West Virginia Record

Friday, July 19, 2019

Court disbars attorney for allegedly beating client with baseball bat

By Lawrence Smith | Dec 10, 2012

CHARLESTON – The state Supreme Court has disbarred a St. Albans attorney for beating one of his former clients with a baseball bat.

The Court on Oct. 25 accepted the recommendation of its Lawyer Disciplinary Board and ordered the annulment of Joshua M. Robinson’s license. In a unanimous, unsigned opinion, the Court said both prior acts of violence and a lack of remorse for his actions were sufficient reasons to disbar him.

Three years ago, Charleston police arrested David Lee Gump following an altercation he had with Robinson at his former residence on Lee Street. Robinson told police he defended himself with a baseball bat when Gump became agitated and attacked him after telling him to leave.

However, police alleged Robinson deliberately attacked Gump for inquiring about missing money from his grandfather’s estate. In February 2010, Robinson was indicted on charges of malicious assault, embezzlement and obstructing.

In exchange for pleading guilty to a lesser charge of unlawful wounding, the Kanawha County Prosecutor’s Office agreed to dismiss the embezzlement and obstruction charges two months later because of Gump’s subsequent arrest on unrelated drug charges and his refusal to cooperate in the case against Robinson. The following August, Judge Louis H. “Duke” Bloom sentenced Robinson to 1-5 years on home confinement with credit for 145 days already served.

About the same time he beat Gump, Robinson was charged in Kentucky on two counts of wanton endangerment when he allegedly threw a propane tank at his wife’s car, breaking a window as she was pulling out of the driveway. Also, 15 years earlier, Robinson received a six-month suspension and was placed on two years supervised probation following his conviction on charges of first and second offense alcohol intoxication in a public place and aggravated assault in the fourth degree.

Robinson, during his evidentiary hearings before the Board’s hearing panel subcommittee, continued to maintain he used the bat in self-defense to ward off Gump, who broke out the glass panes on his door while high on drugs. This “complete and apparent failure to recognize the magnitude of and his responsibility for his actions is deeply troubling and should aggravate any sanction issued in this case,” the Court said.

Should he apply for reinstatement of his license in 2017, the Court ordered Robinson first undergo a comprehensive psychological evaluation by a licensed psychiatrist to determine if he’s fit to practice law, follow all recommended treatment and complete a course on anger management. Also, he will have to pay the cost of the disciplinary proceeding and have his practice supervised for two years following reinstatement.

According to its website, Robinson, 40, was admitted to the Bar on Dec. 5, 2002. He was represented by Charleston attorney Sherri Goodman.

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