In a case that has taken a decade to resolve, attorney Michael Romansky received a 30-day suspension yesterday from the D.C. Court of Appeals relating to overbilling issues while he was a partner and leader of the health care practice at McDermott Will & Emery in the 1990s. He has since left the firm.
Although the court previously remanded the case for additional factual findings by the Board on Professional Responsibility, the court ultimately agreed with the board’s recommended 30-day suspension. However, Judge Noel Anketell Kramer wrote that she favored a 60-day suspension because a 30-day suspension was “unduly modest.”
In 1994, Romansky overbilled two clients by disguising new premiums as additional hours on clients’ bills, the decision stated. The court found there was confusion at the time about McDermott’s new billing policy, but the court took a harder line on actions Romansky took to deceive both a client and McDermott after the firm launched an internal investigation against him. Romansky dictated a letter to a client’s secretary, which was purportedly from the client, and told the secretary to backdate the letter and fax it to him so he could submit it to McDermott as evidence that the client believed his billing practices were justified, a D.C. Bar Counsel investigation found.
Romansky, who doesn’t currently list any firm affiliation with the D.C. Bar, and his attorney, Earl Silbert of DLA Piper, didn’t respond to requests for comment today. A McDermott spokeswoman also didn’t respond about whether Romansky resigned or was fired from the firm.