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Reinstatement recommended for Martinsville ex-lawyer

vsbRickey Gene Young could get his law license back if he repays the state bar for a reimbursement claim and if the Supreme Court of Virginia agrees.

A panel of the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board last week recommended reinstatement for Young, a former Martinsville lawyer, conditioned on his repaying more than $13,000 he owes to the VSB Clients’ Protection Fund.

The money was paid out by the CPF program that provides reimbursement for losses from dishonest lawyers.

After two decades of law practice in Martinsville, Young faced problems in 2001. He was charged with contempt of court and failing to file federal tax returns. His bar license was suspended. The VSB Disciplinary Board later described “a pattern of misconduct which affected many clients over more than 10 years.”

After serving federal prison time on the tax charges, Young agreed to disbarment in 2003 with ten bar discipline complaints pending.

Since his 2003 disbarment, Young has worked in Tennessee hearing appeals for denials of unemployment benefits, according to information he provided to the VSB. Young quit that job last year, an agency spokesperson told the Martinsville Bulletin.

Young tried to regain his law license in 2008, but the Disciplinary Board said public confidence in the administration of justice would be “adversely affected” if Young were reinstated. The Supreme Court of Virginia denied his request in 2009.

Since Young’s disbarment, the Client’s Protection Fund has paid two claims to people who claimed losses caused by his misconduct.

In 2003, the CPF Board approved a $2,400 payment, according to the VSB. Young has reimbursed the bar for that amount, a VSB official said.

The CPF Board approved a $13,333.33 payment in 2007, and Young still owes that amount, the bar said.

At a hearing Sept. 27, the VSB Disciplinary Board panel recommended Young’s petition for reinstatement be approved conditioned upon payment in full of all amounts owed to the CPF with 18 months.

The recommendation goes to the Supreme Court of Virginia for consideration.

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