CHARLESTON – Full of grace, Justices of the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals decided not to suspend the license of Fairmont attorney Michael Niggemyer.
In a Nov. 29 decision, they retroactively granted an 18-month extension of an order requiring Niggemyer to straighten out his accounts.
They rejected a petition of the Office of Disciplinary Counsel to suspend his license.
They wrote, "The Court grants this extension to the respondent as a matter of grace and strongly cautions the respondent against further non-compliance or untimely compliance with orders of this Court ..."
The Court reprimanded Niggemyer in May 2005 for mishandling client funds. They ordered him to complete 12 hours of classes in ethics and office management.
They ordered him to submit quarterly statements of client receipts and disbursement of the funds to the Office of Disciplinary Counsel for two years.
They ordered him to submit annual reports from an outside accountant to the Office of Disciplinary Counsel for two years.
They ordered him to pay the costs of his disciplinary proceedings.
He took the classes but did not obey the other orders.
On the anniversary of the reprimand, the Office of Disciplinary Counsel asked the Justices to hold Niggemyer in contempt.
Instead, the Justices forgave his failure to comply and granted 60 more days for him to hire an accountant and pay for the proceedings.
They authorized the Office of Disciplinary Counsel to apply again for a contempt order if Niggemyer misses the deadline.