Long Arm Of The Law Finally Catches Up To Thieving Ex-Lawyer Over 2 Years After Disbarment; Faces 21 Embezzlement Charges Relating To Accusations Similar To Those Made Against Him By Fleeced Former Clients In Ten Different Civil Lawsuits
- A former Charleston attorney has been indicted on embezzlement charges.
R. Michael Martin, who worked for Michael Martin & Associates in Charleston, had his law license annulled in January 2015.
Martin pleaded not guilty to the charges during his arraignment earlier this week in Kanawha Circuit Court. Martin agreed not to fight the Lawyer Disciplinary Board’s recommendation to annul his law license. His trial his scheduled for July. Circuit Judge Charles King is presiding over it.
The allegations against Martin in his indictment are similar to those in the nearly one dozen lawsuits filed against him by his former clients.
Martin was named in ten lawsuits in Raleigh, Kanawha and Wayne circuit courts, alleging he failed to settle lawsuits in a timely manner and that he wrongfully distributed settlements to his clients. Most of the plaintiffs were individuals, except one in Raleigh Circuit Court filed by Erie Insurance Company that alleged Martin breached the terms of a settlement agreement.
Martin is facing 21 counts of embezzlement.(1) He agreed to voluntary disbarment on Jan. 20, 2015.
The purpose of the Lawyers’ Fund for Client Protection is to promote public confidence in the administration of justice and the integrity of the legal profession by reimbursing losses caused by the dishonest conduct of lawyers admitted and licensed to practice law in the courts of this State occurring in the course of a lawyer-client or fiduciary relationship between the lawyer and the claimant.
For similar "attorney ripoff reimbursement funds" that attempt to clean up the financial mess created by the dishonest conduct of lawyers licensed in other states and Canada, see:
- Directory Of Lawyers' Funds For Client Protection (February 2017) (includes a listing for Canadian client protection funds, courtesy of the American Bar Association);
- Check the USA Client Protection Funds Map;
- Check the Canada Client Protection Funds Map.