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Falsified documents lead to lawyer’s 18-month suspension

A Northern Virginia lawyer has agreed to both disbarment in Washington and an 18-month suspension in Virginia in separate proceedings.

The Virginia discipline of Karen G. Loulakis of Great Falls is based on her admission that she notarized and back-dated false signatures on affidavits involved in an estate matter.

The reason for disbarment in Washington was not disclosed in official documents.

In the Virginia case, Loulakis prepared deeds transferring a client’s properties to a living trust in 2004, but did not have the deeds recorded in court, according to an agreed statement of facts.

Eight years later, after the client had died and the title to the properties was at issue, Loulakis presented affidavits – dated 2004 – that purportedly resolved the title issue.

Later, an associate at Loulakis’ firm reviewed those papers and claimed her signature had been forged on the affidavits. She was still in law school in 2004, the Virginia State Bar said.

Loulakis sent a “self-report letter” to the VSB in 2013 admitting that she notarized and back-dated the affidavits. In the agreed statement signed this month, she acknowledged that the associate did not sign the affidavits.

In the agreed disposition, Loulakis admitted her conduct violated ethics rules including rules prohibiting criminal and wrongful acts and conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation.

The VSB Disciplinary Board approved the agreed 18-month suspension, effective April 17. The agreement included a provision that the VSB would not initiate reciprocal discipline based on the circumstances of Loulakis’ agreed disbarment in Washington.

In the Feb. 12 order of disbarment in the District of Columbia Court of Appeals, the court directed that Loulakis’ affidavit consenting to disbarment be filed with the court, but not be publicly disclosed.

Loulakis was first licensed in Virginia in 1981, according to the VSB agreed statement. VSB records show no prior public discipline.

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