Georgia Supreme Court building. John Disney / ALM Georgia Supreme Court building. (Photo: John Disney / ALM)

In the Supreme Court of Georgia

Decided: January 29, 2018

S17Y1329. IN THE MATTER OF RICKY W. MORRIS, JR. PER CURIAM.

This disciplinary matter is before the Court on a Notice of Discipline seeking the disbarment of Ricky W. Morris, Jr. (State Bar No. 525160), based on eleven underlying grievances.1 On April 21, 2017, the Bar personally served Morris with the Notice of Discipline, see Bar Rule 4-203.1 (b) (3) (i). Morris filed a Notice of Rejection on May 24, 2017, but the State Bar responded, arguing to this Court that the Rejection was untimely. This Court issued an order on August 1, 2017 directing the Coordinating Special Master to determine in the first instance whether the Notice of Rejection was timely and that special master, H. Maddox Kilgore, subsequently issued his report finding that the rejection had not been timely filed. As Morris filed no response or objection to the special master’s report, this Court accepts the special master’s finding and holds that Morris is in default, has waived his rights to an evidentiary hearing, and is subject to such discipline and further proceedings as may be determined by this Court. See Bar Rule 4-208.1 (b).

The facts, as deemed admitted by virtue of Morris’s default, show with regard to State Disciplinary Board (“SDB”) Docket Nos. 6935, 6938, 6940- 6944 and 6982 that between August 2013 and January 2016 Morris took retainers ranging from between $1,000 and $15,000 to represent clients in criminal matters in various counties; that in one case (SDB Docket No. 6941) Morris made direct personal contact with the prospective client in the hallway of a courthouse and offered to handle his case for a fee, even though that client had not sought any advice or legal representation from Morris; that Morris either abandoned the cases at issue in the above-listed disciplinary matters or failed to properly handle them; that he failed to contact the clients or respond to their efforts to contact him with regard to their cases;2 that he failed to return the unearned portion of retainers when his services were terminated; and that he failed to respond timely to the properly-served Notices of Investigation that resulted from these grievances.

With regard to SDB Docket Nos. 6936 and 6939, the record shows that in April 2013, Morris was paid a $17,500 retainer to represent a defendant in a criminal matter in Henry County, Georgia. Although the client paid an additional $400 to cover expenses for an expert witness, Morris never hired the expert. Morris appeared at the call of the criminal jury trial calendar on January 25, 2016, and announced that he was ready for the trial, which was then set to begin with jury selection the next morning. Later that afternoon, the Assistant District Attorney (“ADA”) on the case overheard Morris on a telephone call in the courthouse men’s restroom, apparently attempting to purchase controlled substances for himself. The ADA brought Morris’s behavior to the presiding judge’s attention. The next morning, Morris appeared in court for jury selection but seemed to be under the influence of a controlled substance. He had bloodshot eyes and welts and bruises on his face, and he fell asleep at counsel’s table. The court recessed the trial and held a hearing on Morris’s fitness to proceed as defense counsel. At that hearing, Morris declined the court’s request that he submit to a drug test; denied he was under the influence or that he had made the phone call the prior day; and threatened the ADA with bodily harm. The court held Morris in contempt and imposed jail time that was to be immediately served. As a result, when Morris’s client returned to court, she was advised by the presiding judge that Morris was unable to represent her and she would need to seek new counsel. Morris took no further action on behalf of the client, and failed to refund the unearned portion of the retainer. In addition, Morris was charged with Felony Intimidation of a Court Officer and Felony Terroristic Threats for threatening the ADA. In November 2016, Morris resolved the charges by pleading guilty to disorderly conduct and simple assault. Morris was properly served with the Notice of Investigation arising from the grievance filed by this client (SDB Docket No. 3936), but failed to timely respond.

With regard to SDB Docket No. 6937, the record shows that Morris appeared at the Spalding County jail allegedly to have his client sign a Power of Attorney, but he did not have the proper identification to enter the jail. The Booking Clerk reported that Morris was acting erratically and appeared under the influence of an unknown substance. Morris told the clerk that his paralegal was present with proper identification and would meet with his client in booking first. Although Morris falsely identified the person with him as his paralegal, jail staff knew her to be the wife of Morris’s client, a fact Morris attempted to conceal. Morris was allowed to meet with the client for the sole purpose of having him sign the Power of Attorney, but as Morris was observed sleeping during that meeting, the visit was interrupted and Morris was asked to leave the jail. Once again, Morris was properly served with the Notice of Investigation arising from the grievance filed in this case but failed to timely respond.

We agree with the Bar that these facts clearly demonstrate that Morris violated Rules 1.2, (a), 1.3, 1.4, 1.16 (d), 3.5 (d), 4.1 (a), 7.3 (d), and 8.4 (a) (4) of the Georgia Rules of Professional Conduct, as found in Bar Rule 4-102(d).3  The maximum penalty for a single violation of Rule 1.2 (a), 1.3, 4.1 (a), 7.3 (d), or 8.4 (a) (4) is disbarment, while the maximum penalty for a single violation of Rule 1.4, 1.16 (d), or 3.5 (d) is a public reprimand. In aggravation, we note that Morris’s conduct involves multiple offenses and evidences a pattern of misconduct and that he failed to timely respond to the Notices of Investigation relating to these disciplinary matters.

Having reviewed the record, we conclude that disbarment is the appropriate sanction in this matter. Accordingly, it is hereby ordered that the name of Ricky W. Morris, Jr. be removed from the rolls of persons authorized to practice law in the State of Georgia. Morris is reminded of his duties pursuant to Bar Rule 4-219 (c).

Disbarred. All the Justices concur.

1 Morris, who was admitted to the State Bar in 1998, is currently under suspension pursuant to this Court’s acceptance of his voluntary petition for emergency suspension pending resolution of the disciplinary and criminal matters then-filed against him, see Bar Rule 4-108. See In the Matter of Morris, 298 Ga. 864 (785 SE2d 408) (2016).

2 In SDB Docket No. 6982, Morris’s client had a bench warrant issued for his arrest after the client failed to appear at a hearing about which Morris failed to advise him; that client learned that Morris was in custody and was able to resolve the warrant on his own and have his case rescheduled. Morris responded to that client’s termination letter, explaining that his law license had been suspended, but he failed to refund any part of the $2,250 retainer that client had paid.

3 The Bar also charged Morris with a violation of Rule 8.4 (a) (3) (lawyer shall not be convicted of a misdemeanor involving moral turpitude where the underlying conduct relates to his fitness to practice law) based on his convictions for disorderly conduct and simple assault, but we need not reach the question of whether that charge can be sustained in this case because, by virtue of Morris’s other admitted conduct, he clearly violated Rules 1.2 (a), 1.3, 4.1 (a), 7.3 (d), 8.4 (a) (4), all of which carry the same maximum penalty of disbarment.


In the Supreme Court of Georgia

Decided: January 29, 2018

S17Y1918. IN THE MATTER OF CLARENCE R. JOHNSON, JR. PER CURIAM.

This disciplinary matter is before the Court on this second petition for voluntary discipline filed by Clarence R. Johnson, Jr. (State Bar No. 392870), prior to the issuance of a formal complaint. See Bar Rule 4–227 (b) (2). This Court rejected Johnson’s first petition for voluntary discipline, concluding that the suggested discipline of a public or Review Panel reprimand was insufficient to address Johnson’s conduct. See In the Matter of Johnson, 299 Ga. 744 (791 SE2d 779) (2016). Johnson, who became a member of the Bar in 1984, admits in this petition, as he did in his prior petition, that he became subject to collection efforts after he was hospitalized due to illness and unable to work while on bed rest, that he deposited personal funds into his trust account to conceal them from his creditors, and that he made withdrawals for personal expenses from the trust account.

As this Court noted in its opinion rejecting Johnson’s first petition, the relevant facts are as follows:

In December 2013, Wells Fargo Bank, Johnson’s trust account holder, notified the Bar that Johnson’s trust account held insufficient funds for a check presented for payment. Johnson responded to the Bar’s inquiry regarding the insufficient funds and provided copies of bank statements for his trust, operating, and payroll accounts. In a letter to the Bar dated May 9, 2014, Johnson admitted to transferring earned fees from his operating account to his trust account to conceal personal funds from creditors seeking satisfaction of outstanding personal debts. The Bar advised Johnson to attend a general consultation on trust account management with the Bar’s Law Practice Management Program, which Johnson did. On February 27, 2015, Johnson filed a voluntary petition for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, and he was granted a discharge of his personal debts on June 25, 2015.

Johnson also admitted he failed to maintain records for client funds held in his trust account and deposited settlement funds into his operating accounts which exposed his clients’ funds to his creditors’ collection efforts. The Bar’s Investigative Panel initiated a grievance against Johnson on August 19, 2015, and on October 19, 2015, Johnson submitted to the Investigative Panel a petition for voluntary discipline requesting the imposition of an Investigative Panel reprimand. The Investigative Panel determined that the appropriate discipline would be a Review Panel reprimand, which prompted the filing of Johnson’s petition for voluntary discipline in this Court.

Id. at 744-45.

As before, Johnson admits that his conduct violated Bar Rules 1.15 (I) (a), 1.15 (II) (a), 1.15 (II) (b), and 8.4 (a) (4), of the Georgia Rules of Professional Conduct. See Bar Rule 4-102 (d). The maximum sanction for a violation of each of these Bar Rules is disbarment. In mitigation of discipline, Johnson offers that he has no prior disciplinary history, has cooperated by submitting a detailed letter concerning his misconduct to the State Bar and consulting with the Law Practice Management Program as advised, has otherwise good character and reputation as shown by submitted letters of support from the legal community, and has expressed remorse for his conduct. Johnson suggests that the appropriate discipline in his case should fall somewhere in a range between a suspension for one month and a suspension for one year, although he requests a suspension of no more than three months. The Bar recommends a suspension of one year, and notes in aggravation that Johnson’s conduct was dishonest and selfishly motivated.

Having reviewed the record as a whole, we decide that the imposition of a six-month suspension is the appropriate sanction in this matter, see In the Matter of Carragher, 289 Ga. 826 (716 SE2d 216) (2011), and we therefore accept Johnson’s petition for voluntary discipline. Accordingly, we hereby order that he be suspended from the practice of law in this State for six months. Because there are no conditions on Johnson’s reinstatement other than the passage of time, there is no need for him to take any action either through the State Bar or through this Court to effectuate his return to the practice of law. Instead, the suspension based on this opinion will take effect as of the date this opinion is issued and will expire by its own terms six months later. Johnson is reminded of his duties pursuant to Bar Rule 4-219 (c).

Petition for voluntary discipline accepted. Six-month suspension. All the Justices concur.


In the Supreme Court of Georgia

Decided: January 29, 2018

S17Y2016. IN THE MATTER OF CAMERON SHAHAB. PER CURIAM.

A special master was appointed over this disciplinary matter after we rejected a petition for voluntary discipline filed by Cameron Shahab (State Bar No. 135087). See In the Matter of Shahab, 300 Ga. 411 (794 SE2d 651) (2016). The special master issued a report recommending that Shahab be disbarred for multiple violations of the Georgia Rules of Professional Conduct in relation to his deficient representation and neglect of two unrelated clients. We accept that recommendation.

The record shows that Shahab acknowledged service of the complaint but failed to file a response, and is thus deemed to have admitted the facts alleged in the complaint, including the following. On or about July 14, 2014, one client paid Shahab $2,500 to help him apply for asylum. The client expressed that he wanted the application filed before his legal student resident status expired in early October 2014. Shahab said he would have a draft application ready for the client’s review by early August. In late August, the client asked about the delay, and Shahab responded that he would provide an update within a few days. Having not heard from Shahab, the client emailed Shahab on September 3, 2014, and asked why Shahab had not provided an update or a draft asylum application as promised. The client then sent a text message to Shahab in late September after Shahab failed to respond to the client’s emails. Shahab responded and exchanged several text messages with the client, who reminded Shahab that the asylum application was due by October 2, 2014. Shahab replied, “No problem at all.”

On September 30, 2014, Shahab told the client that he was dealing with a family health matter in another state, and reassured the client that he would submit the asylum application on time and would supplement the application afterward if necessary. Shahab later told the client that the application would be filed at the end of October. When no application was filed by January 5, 2015, the client emailed Shahab and threatened to file a report with the State Bar and take other actions if Shahab did not start the application within ten days. Shahab emailed the client weeks later and told the client that he would provide a draft application and file it by January 31, 2015. When January 31 arrived, Shahab promised to provide a draft application within three days. Shahab never sent a draft application to the client, never filed an application for the client, and refused the client’s demand for a full refund. The client later received a fee refund award through the State Bar’s fee arbitration program.1

In May 2013, a second client paid Shahab $11,750 to help the client establish legal residence in the United States. The client provided Shahab with requested documentation over the succeeding months. In January 2014, the client made several phone calls to Shahab but could not reach Shahab because the number had been disconnected with no prior notice to the client. The client also sent a number of emails to Shahab. Shahab eventually responded, claiming to be out of the state caring for an ailing family member. During this time, Shahab failed to notify the client of a December 2013 immigration hearing, causing the client to miss it and resulting in a deportation order being issued against the client.

Shahab later told the client that he would file a motion to reopen the client’s case and advised the client not to report for deportation in April 2014, because the motion to reopen would be the equivalent of an appearance. At approximately 2:30 p.m. on the scheduled date of deportation, Shahab contacted the client’s wife and told her that the client had to appear in immigration court by 4:00 p.m., which the client did. Shahab had assured the client that he had filed the motion to reopen in the client’s case, but immigration authorities had no record of any such filing. The client’s wife twice requested to meet with Shahab in May 2014, but he declined.

In July 2014, the second client met with another attorney, who asked Shahab to provide an accounting and copies of the documents filed in the case. In response, Shahab offered a partial refund to the client if the client did not terminate representation. Because the client had no money and had a newborn baby, he allowed Shahab to continue representing him. When the client’s wife learned in December 2014 that immigration authorities had no record of a motion to reopen ever being filed, she asked Shahab to provide proof of filing. Shahab responded more than a month later, sending the client’s wife an email with a PDF attachment that Shahab claimed showed the label for the packet he sent to immigration authorities. Using the tracking number on the label, the client’s wife determined that, as of January 26, 2015, the postal service had obtained an electronic notification that mail was to be sent to the postal service but no package had actually been delivered to the postal service. The client’s wife sent Shahab a document from immigration authorities giving the client until March 24, 2015, to prove that a motion to reopen had been filed or face deportation. Shahab told the client’s wife that he would provide proof to immigration authorities, there was no urgency in providing the documentation, and the client need not do anything in response to the immigration notice. Shahab also told the client’s wife on March 16, 2015, that he would visit the immigration office that week to file the necessary motion. By March 20, the client obtained new counsel. Responding to new counsel’s email, Shahab initially promised to deliver the paid filing fees ($3,000) to new counsel, but later refused to do so. The client later received a $11,750 fee refund award through the State Bar’s fee arbitration program.2

Based on these facts, the special master concluded that Shahab’s conduct violated Rule 1.2 (lawyer shall consult with client on scope and objectives of representation), Rule 1.3 (lawyer shall act with reasonable diligence and promptness in representing client and shall not willfully abandon or disregard matter to detriment of client without just cause), Rule 1.4 (lawyer shall keep client reasonably informed about status and promptly comply with reasonable requests for information), Rule 1.16 (lawyer shall protect a client’s interests when withdrawing representation), Rule 3.2 (lawyer shall make reasonable efforts to expedite litigation consistent with client’s interests), and Rule 8.4 (a) (4) (lawyer shall not engage in professional conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation). The maximum sanction for a violation of Rules 1.4, 1.16, and 3.2 is a public reprimand. The maximum sanction for a violation of Rules 1.2, 1.3, and 8.4 (a) (4) is disbarment.

Citing the ABA Standards for Imposing Lawyer Sanctions, the special master recommended that Shahab be disbarred because, inter alia, he committed multiple offenses of abandoning or neglecting his clients, his conduct caused or potentially caused serious injury to his clients, he knowingly deceived clients, and he ignored the gravity of the disciplinary process by failing to respond to the complaint. Shahab received notice of the special master’s report but failed to file a response.

Having reviewed the record and the special master’s report, we agree that disbarment is the appropriate sanction in these circumstances, especially considering Shahab’s refusal to make restitution to either client and dereliction of duties in matters of legal residence in this country, causing the second client to miss a court date and face deportation. See generally In the Matter of Raulin, 299 Ga. 283 (787 SE2d 691) (2016) (disbarring attorney who failed to diligently represent and communicate with client or provide refund); In the Matter of Lea, 297 Ga. 797 (778 SE2d 229) (2015) (disbarring attorney who failed to file pleadings for, respond to, or refund fees to clients); In the Matter of Lieb, 289 Ga. 168 (709 SE2d 800) (2011) (disbarring attorney who failed to take action on matters for, respond to, or refund fees to clients). Accordingly, it is hereby ordered that the name of Cameron Shahab be removed from the rolls of persons authorized to practice law in the State of Georgia. Shahab is reminded of his duties pursuant to Bar Rule 4-219 (c).

Disbarred. All the Justices concur.

1 At the time we rejected Shahab’s petition for voluntary discipline in December 2016, we noted that the State Bar had confirmed that Shahab had not made payments toward satisfying this arbitration award. See In the Matter of Shahab, 300 Ga. at 412. There is no evidence in the record showing that he has since made any payments.

2 As with the first client, the State Bar confirmed that Shahab had not made any payments against the second client’s fee award when Shahab’s case was last before us. See In the Matter of Shahab, 300 Ga. at 412. There is no evidence in the record showing that he has since made any payments.


In the Supreme Court of Georgia

Decided: January 29, 2018

S18Y0142. IN THE MATTER OF ROBERT JUTZI HOWELL. PER CURIAM.

This disciplinary matter is before the Court on the Report and Recommendation of special master H. Maddox Kilgore, who recommends that the Court accept the petition for voluntary surrender of license filed by Robert Jutzi Howell (State Bar No. 561931). In his petition, Howell who has been a member of the State Bar of Georgia since 2010, admitted that in June 2016, he pled guilty in South Carolina to one felony count of Pointing/Presenting a Firearm, in violation of SC Code §16-23-410; one misdemeanor count of Unlawful Carrying of a Pistol, in violation of SC Code §16-23-20; and one misdemeanor count of Possession of Cocaine, in violation of SC Code § 44-53-370 (d) (3). Howell admitted that, by virtue of his felony conviction, he violated Rule 8.4 (a) (2) of the Georgia Rules of Professional Conduct. See Bar Rule 4-102. Thus, he requested acceptance of the voluntary surrender of his license to practice law, which he acknowledged was tantamount to disbarment.

The special master states that the State Bar supports Howell’s petition and concludes that a felony conviction generally warrants disbarment. Therefore, the special master recommends disbarment. Nevertheless, recognizing that surrender of a license to practice law is tantamount to disbarment, the special master also recommends acceptance of Howell’s petition for voluntary surrender of license.

We have reviewed the record and agree to accept Howell’s petition for the voluntary surrender of his license. Accordingly, the name of Robert Jutzi Howell hereby is removed from the rolls of persons entitled to practice law in the State of Georgia. Howell is reminded of his duties under Bar Rule 4-219 (c).

Voluntary surrender of license accepted. All the Justices concur.


In the Supreme Court of Georgia

Decided: January 29, 2018

S18Y0256. IN THE MATTER OF LARRY BUSH HILL. PER CURIAM.

This disciplinary matter is before the Court on the petition for voluntary surrender of license filed by Larry Bush Hill (State Bar No. 354360) pursuant to Bar Rule 4-227 (b) (2). In his petition, Hill, who was admitted to the Bar in 1994, admits that in September 2017 he entered a guilty plea in the Superior Court of Walker County, Georgia to one count of influencing a witness in violation of OCGA § 16-10-93 (a) and one count of criminal attempt to suborn perjury in violation of OCGA § 16-10-72. As both offenses are felonies, Hill’s convictions violate Rule 8.4 (a) (2) of the Georgia Rules of Professional Conduct found in Bar Rule 4-102 (d), the maximum penalty for which is disbarment. Hill acknowledges that his proposed voluntary surrender of license is tantamount to disbarment and asks this Court to accept his petition.

The State Bar recommends that this Court accept Hill’s petition for voluntary surrender of his license, and based upon our review of the petition, we agree that acceptance of Hill’s petition is in the best interests of the Bar and the public. Accordingly, the name of Larry Bush Hill is hereby removed from the rolls of persons entitled to practice law in the State of Georgia. Hill is reminded of his duties under Bar Rule 4-219 (c).

Voluntary surrender of license accepted. All the Justices concur.


In the Supreme Court of Georgia

Decided: January 29, 2018

S18Y0264. IN THE MATTER OF CHRISTOPHER MARK MILLER. PER CURIAM.

This disciplinary matter is before the Court on the petition of Christopher Mark Miller (State Bar No. 506428) for voluntary surrender of license, pursuant to Bar Rule 4-227 (b). On November 7, 2016, this Court accepted a petition for voluntary discipline filed by Miller, who has been a member of the Bar since 1990, in which petition he proposed that he be suspended pending the resolution of multiple felony charges then pending against him. See In the Matter of Miller, 300 Ga. 139 (793 SE2d 376) (2016). In the present petition, Miller recounts that these felony charges have now been resolved through his entry of guilty pleas to counts of financial transaction card fraud, financial transaction card theft, theft by taking, theft by conversion, and theft by deception. Miller admits that, by entering these pleas, he is in violation of Rule 8.4 (a) (2) of the Georgia Rules of Professional Conduct, the maximum sanction for a violation of which is disbarment. The State Bar has not responded to this petition.

We have reviewed the record and agree to accept Miller’s petition for the voluntary surrender of his license, which is tantamount to disbarment. Accordingly, the name of Christopher Mark Miller is hereby removed from the rolls of persons entitled to practice law in the State of Georgia. Miller is reminded of his duties under Bar Rule 4-219 (c).

Voluntary surrender of license accepted. All the Justices concur.


In the Supreme Court of Georgia

Decided: January 29, 2018

S18Y0269. IN THE MATTER OF LORNE HOWARD CRAGG. PER CURIAM.

This disciplinary matter is before the Court on the petition for voluntary surrender of license filed by Lorne Howard Cragg (State Bar No. 697876) pursuant to Bar Rule 4-227 (b) (2). In his petition, Cragg, who has been a member of the Bar since 2004, admitted that he received client funds and that he should have preserved those funds in his trust account, but that he misappropriated those funds for his personal use and did not otherwise account to his client for the funds. He further admitted that the bank at which he maintained his attorney trust account notified the State Bar about checks he had written on that account, which checks had to be returned as the account held insufficient funds to pay the checks. Finally, Cragg admitted that he provided false and misleading information to the Office of General Counsel during its investigation of this matter.

Cragg acknowledged that the above described conduct violates Rules 1.15 (II) (b), 8.1 (a), and 8.4 (a) (4) of the Georgia Rules of Professional Conduct found in Bar Rule 4-102 (d). The maximum penalty for a single violation of any of those rules is disbarment. Given his admissions, Cragg requested that the Court accept his petition for the voluntary surrender of his license, which would be tantamount to disbarment.

The State Bar recommends that this Court accept Cragg’s petition for voluntary surrender of his license, and based upon our review of the petition, we agree that acceptance of Cragg’s petition is in the best interests of the Bar and the public. Accordingly, the name of Lorne Howard Cragg is hereby removed from the rolls of persons entitled to practice law in the State of Georgia. Cragg is reminded of his duties under Bar Rule 4-219 (c).

Voluntary surrender of license accepted. All the Justices concur.


In the Supreme Court of Georgia

Decided: January 29, 2018

S18Y0387. IN THE MATTER OF RICHARD V. MERRITT. PER CURIAM.

This disciplinary matter is before the Court on the petition for voluntary surrender of license filed by Richard V. Merritt (State Bar No. 503105), pursuant to Bar Rule 4-227 (b) (2), before the issuance of a formal complaint. In his petition, Merritt, who has been a member of the Bar since 2000, admits that in February 2017 he settled a client’s personal injury matter for $75,000, but failed to promptly disburse those funds to his client or her medical providers and failed to render a full accounting of the funds to his client. Merritt acknowledges that the above-described conduct violated Rules 1.15 (I) (c) of the Georgia Rules of Professional Conduct found in Bar Rule 4-102 (d). The maximum penalty for a single violation of Rule 1.15 (I) is disbarment.

Given his admissions, Merritt requests that the Court accept his petition for the voluntary surrender of his license, which he acknowledges would be tantamount to disbarment. The State Bar has responded, stating its belief that the best interests of the public and the Bar would be served by this Court accepting the petition for surrender of license.

We have reviewed the record and agree to accept Merritt’s petition for the voluntary surrender of his license. Accordingly, the name of Richard V. Merritt hereby is removed from the rolls of persons entitled to practice law in the State of Georgia. Merritt is reminded of his duties under Bar Rule 4-219 (c).

Voluntary surrender of license accepted. All the Justices concur.