A Dover attorney was suspended for six months by the Delaware Supreme Court for misrepresenting his firm’s accounting books.
Attorney Andre Beauregard will not be able to practice law or collect legal fees, except for providing defense representation through the Office of Conflicts Counsel. Once his suspension is over, Beauregard is permanently barred from maintaining his or any law firm’s books or records or supervising any law firm’s books.
Beauregard is the managing partner of the Dover firm Brown, Shiels and Beauregard, representing cases in Kent and Sussex counties. The state’s Office of Disciplinary Counsel filed a petition to discipline Beauregard after it said Beauregard did not exercise reasonable supervision over non-lawyer employees charged with keeping the firm’s books, knew violations were taking place without taking reasonable action to correct them, and incorrectly certified his firm’s compliance in 2015.
According to the Supreme Court decision, Beauregard had been reprimanded in 2005 for failing to maintain real estate account records, failing to supervise non-lawyer employees and filed inaccurate certificates of compliance with the Supreme Court. Beauregard completed probation for that violation in 2008.
In March 2015, a client filed a complaint with the Office of Disciplinary Counsel because she received two $1,000 checks from Beauregard’s law firm attempting to refund a $1,000 balance remaining on a retainer. It was discovered that the firm was not maintaining its books and records properly after Beauregard had certified that its records were in compliance in February 2015.
The Supreme Court found that Beauregard violated rules for professional conduct by failing to take appropriate remedial action for deficiencies in the records and books, and for misrepresentations in his 2015 certification of compliance. The court said Beauregard was negligent in overseeing employees responsible for the firm’s bookkeeping and that he knew of compliance violations yet failed to act.
The court suspended Beauregard beginning Monday, July 2.