|A Braxton County attorney William C. Martin, 57, has been suspended from practicing law for six months by the WV Supreme Court.|
The suspension is connected to the handling of a Harrison County woman's estate.
The incident says there was a problem for work Martin did for the estate, but also because of a timely turn-over of materials belonging to it when he was removed as executor.
In his response to the complaint, Martin maintained he had not misappropriated any of the estate's funds, but had repaid himself for services he'd performed. However, he admitted he could not verify his work due to a recent office fire that destroyed most of the records.
The Court said, "Mr. Martin's procrastination, especially in the failure to file tax returns and the resulting penalties and interest now owed by the estate, has subtracted from the benefit rightfully due to the beneficiaries."
"Significantly, Mr. Martin is unable to account for any of his time spent on this case. While he claims that the records were destroyed in an office fire, to which this Court is sympathetic, he has made no attempt to reconstruct the records of his time or efforts involved in the case."
The Court ordered additional sanctions against Martin, having his practice supervised for a year following his reinstatement to the Bar, taking an additional 12 hours of continuing legal education and paying the cost of the disciplinary proceeding.