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Bankruptcy lawyer disbarred after penalties in 30 cases

  • Sam Babbs III consented to be punished in DC, Florida
  • The DC Bar’s Disciplinary Office says a complaint stems from the US Trustee Program

(Reuters) – A bankruptcy attorney who had been sanctioned by the courts at least 30 times has agreed to be disbarred in Washington, DC, following a related sanction in Florida last month.

Sam Babbs III consented to be disbarred in Washington for allegations of misconduct that included misusing client advances and practicing law in states where he was not licensed. The District of Columbia Council on Professional Responsibility this week advised let the city’s highest court, which oversees attorney misconduct, impose the penalty.

His disbarment would be effective April 11, giving him a window, bar regulators said, to end his practice. He has been a member of the DC Bar since 2009.

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In a separate action, the Florida Supreme Court last month revoked license to practice for at least five years. The DC Bar Disciplinary Office said some of the cases it was investigating were the same as the complaints filed against him in Florida.

Babbs, whose work has focused on bankruptcy cases involving individuals and families, told Reuters on Wednesday he had no interest in practicing bankruptcy law again and decided not to contest. claims.

“You have to know when to hold them and when to bend them,” he said.

He said he will have the opportunity in both jurisdictions to reapply to the bar. Babbs said his business model, in which he tried to create and maintain a national practice by relying on local lawyers, was the product of “bad advice.”

The DC Bar Disciplinary Office was investigating a recommendation from the US Trustee Program, the bankruptcy watchdog of the US Department of Justice.

“In at least 30 cases, the bankruptcy courts sanctioned me for practicing the unauthorized practice of law, charging unreasonable fees and breaking bankruptcy rules, including failing to make required disclosures,” said Babbs to the DC Bar Discipline Team.

Bankruptcy courts sometimes barred Babbs from making further appearances and also ordered him to return fees he had received from clients.

On Wednesday, the DC Bar Disciplinary Office declined to comment.

The case is In the Matter of Sam Babbs III, DC Board on Professional Responsibility, Disciplinary Docket 2021-D142, et al.

For the DC Office of Disciplinary Counsel: Julia Porter

For Sam Babbs: Pro se

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