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Lawyer indicted on 3 more fraud counts

An Arlington lawyer who specializes in representing families of children with special educational needs, but who had no law license for more than three years, has been indicted by an Arlington grand jury on three counts of obtaining money by false pretense. Two other charges already were pending against him.

Parents said that Howard D. Deiner, 54, told them he could handle their challenges to various school districts in Northern Virginia, and could take their cases into the court system if needed. But from January 2006 to April 2009, Deiner's law license in the District had lapsed, and he never had a license in Virginia, but he continued to take on clients and file cases. He also frequently lost cases and failed to communicate with his clients, according to allegations in 74 different charges filed against him by the D.C. Bar.

One Arlington couple, on whose behalf Deiner filed a federal lawsuit by allegedly forging a licensed lawyer's signature, sued Deiner and won a $113,000 judgment against him.

Arlington police arrested Deiner in November and charged him with felony fraud and misdemeanor practice of law without a license. His trial on those charges is set for October.

On Monday, an Arlington grand jury handed up three more fraud charges against Deiner, for incidents that occurred in 2007 and 2008. He is due in court Thursday to determine a trial date.

Deiner's lawyer, James C. Clark, did not return a call yesterday seeking comment.

-- Tom Jackman

By Tom Jackman  |  July 21, 2010; 5:05 PM ET
Categories:  Arlington , Cons & Scams , From the Courthouse , Tom Jackman , Updates  
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I guess Mr. Deiner isn't well enough connected politically. If he were, he'd have been able to get a license for "eminence" in the field... even retroactively, if need be.

Posted by: nan_lynn | July 21, 2010 7:44 PM | Report abuse

Shirley Sharrod is not the only person who got railroaded. Mr. Jackson has not done a good job of gathering "facts" and reporting both sides of a story.
For example, he states that Mr. Deiner "frequently lost cases". Did Jackson explain how difficult it is to win a case? Did he compare Mr. Deiner's "won-lost record" to that of other attorneys.
In this instance, the WP is not living up to its journalistic standards.

Posted by: miklosis1 | July 22, 2010 8:20 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Deiner or his counsel have been given a number of chances to provide "facts" regarding the many legal charges he faces. He and his attorney have declined to provide any information. Mr. Deiner faces 4 felony charges in Arlington County. A grand jury indicted him based on the evidence that was presented. Mr. Deiner and his attorney were at those proceedings. They had an opportunity to present "facts". Mr. Deiner faces 70 plus charges in DC by the DC Bar Counsel. Please stop trying to defend the indefensible. It is curious to me and others that Mr. Deiner has hired licensed attorneys to represent him in both Arlington County and DC. Guess he didn't want someone like himself to be representing him in the proceedings.

Posted by: recsahkids | July 22, 2010 3:52 PM | Report abuse

RE: Recsahkids comment
The first story about Mr. Deiner said he did not have counsel. Bad reporting.
Grand juries indict a lot of people who are not convicted. It is not hard to get an indictment, especially if the would be defendant doesn't want to present a defense too soon.
Is there any evidence that Mr. Deiner ever represented a client in any judicial hearing in Virginia?

Posted by: miklosis1 | July 25, 2010 8:07 PM | Report abuse

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