Attorney is suspended for multiple ethics violations

By Chris Dickerson | Sep 8, 2017

CHARLESTON – Charleston Attorney D. Adrian Hoosier II was suspended for multiple ethics violations, including a misleading telephone book ad and neglecting clients.

A statement of charges was filed last year against Hoosier before the Lawyer Disciplinary Board.

On Dec. 23, 2014, the Office of Disciplinary Counsel opened a complaint against Hoosier after anonymous receipt of a telephone book advertisement for Hoosier Law Firm.

The advertisement implied that Hoosier and his firm were affiliated with an attorney network with more than 150 years of experience. In his response to the complaint, Hoosier stated that the advertisement was completed when he worked in a building that housed a network of lawyers.

Hoosier stated that the attorneys were all interconnected with offices in the same building at the same address and practiced the same areas of law. He later admitted that there was no formal agreement between him and other attorneys.

Because the telephone book advertisement is false or misleading, he violated the Rules of Professional Conduct, according to the statement of charges.

The second count on the statement of charges involves a complaint by Matthew J. Hubley, a prisoner in the custody of the West Virginia Department of Corrections who is confined at Huttonsville Correctional Center in Randolph County.

Hoosier was appointed to represented Hubley on a petition for appeal. On Feb. 25, 2015, Hubley filed a complaint against Hoosier alleging that he had neglected his case and failed to respond to requests for information about the status of his case.

On March 9, 2015, the court relieved Hoosier as counsel of record in the proceeding and appointed him new counsel.

The third count involves another prisoner at Huttonsville, Jody D. Dobbs. In Dobbs’ complaint, Hoosier failed to make reasonable efforts to expedite a habeas proceeding consistent with the interest of Dobbs, which was in violation of the Rules of Professional Conduct.

Hoosier was relieved as counsel for Dobbs on Dec. 22, 2015.

The fourth count involves Clarence M. Albright, a prisoner confined at Mt. Olive Correctional Complex.

Hoosier failed to abide by Albright’s decisions regarding the objectives of the representation and failed to consult with his client as to the means by which those objectives are to be pursued, according to the statement of charges.

The fifth count involved a prisoner of Lakin Correctional Center, Marilyn M. Thompson.

Thompson filed an ethics complaint against Hoosier on Sept. 11, 2015, alleging that Hoosier did not review a “lost list” with her or have her sign one. She also alleged that she believed Hoosier had closed her evidence and turned over her petition to the judge for ruling and that he had not advised her that he was doing so.

A sixth count involves bank records received on April 8, 2016, from JPMorgan Chase Bank in response to a subpoena issued two months earlier.

The subpoena requested bank records from accounts held in Hoosier’s name from Aug. 1, 2014, through the date of the subpoena.

From Feb. 28, 2015, through July 31, 2015, Hoosier deposited at least six settlement checks into his operating account, rather than his IOLTA account.

During the time frame of the bank records requested by the subpoena, Hoosier used his law firm operating account as his personal checking account for personal expenses, including the grocery store, the pharmacy, Wal-mart, Lowe’s, Home Depot, Netflix, Amazon, rent on an apartment, dance classes for his children, pre-school fees, restaurants, movies, vehicle expenses, hotels and vacations. These actions violated the Rules of Professional Conduct.

The Supreme Court issued an order on Aug. 30 suspending Hoosier’s law license for three months with automatic reinstatement, effective immediately. He was also ordered to complete an additional six hours of continuing legal education in the area of ethics and law office management.

Hoosier is a partner in Lord Hoosier in Charleston.

W.Va. Supreme Court of Appeals case number: 16-1028

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