Charlottesville attorney Robert P. Dwoskin, 71, has been ordered to close his practice after Virginia State Bar officials say he dropped the ball on a woman’s claim of police excessive force.
The order comes after a confidential subcommittee investigation revealed Dwoskin’s conduct in the case violated ethics rules involving diligence, client communication, fees and disobedience of a court order, state bar spokesman Edward L. Davis said Monday.
According to the official disposition by the state bar subcommittee investigating Dwoskin, the Charlottesville attorney violated the bar’s rules of professional conduct “in recommending for his client to agree to a voluntary dismissal of her case on his promise to refile it as her attorney, at a time when he knew or should have known that there was no merit to the case; not refiling the case as promised; in accepting and filing a case on a contingent fee basis without reducing the contingent fee agreement to writing; in failing to comply with the court’s scheduling order or to participate in discovery, as found by the court; and in failing to respond to repeated written inquiries from his client and her son for more than a year after the case’s dismissal.”
The subcommittee ordered Dwoskin to close his office by May 1.
“The decision was set to be heard in a public hearing at the district committee,” Davis said, “but [Dwoskin] agreed to the discipline and the terms before it went to hearing.”
According to the state bar disciplinary board subcommittee determination, Dwoskin will accept no new clients while his practice is still open.
Dwoskin received a public reprimand with terms in 2009 for missing the deadline in an employment discrimination case involving a federal employee. In the aftermath of the 2009 case, the state bar required Dwoskin hire a law office management consultant to ensure compliance with rules regarding diligence and safekeeping others’ property.