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Arlington lawyer's license suspended

Tom Jackman

Arlington lawyer Howard D. Deiner, who faces trial in Arlington County Circuit Court this month for practicing without a license, has had his license suspended by the D.C. Bar after a District court ruled that "he appears to pose a substantial threat of serious harm to the public."

Deiner, 56, specialized in representing families of children with special educational needs. He was licensed in the District but practiced mainly in Northern Virginia.

From January 2006 to April 2009, he failed to pay his bar dues and his license lapsed, authorities said. Numerous parents said he continued to represent himself as a lawyer, and many of those parents filed complaints with the D.C. Bar when Deiner failed to return phone calls, refund fees or provide their case files.

In November, Arlington police arrested him for felony fraud and misdemeanor practice of law without a license, and in July a grand jury added three more fraud charges against him.

Deiner's law license was reinstated in April 2009. But on Friday, the D.C. Court of Appeals suspended Deiner's license and ordered him to identify all of his professional bank accounts. The court took the action "based upon allegations of serious misconduct."

Deiner's attorney, Daniel Schumack, said the court had not made any factual findings but took its actions based on allegations.

Deiner's criminal trial in Arlington is set for Oct. 26.

-- Tom Jackman

By Tom Jackman  | October 5, 2010; 5:52 PM ET
Categories:  Arlington, From the Courthouse, Tom Jackman, Updates  
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Justice prevail!

Posted by: drfields | October 5, 2010 7:00 PM | Report abuse

Get rid of about 1 million more and it will be a good start.

Posted by: gpl2411 | October 6, 2010 12:43 AM | Report abuse

I have never had a good experience with a lawyer and am out of a lot of money because of it. One real estate lawyer let us close on our own house at a joint closing while the other home was not ready to close. We could have been out on the street. Then, he demanded more money in addition to the retainer he did little to earn. On the subject of retainers, good luck trying to ever get a refund. One acquaintance whose sister is a lawyer in a large firm told the the first thing they do is exhaust a retainer through billings without any work. Avoid lawyers like the plague!

Posted by: Calabrese99 | October 6, 2010 3:37 AM | Report abuse

Calabreeze: think of a retainer as a 'deposit' - it is non-refundable regardless of the scenario. Welcome to the 20th/21st centuries. On a separate note I will attempt to not post this twice...

Posted by: As_If | October 6, 2010 8:22 AM | Report abuse

retainers are refundable if the retainer still has any credit left...however, I do agree that we need another million lawyers disbarred....buried would be better.

Posted by: OldSalt8 | October 6, 2010 8:52 AM | Report abuse

It's funny to see all the people bashing lawyers. You want to get rid of one million lawyers? Stop being so sue happy. Lawyers only have work because you give it to them.

Posted by: Heather3 | October 6, 2010 11:26 AM | Report abuse

So far all they've really proven here is that he let his license lapse and didn't pay bar fees for a period of time but then his license was reinstated in 2009. If it was so bad, why was his license reinstated even after the filed charges against him? Now they've added more these felony charges based on what could just be minor infractions? Sounds like something else is going on here, especially since things like this normally don't even make the news. I'm sure there are lots of attorneys out there doing things like this or worse.

Posted by: SusanMarie2 | October 6, 2010 11:48 AM | Report abuse

If you don't like lawyers, represent yourself. You have very right to work on your own behalf. Don't hire a lawyer and do it yourself...good luck with that.

Posted by: nsu1203 | October 6, 2010 1:35 PM | Report abuse

Everyone hates lawyers until they need one.

Posted by: jckdoors | October 6, 2010 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Everyone hates lawyers until they need one.

Posted by: jckdoors | October 6, 2010 2:01 PM
SO TRUE!!! And no I am not a lawyer nor do I work for one.

Posted by: ClevenderInDC | October 6, 2010 3:43 PM | Report abuse

Sharks eat another shark!!

Posted by: 10bestfan | October 6, 2010 4:21 PM | Report abuse

susanmarie2, you are forgetting about the allegations that:

he continued to represent himself as a lawyer... and many of those parents filed complaints with the D.C. Bar when Deiner failed to return phone calls, refund fees or provide their case files.

it is not a minor infraction to say you are a lawyer if you are not, nor are any of the other allegations minor infractions. they are serious to very clients and the bar.

Posted by: good1 | October 6, 2010 5:13 PM | Report abuse

Howard Deiner has continued to misrepresent himself to many parents here in the DC area and in other counties throughout the state of Virginia. He denied being investigated by the police and DC bar. It wasn't until he was arrested that he had to acknowledge there were real problems. Take note of who has represented Howard Deiner in the proceedings in DC and the proceedings in Virginia. They are LICENSED LAWYERS. He didn't want someone like himself to represent him in these serious situations. Howard needs to apologize to his victims and start making restitution to all the families and children he has harmed. He needs to stop trying to defend the indefensible and make things right. Stop avoiding his responsibilities by illegally transferring his assets to family members to avoid paying his victims back. His actions have been cold, calculated, deliberate and intentional when it has come to protecting his own interests. This is not someone to feel sorry for or have pity on, this is a guy that has "made his own bed." It's about time he gets' to lye in it!

Posted by: recsahkids | October 7, 2010 6:31 PM | Report abuse

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