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A first-year associate at Holland & Knight was sanctioned by a D.C. federal judge earlier this month for a “sustained pattern” of evading the judiciary in connection with a suit filed against him over a real estate dispute. The sanctions stem from Anthony Noble’s failure to reply to a civil complaint which alleges that Noble’s stepfather tricked the plaintiff, Betty Gene Ali, into selling her D.C. home to Noble below market and then failed to pay her for the house. On March 10, Judge Richard Roberts ordered Noble to pay Ali’s attorney fees, which her attorney, Thomas Wilcox, estimates will be in the “tens of thousands.” According to the suit, while a student at the University of Pennsylvania School of Law in 2002, Noble was served notice of the case. He claims he was not properly served and did not reply. Two more followed. Noble’s first response to the action came more than four years past deadline. “His conduct was willful, deliberate and repeated, and his quest to become an officer of a court of law should have sharpened and not dulled his sensitivity to the impropriety of his behavior,” Roberts wrote. A trial date has not yet been scheduled. La Fonte Nesbitt, Holland & Knight’s D.C. managing partner, said through a spokesperson that the firm was “investigating the circumstances” of the sanctions, but declined further comment. Noble did not return calls. When called for comment, Noble’s lawyer Bruce Johnson, a solo practitioner, said “Interesting case, huh?” before abruptly hanging up.
Emma Schwartz can be contacted at [email protected].

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