The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

September 21, 2013

Beckley attorney’s law license suspended

By Wendy Holdren
Register-Herald Reporter

SOPHIA — After failing to pay restitution for neglecting an estate closing, a Beckley attorney’s license is being suspended.

Karen E. Acord first faced disciplinary action in May 2012 for neglecting Anna Diem’s estate, failing to timely file certain documents and failing to communicate with the heirs, according to Supreme Court documents.

The Hearing Panel Subcommittee of the Lawyer Disciplinary Board ultimately found that Acord violated five rules of professional conduct and recommended that she receive a reprimand, pay $800 restitution to the subject estate, complete additional continuing legal education and pay the cost of the proceedings.

That recommendation was filed May 11, 2012, and both the Office of Disciplinary Counsel (ODC) and Acord had 30 days to file written consent or objection.

The ODC filed its consent to the recommendation May 16, 2012, but Acord did not file an objection.

The order was then entered into court June 19, 2012.

The ODC is now asserting that Acord has not paid the $800 restitution or the cost of the court proceedings.

She was issued a “show cause rule” June 12, 2013, which gave her three months to file a reason for failing to pay.

“The fact that she has not made any payment is more disconcerting given the fact that she never objected to either the payment of the restitution or the costs during the lawyer disciplinary proceeding against her,” the memorandum stated.

Acord did show up in person to a Sept. 4, 2013, hearing.

The memorandum stated, “Rather than attempt to explain her action or inaction, Ms. Acord chose at oral argument to ramble on as to other matters with which she seemed to be preoccupied.”

Her only argument for not paying the restitution or costs was the fact that the estate had been closed, according to the memorandum.

Acord is now being held in contempt of court and her license to practice law is being suspended until she fully complies with the court order.

— E-mail: wholdren@register-herald.com