||Respondentís 82 year old client was in the hospital and Respondent asked her son to bring in her checkbook and bills so that she could pay them. After the son dropped off the checkbook and bills, Respondent had his client sign a number of them in blank. With a few, Respondent actually paid some of his clientís bills. One check, however, Respondent made payable to himself for $10,000, which he negotiated and used the proceeds for his own purposes. A few days later, the client died. When the son received his motherís next bank statement he asked the Respondent what the check for $10,000 was for as the bank did not return cancelled checks. The Respondent denied any knowledge of the check. The Respondent had Letters Testamentary issued to him as he had drafted the clientís Will and named himself Executor. Respondent ignored a number of the sonís further inquiries about the check. However, after the son obtained a copy of the cancelled check and learned saw that it had been made payable to the Respondent, he confronted the Respondent, who then contended his client had given him the money as a gift. Thereafter, the son filed a petition to have Respondent removed as Executor, and the Respondent was so removed. After litigation was initiated against Respondent to recover the $10,000, through his counsel, Respondent agreed to refund the funds, but failed to do so. Respondent was not related to his client.
Respondent is 79 years of age and in poor health. He has a prior record of a three month suspension for conversion of $3,700 in title insurance premiums and unearned commissions.
Lawyers Fund For Client Security paid the Estate the $10,000.