Western District suspends bankruptcy lawyer

Southfield bankruptcy attorney Jeffrey David Thav has been suspended from practice for one year in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan.

A three-judge panel issued the suspension after concluding that Thav

failed to meet the basic practice standards of this District in failing to show up for hearings on repeated occasions and despite multiple warnings from more than one Bankruptcy Judge in this District.

Thav had been on an informal probation, designed by Bankruptcy Judge Scott Dales to address Thav’s failure to appear for scheduled hearings. The informal probation was lifted, after which Thav missed more scheduled hearings, prompting disciplinary proceedings under the Western District’s Local Rule 83.1(k).

Other matters involving Thav “illustrates an underlying practice management problem that is at the root of why the panel believes a one-year suspension is necessary.”

The panel noted Thav’s late payment of court fees.

On no less that forty-two occasions over less than ten months[,] payments from Attorney Thav’s office were significantly late, even when the fees at issue had been collected in advance from the client

Thav’s required fee disclosures “in several matters appeared inaccurate, or at least incomplete, in some material aspects,” according to the panel’s order.

The panel also noted that Thav

who lives and works outside the [Western] District[,] [had] some kind of arrangement with an attorney who lived and worked in the Western District to cover [Thav’s] hearings in the [Western] District.

It did not appear, however, that the arrangement was disclosed to or approved by the affected clients.

Thav was engaged in a multi-district bankruptcy practice but was unable to meet the Western District’s “basic practice standards,” said the panel.

A one-year suspension will give Attorney Thav an opportunity to consolidate his practice, concentrate his resources and build his legal and management skills to the point where he may well be able to handle a multi-district practice that includes … [the Western] District … .

The case is In the Matter of Attorney Jeffrey David Thav. Administrative Order 12-019.

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