2019, Lambert requested that Gunlicks be removed as his counsel, but the court did not grant the request.
In 2020, Gunlicks filed a motion to amend the complaint, which was granted, but he failed to file a certificate of mailing of process on the defendants. As a result, the court removed the lawsuit in March 2023 pursuant to Va. Code § 8.01-335(B). Gunlicks advised the bar investigator that his plan was to move to reinstate the case before March 23, 2024, and then seek leave to withdraw as counsel.
The Subcommittee determined that Gunlicks’ conduct constituted misconduct in violation of the Rules of Professional Conduct and imposed a Public Reprimand Without Terms.
The Disposition states:
“Accordingly, having approved the agreed disposition, it is the decision of the Subcommittee to impose a Public Reprimand Without Terms, and Respondent is hereby so reprimanded. Pursuant to Part 6, IV, 13-9.E of the Rules of the Supreme Court of Virginia, the Clerk of the Disciplinary System shall assess costs.”
According to avvo.com, Mr. Gunlicks is a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy attorney in Richmond, Virginia. He earned his law degree from George Washington University National Law Center in 1995 and was admitted to the Virginia Bar that same year.
A copy of the original filing can be found here.