An Arlington, Va. attorney was suspended from practicing law in the District of Columbia for three years, a three-judge panel from the District of Columbia Court of Appeals ruled Thursday.
According to the opinion, Theodore Silva, Jr. committed criminal acts and intentionally lied to both his client and partner. In 2005, Silva was negotiating an easement agreement related to a commercial real estate development project and falsely told his client and partner that he had finalized the agreement. According to the opinion, Silva instead forged the documents with the intent of replacing them with genuine ones.
The ruse was discovered once his client sent the documents to lawyers of the adjacent landowners who claimed they were fraudulent. Silva then admitted his misconduct and attributed it to a cocaine addiction and other personal problems.
“I am happy this matter is finally over and I have no objection to the final ruling,” Silva said in a written statement. “My actions resulted from an extreme lack of judgment brought on by a prolonged period of alcohol and drug abuse. I am extremely sorry for my behavior.”
Silva said that he did not intend to better or worsen his or his client’s position and never intended to defraud anyone. He plans to seek reinstatement in December 2013, once he is eligible to rejoin the Bar.
“I have been clean and sober for nearly four years now, have remarried and am finally enjoying some happiness and peace in my life,” Silva said in the statement. “I will do a much better job managing my life and my practice if I am given another chance.”