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A Member of the Bar of the District of Columbia Court of Appeals On Report and Recommendation of the Board on Professional Responsibility

Argued November 1, 2000

This bar disciplinary matter arises out of respondent’s appointment as successor personal representative and attorney for the estate of Sara Fraction, who died intestate in 1981. *fn1 There is little question that respondent was dilatory and negligent in carrying out her duties. The key issue before us involves her payments to herself of fees relating to the estate, a matter as to which the Board and the Hearing Committee were in sharp disagreement. Respondent first made such partial payments in 1994 totaling $6600 without prior court approval as was then required. Then, once court approval was obtained of a total for fees and expenses of $12,720, she overpaid herself in 1997 by almost $600. We conclude that, in the circumstances of this rather peculiar case, the record does not contain sufficient proof by “clear and convincing evidence” that these payments constituted the charged “intentional and/or reckless” misappropriation of estate funds so as to fall within the automatic disbarrment rule of In re Addams. We suspend respondent from the practice of law for one year and sixty days.

 
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