IN THE MATTER OF A MEMBER OF THE BAR OF THE SUPREME COURT OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE: ERIK C. GRANDELL
Submitted: June 18, 2018
STRINE, Chief Justice; SEITZ and TRAYNOR, Justices.
F. TRAYNOR JUSTICE.
29th day of June 2018, it appears to the Court that:
This is a lawyer disciplinary proceeding. On May 29, 2018,
the Board on Professional Responsibility filed its Report and
Recommendation ("Board's Report") with this
Court, recommending that the respondent, Erik C. Grandell,
Equire, be publicly reprimanded and placed on a period of
probation for two years, with the imposition of specific
conditions. A copy of the Board's Report is attached to
this order. Neither the Office of Disciplinary Counsel nor
Grandell has filed any objections to the Board's Report.
Court has considered the matter carefully. We find the
Board's recommendation of a public reprimand with a
two-year period of probation with conditions to be
appropriate. Thus, we accept the Board's findings and
recommendation for discipline and incorporate the Board's
findings and recommendation by reference.
THEREFORE, IT IS ORDERED that the Board's Report is
hereby ACCEPTED. The Office of Disciplinary Counsel shall
disseminate this Order in accordance with Rule 14 of the
Delaware Lawyers' Rules of Disciplinary Procedure.
ON PROFESSIONAL RESPONSIBILITY OF THE SUPREME COURT OF
Matter of a Member of the Bar of the Supreme Court of The
State of Delaware
Case No. 113458-B
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
the report of The Board on Professional Responsibility of the
Supreme Court of the State of Delaware (the
"Board") setting forth its findings and
recommendations in the above-captioned matter.
members of the panel of the Board (the "Panel") are
Gary W. Ferguson, Jessica Zeldin, Esquire and Patricia O.
Vella, Esquire (the "Chair")- The Office of
Disciplinary Counsel (the "ODC") was represented by
Jennifer-Kate Aaronson, Esquire. The Respondent, Erik C.
Grandell, Esquire appeared pro se.
hearing was held on December 14, 2017. After receiving the
transcript, the parties filed post-hearing memoranda.
Respondent filed his opening brief on February 8, 2018, ODC
filed its answering memorandum on liability and sanctions on
February 21, 2018, and Respondent filed his reply on March
filed a Petition for Discipline on November 1, 2017 (the
"Petition"). In the Petition, the ODC alleged a
violation of Rule 7(c) ("Rule 7(c)") of the
Delaware Lawyers' Rules of Disciplinary Procedure (the
"Procedural Rules") and Rule 8.4(d) ("Rule
8.4(d)") of the
Lawyers' Rules of Professional Conduct (the
"Rules"). Rule 7(c) provides that it "shall be
grounds for disciplinary action for a lawyer to... [v]iolate
the terms of any conditional diversion or private or public
disciplinary or disability disposition." Rule 8.4(d)
provides that it is "professional misconduct for a
lawyer to... engage in conduct that is prejudicial to the
administration of justice." On November 28, 2017,
Respondent filed his answer to the Petition denying the
allegations in the Petition.
FINDINGS OF FACT
was admitted to the Delaware Bar in 1989. (Tr. at 73). On
October 14, 2013, ODC filed a Petition for Interim Suspension
in the Delaware Supreme Court seeking Respondent's
suspension from the practice of law pending resolution of
multiple disciplinary cases. (ODC Ex. 2; Tr. at
75-78). In response, Respondent filed a Motion to
Transfer to Disability Inactive Status alleging he was
incapable of defending the disciplinary proceedings. (Tr. at
75-78). Respondent's Motion was granted by the Delaware
treatment with a mental health provider, Respondent notified
ODC of his intent to petition the Court for transfer to
active status. (Tr. at 84-86). Respondent discussed with ODC
the conditions ODC would recommend if the Court granted
Respondent's transfer back to active practice, including:
Respondent shall meet on a monthly basis with a mutually
agreed upon practice monitor who will closely review
Respondent's legal work and cases and provide quarterly
reports to ODC of the Respondent's compliance with the
conditions of reinstatement. (Tr. at 87-88). Respondent
acknowledged he had the opportunity to ask any questions to
clarify the proposed conditions. (Tr. at 91-92). Thereafter,
Respondent filed his Petition to Transfer to Active Status
and Stipulation of Conditions with the Court. (ODC Ex. 3).
December 10, 2014, the Court entered an Order transferring
Respondent to active practice subject to the following
1. Respondent was prohibited from engaging in the solo
practice of law;
2. Respondent was prohibited from acting as managing partner
in charge of books and records of a firm;
3. Respondent shall notify any employer of these conditions;
4. Respondent shall remain in active treatment with a
licensed mental health treatment provider;
5. Respondent shall execute a formal monitoring agreement
with DE-LAP and comply with all conditions deemed appropriate
6. Respondent shall meet on a monthly basis with a mutually
agreed upon practice monitor who would closely review
Respondent's legal work and cases and the practice
monitor would provide quarterly reports to ODC regarding
Respondent's compliance with the conditions of
7. Respondent shall report to ODC any violations of the
conditions of his transfer to active status.
(Jt. Ex. 1).
ODC proceeded with its prosecution of the underlying
disciplinary cases that were pending when Respondent
transferred to disability inactive status. Respondent
proceeded pro se. (Tr. at 92-93). Prior to ODC's
presentation of Respondent's five pending cases to the
Preliminary Review Committee ("PRC"), Respondent
knew ODC would recommend a private admonition to the PRC with
conditions and probation. (Tr. at 93-94). On June 26, 2015,
Respondent accepted the private admonition with a two-year