CHARLESTON - The state Supreme Court issued a mandate annulling a Monongalia County attorney's law license.
John C. Scotchel Jr.'s law license was annulled and he was ordered to reimburse the Office of Disciplinary Counsel for the costs of the action in the amount of $11,667.77, according to the Feb. 11 mandate.
On April 27, 2011, a statement of charges was filed against Scotchel before the Lawyer Disciplinary Board.
Beginning in 2002, Scotchel began working for Lewis Snow Sr. to sell Snow's sanitation business and was also his attorney in several charges involving the sanitation business beginning in 2003.
Scotchel sold Snow's business in 2008 and the money was deposited into Scotchel's OILTA checking account at Citizen's Bank of Morgantown. On June 12, 2008, Snow signed an agreement that stated he authorized an additional payment of $145,000 to Scotchel for attorney fees 2002 to present.
Between June 2008 and March 2009, Scotchel paid money to Snow's estranged wife, daughters, bank loans, finance company loans and advances to Snow, according to the statement of charges.
In March 2009, Snow met with Scotchel and requested the rest of his money from the sale of the business and a receipt for the fees in the matter. Scotchel informed him there was no money left and requested a few weeks to get his affairs in order because his assets were frozen.
Scotchel never provided a receipt to Snow and never provided additional money, according to the statement of charges. Snow filed a complaint against Scotchel on April 6, 2009, asking for a receipt regarding attorney fees and that he wanted to know where his money was being kept.
Scotchel informed the Office of Disciplinary Counsel that he kept time receipts, bills and invoices involving Snow, but when these were requested by the ODC, Scotchel never provided them.
The ODC stated that Scotchel charged an unreasonable fee to Snow in various matters, failed to communicate to Snow the basis or rate of fee in the various matters and failed to have the condition of $25,000 for the sale of Snow's business in writing.
West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals case number: 11-0728