CHARLESTON – A former Charleston attorney has been indicted on embezzlement charges.
R. Michael Martin, who worked for Michael Martin & Associates in Charleston, had his law license annulled in January 2015.
Martin pleaded not guilty to the charges during his arraignment earlier this week in Kanawha Circuit Court. Martin agreed not to fight the Lawyer Disciplinary Board’s recommendation to annul his law license. His trial his scheduled for July. Circuit Judge Charles King is presiding over it.
The allegations against Martin in his indictment are similar to those in the nearly one dozen lawsuits filed against him by his former clients.
Martin was named in ten lawsuits in Raleigh, Kanawha and Wayne circuit courts, alleging he failed to settle lawsuits in a timely manner and that he wrongfully distributed settlements to his clients. Most of the plaintiffs were individuals, except one in Raleigh Circuit Court filed by Erie Insurance Company that alleged Martin breached the terms of a settlement agreement.
Martin is facing 21 counts of embezzlement. He agreed to voluntary disbarment on Jan. 20, 2015.