Former colleagues described Theodora Charles as an intelligent and conscientious attorney. But by the late 1990s, the Washington solo practitioner was struggling.

A client complained that Charles had mishandled her case, according to a District of Columbia Bar report. Records from the Board on Professional Responsibility show she failed to file documents on time and had acted erratically, quoting Bible passages at court hearings despite warnings from a judge. Her law license was suspended for 30 days in 2004, and she never moved for reinstatement.

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