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Legal Ethics

Lawyer is disbarred for not telling authorities about employee’s misuse of client credit card

Posted Mar 4, 2013 1:27 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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A Georgia attorney has been disbarred following her conviction of misprision of a felony due to an employee's misuse of a guardianship client's funds.

In a brief order (PDF) on Monday, the court noted that Zondra Taylor Hutto had not responded to the disciplinary case and found that disbarment is appropriate. Earlier news articles indicated Hutto intended to consent to disbarment.

Hutto, who is in her early 60s, got into ethical trouble after finding out that a law office employee had used a credit card and a debit card belonging to an elderly client for whom the attorney served as a temporary guardian. Although Hutto fired the worker, she admitted in a 2011 federal plea agreement that she never reported the thefts—which totaled over $19,000—to authorities, according to a Birmingham News article published in 2011 and an FBI press release on which it relies.

A subsequent Associated Press article says Hutto was sentenced to three months and ordered to pay a little over $19,000 in restitution. She was working as a conservator for the Tuscaloosa County probate court at the time of the crime.

Hat tip: Legal Profession Blog.

Related coverage:

Estate of Denial (2012): "Questions surround ex-conservator’s cases"

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