The complaint only alleged he obtained retainers and did not deposit them into his trust account, even though the retainers had not been earned. [The lawyer] admitted, as required by the commission’s sanction, all the allegations in the complaint, but the possibility that he faced a revocation of his license to practice law was not raised until the conclusion of the hearing. . . .Under the circumstances, [the lawyer] did not have a fair opportunity to know the issue of theft was in play and to produce evidence to show he had a future colorable claim to the retainer.I am with the Disciplinary Board that recommended disbarment on this one. An allegation that the attorney "obtained retainers and did not deposit them into his trust account, even though the retainers had not been earned" is, by definition, an allegation of misappropriation and anyone who went to law school knows that misappropriation, if proven, is more than likely going to result in disbarment. In short, if the accusation is for misappropriation, any lawyer knows that they are facing disbarment. I would say that not knowing this is, in and of itself, incompetence.
So, I am willing to be convinced that I am wrong, but for now, I stand with the Board. Granted, the complaint may have been drafted better, but I don't find the court's conclusion convincing.