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Lawyer ignored suspension, surrenders license

A Richmond area lawyer who acknowledged that he continued to practice law after receiving a two-year suspension last year has given up his license altogether.

The Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board revoked the license of Shane L. Jimison June 11 based on his acknowledgement of wrongdoing, according to the VSB.

Jimison had agreed to a two-year suspension in December based on his admitted failure over more than two years to obtain a client’s uncontested divorce. His work on that divorce included filing false information about purported depositions, the bar claimed.

In January 2012, Jimison was hired by a wife seeking a divorce. The couple had been separated for more than three years. The wife paid Jimison’s fee of $484, the bar alleged.

If the husband cooperated, the divorce would take five or six weeks, Jimison reportedly said.

Jimison promptly filed the divorce action in Henrico County Circuit Court but did nothing further for six months, the bar said.

After inquiries from the client, Jimison filed a document entitled “Depositions” in which a notary declared that various depositions took place at Jimison’s office on June 3, 2012. The client and a witness appeared in person, the notary stated, according to the bar’s account.

In fact, neither the client nor the witness attended any such depositions, the bar said. Jimison stipulated that he did not “specifically recall what occurred” but had “no reason to doubt” the expected testimony of the client and her witness.

After about 18 months without a final divorce, the client filed a bar complaint against Jimison. The lawyer sent her a full refund of her fee payment and said he would finalize her divorce.

Despite his pledge, Jimison failed to follow up on a clerk’s request for additional documentation. As of May 7, 2014, the client still was not divorced, the bar said.

Jimison sought treatment for depression in early 2014, the bar said. In December, he agreed to a two-year suspension with terms requiring a one-year probation period and an additional one-year suspension for noncompliance.

Despite that suspension, with its requirements for notice to clients and proper disposal of cases, Jimison continued to practice, the bar charged this year.

Jimison signed an affidavit acknowledging the misconduct and consenting to revocation on June 8.

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