CHARLESTON – The W.Va. Supreme Court of Appeals has entered an order immediately annulling the law license of a West Virginia attorney.
On Jan. 8, the state Supreme Court issued the order, and also ordered that Michael F. Niggemyer pay the costs of the proceedings pursuant to Rule 3.15 of the Rules of Lawyer Disciplinary Procedure.
The Hearing Panel Subcommittee of the Lawyer Disciplinary Board presented its written recommendation to the court on Nov. 7, recommending that Niggemyer's law license be annulled; that in the event of his license being reinstated in the future, his law practice be supervised for a period of time to be determined by the HPS; and Niggemyer be ordered to pay the costs of the proceedings.
Niggemyer did not file a response or objection to the recommendation, according to the order.
On March 7, 2013, the state Supreme Court entered an order suspending Niggemyer's law license for 18 months and ordered him to be required to petition to be reinstated, according to a statement of charges filed Jan. 24, 2014, before the Lawyer Disciplinary Board.
On June 7, 2013, the Office of Disciplinary Counsel received a letter from Lea Anne Hawkins, the assistant prosecuting attorney for Marion County, in which she reported that Niggemyer may be engaged in the practice of law without a license in Marion.
On June 10, 2013, ODC received a complaint from Patsy McClure in which she alleged that Niggemyer agreed to represent her son and she submitted payments to him for a total of $1,592 but never heard from him again.
Niggemyer denied that he had engaged in unauthorized practice of law while his license was suspended and that the money from McClure was for work performed on the matter prior to his suspension.
"Respondent was asked to provide a verified response to the allegations in the instant complaint upon his return back home," the statement of facts states.
After not receiving any response, ODC requested that the respondent provide the requested response by Sept. 27, 2013, which he failed to do.
Because Niggemyer has continued to practice law in West Virginia, despite not being licensed to do so, he has violated the Rules of Professional Conduct.
W.Va. Supreme Court case number: 14-0076