CHARLESTON - A Washington, D.C., attorney has decided to take down his West Virginia shingle.
The state Supreme Court on June 10 ordered the disbarment of Adam J. Bullian. The court’s decision came following an agreement between the Office of Disciplinary Counsel and Bullian, 31, on May 24 that resulted in the voluntary annulment of his license in lieu of contesting pending ethics charges.
In January, ODC, the arm of the Court that investigates attorney misconduct, filed a single-count statement of charges against Bullian with the Lawyer Disciplinary Board stemming from a complaint filed over a year earlier by Kevin J. Lackland. In his complaint, Lackland said he lost contact with Bullian after he paid him $900 for unspecified legal services.
According to the statement, between Nov. 14, 2011, effort to contact Bullian for a response went unsuccessful. The effort included sending letters to both an address on Rhode Island Ave. he had listed with the D.C. Bar, and one found in Leesburg, Va., with the help of an investigator.
Despite failing to respond to the repeated letters, the statement says Bullian eventually spoke with ODC via telephone on May 2, 2012. If it would send him Lackland’s complaint via email - the only address he would provide - Bullian, who acknowledged he was living in Indianapolis, said he would respond to it.
According the statement, Bullian nine days later sent ODC a letter with no return address saying “While I admit no fault or wrongdoing in this matter, I will return the $900 paid by Mr. Lackland within 60 days.”
Three days later, ODC sent Bullian a follow-up email asking him to provide a verified response and his current address. When he failed to respond to the message, ODC left him a voice-message on Aug. 7 that was also not returned.
On an unspecified date, ODC contacted Lackland, who confirmed he hadn’t received any refund from Bullian.
The statement accused Bullian, who was admitted to the state Bar on Oct. 11, 2007, following his graduation from the West Virginia University College of Law, of three violations of the Rules of Professional Conduct - failing to respond to a disciplinary inquiry, safekeeping of property and communication.
Currently, Bullian works for MOB Advocacy, a Fairfax, Va.-based lobbying firm.
The West Virginia Record attempted to find out the costs ODC incurred pursing the ethics charges against Bullian. Chief Lawyer Disciplinary Counsel Rachael L. Fletcher Cipoletti did not respond to a request for information by presstime.
West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals, case number 13-0029