Mann, In re, No. 12663

CourtSupreme Court of West Virginia
Citation154 S.E.2d 860,151 W.Va. 644
Docket NumberNo. 12663
Decision Date06 June 1967
PartiesIn the Matter of Fletcher W. MANN, an Attorney.

Page 860

154 S.E.2d 860
151 W.Va. 644
In the Matter of Fletcher W. MANN, an Attorney.
No. 12663.
Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia.
Submitted April 25, 1967.
Decided June 6, 1967.

Syllabus by the Court

1. A conviction of a charge of willfully attempting to evade and defeat income taxes in violation of the provisions of Section 7201, Internal Revenue Code, (26 U.S.C. Section 7201), is a conviction involving moral turpitude.

2. Section 23, Part E., Article VI of the By-Laws of the West Virginia State Bar imposes upon any court before which an attorney has been qualified a mandatory duty to annual the license of such attorney to practice law upon proof that he has been convicted of any crime involving moral turpitude.

Sanders, Sanders & Bivens, Joseph M. Sanders, W. O. Bivens, Jr., Bluefield, for Fletcher W. Mann.

John O. Kizer, Charleston, for Committee on Legal Ethics of the West Virginia State Bar.

Page 861

CALHOUN, President:

The question presented for decision in this case is whether the license of Fletcher W. Mann to practice law should be annulled or suspended because of his having been convicted of a felony. The manner in which the case came before this Court will be stated subsequently in this opinion.

Article VI, Part E., Sections 23 and 24 of the By-Laws of the West Virginia State Bar (which hereafter in this opinion may be referred to merely as Section 23 and Section 24), so far as pertinent to this case, are as follows:

'23. Any court in which any attorney shall be convicted of any crime involving moral turpitude or professional unfitness shall, as part of the [151 W.Va. 645] judgment of conviction, annul his license to practice law.

'Any court before which any attorney has been qualified, upon proof that he has been convicted--

'(a) Of any crime involving moral turpitude or professional unfitness; * * *

'(b) * * * shall annul his license to practice law.

'24. * * *

'In any proceeding in any court, before which an attorney has been qualified, to suspend or annul the license of any such attorney because of his conviction of any crime or crimes mentioned in section twenty-three or in this section twenty-four, a certified copy of the order or judgment of conviction shall be conclusive evidence of guilt of the crime or crimes of which the attorney has been convicted. A plea or verdict of guilty or a conviction after a plea of nolo contendere shall be deemed to be a conviction within the meaning of this section. * * * The legal ethics committee, the president, or the board may procure and transmit a certified copy of the order or judgment of conviction to any such court before which the attorney has been qualified.'

The precise question presented for decision is whether the license to practice law should be annulled or whether it should be merely suspended. In his answer, Fletcher W. Mann contends that the license should be merely suspended for such time as the Court may prescribe, but that it should not be annulled.

Pursuant to the provisions of Section 24 quoted above, the Legal Ethics Committee of the West Virginia State Bar, with a letter dated March 9, 1967, sent to this Court certified copies of the indictment, the plea of Nolo contendere and the judgment order entered August 16, 1966, in the case of United States of America v. Fletcher W. Mann, Criminal No. 1689, in [151 W.Va. 646] the United States District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia. With these documents, the Legal Ethics Committee also sent to this Court a certified copy of the transcript of proceedings before the trial court in connection with Flecther W. Mann's plea to the indictment, including questions propounded to him by the presiding judge and answers made by him to such questions.

On March 28, 1967, this Court entered an order filing the letter of March 9, 1967, and the papers and documents which had been enclosed therewith by the Legal Ethics Committee. The order directed that a rule be issued, 'directed to the said Fletcher W. Mann, returnable before this Court at ten o'clock a.m. on April 25, 1967, to show cause, if any he can, why his license to practice law should not be annulled or suspended.' On the return day of the rule, Fletcher W. Mann appeared before the Court by counsel, having filed his answer to the rule on the proceeding day, and was granted the right to file a written brief in support of the answer within two weeks thereafter. On the same day, the Legal Ethics Committee appeared by counsel, and demurred to the answer, having previously filed a brief or memorandum in writing.

Page 862

The case was thereupon submitted for decision upon the letter from the Legal Ethics Committee and the documents which had been enclosed therewith, the Court's order of March 28, 1967, directing issuance of the rule to show cause; the answer and the demurrer thereto; briefs of counsel; and remarks made orally by counsel before the Court on the day the rule was made returnable. No disputed question of material fact is presented.

The indictment charges that Fletcher W. Mann violated the provisions of Section 7201, Internal Revenue Code (26 U.S.C. § 7201). That statute provides: 'Any person who willfully attempts in any manner to evade or defeat any tax imposed by this title or the payment thereof shall * * * be guilty of a felony * * *.'

[151 W.Va. 647] The first count of the indictment relates to income tax for the 1958 calendar year; the second count relates to income tax for the 1959 calendar year; and the third count relates to income tax for the 1960 calendar year. Each of the three counts charges that Fletcher W. Mann 'did wilfully and knowingly attempt to evade and defeat a large part of the income tax due and owing by him and his wife to the United States of America * * * by wilfully preparing and causing to be prepared * * * and causing to be filed * * * a false and fraudulent joint income tax return * * *,' in violation of the statute referred to above.

The first count of the indictment charges that, for the 1958 calendar year, Fletcher W. Mann filed a joint income tax return in behalf of himself and his wife, reporting a taxable income of $3,704.72 and taxes owing thereon in the amount of $822.61, whereas the proper taxable income was $22,633.63 and the proper tax owing thereon was $6,362.45. The second count of the indictment charges that the joint return for the 1959 calendar year reported a taxable income of $3,927.09 and a tax owing thereon amounting to $880.99, whereas the proper taxable income for that year was $33,030.26 and the proper tax owing thereon was $11,010.70. The third count of the indictment charges that for the 1960 calendar year the joint return reported a taxable income of $10,557.24 and a tax owing thereon amounting to $2,560.88, whereas the actual taxable income for that year was $35,833.46 and the proper tax owing thereon was $12,532.72. The indictment, therefore, charges that, for the three calendar years in question, the defendant prepared and filed joint income tax returns reporting an aggregate taxable income in the amount of $18,189.05, whereas the actual taxable income for those years totaled $91,497.35; and that such returns reported taxes due and owing in the aggregate sum of $4,264.48, whereas the taxes actually due and owing for the calendar years in question totaled $29,905.87.

[151 W.Va. 648] In the proceedings in the trial court on August 16, 1966, preceding the making and...

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32 practice notes
  • State Farm Fire v. Prinz, No. 11–1265.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of West Virginia
    • May 21, 2013
    ...Court's longstanding position that “the legislative branch of government cannot abridge the rule-making power of this Court.” In re Mann, 151 W.Va. 644, 651, 154 S.E.2d 860, 864 (1967), overruled on other grounds by Committee on Legal Ethics of West Virginia State Bar v. Boettner, 183 W.Va.......
  • Daily Gazette Co., Inc. v. Committee on Legal Ethics of the West Virginia State Bar, No. 16403
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of West Virginia
    • December 11, 1984
    ...v. Norfolk & Western Ry., 155 W.Va. 155, 180 S.E.2d 219 (1971), overruled on other grounds, 264 S.E.2d 450 (W.Va.1980); In re Mann, 151 W.Va. 644, 154 S.E.2d 860 (1967). Like any other statute, these By-Laws and Rules are subject to constitutional Finally, as for the third mandamus elem......
  • Humphreys, Matter of, No. D-3811
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Texas
    • March 30, 1994
    ...904, 499 P.2d 1260 (1972); In re Abramson, 37 A.D.2d 301, 324 N.Y.S.2d 891 (1971); In re Bosch, 175 N.W.2d 11 (N.D.1970); In re Mann, 151 W.Va. 644, 154 S.E.2d 860 (1967); State ex rel. Okla. Bar Ass'n v. Houts, 420 P.2d 498 (Okla.1966); In re Foley, 364 S.W.2d 1 (Mo.1963) (en banc); In re ......
  • Louk v. Cormier, No. 31773.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of West Virginia
    • July 1, 2005
    ...position that "the legislative branch of government cannot abridge the rule-making power of this Court." In re Mann, 151 W.Va. 644, 651, 154 S.E.2d 860, 864 (1967), overruled on other grounds by Committee on Legal Ethics of West Virginia State Bar v. Boettner, 183 W.Va. 136, 394 S......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
32 cases
  • State Farm Fire v. Prinz, No. 11–1265.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of West Virginia
    • May 21, 2013
    ...Court's longstanding position that “the legislative branch of government cannot abridge the rule-making power of this Court.” In re Mann, 151 W.Va. 644, 651, 154 S.E.2d 860, 864 (1967), overruled on other grounds by Committee on Legal Ethics of West Virginia State Bar v. Boettner, 183 W.Va.......
  • Daily Gazette Co., Inc. v. Committee on Legal Ethics of the West Virginia State Bar, No. 16403
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of West Virginia
    • December 11, 1984
    ...v. Norfolk & Western Ry., 155 W.Va. 155, 180 S.E.2d 219 (1971), overruled on other grounds, 264 S.E.2d 450 (W.Va.1980); In re Mann, 151 W.Va. 644, 154 S.E.2d 860 (1967). Like any other statute, these By-Laws and Rules are subject to constitutional Finally, as for the third mandamus element,......
  • Humphreys, Matter of, No. D-3811
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Texas
    • March 30, 1994
    ...904, 499 P.2d 1260 (1972); In re Abramson, 37 A.D.2d 301, 324 N.Y.S.2d 891 (1971); In re Bosch, 175 N.W.2d 11 (N.D.1970); In re Mann, 151 W.Va. 644, 154 S.E.2d 860 (1967); State ex rel. Okla. Bar Ass'n v. Houts, 420 P.2d 498 (Okla.1966); In re Foley, 364 S.W.2d 1 (Mo.1963) (en banc); In re ......
  • Louk v. Cormier, No. 31773.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of West Virginia
    • July 1, 2005
    ...Court's longstanding position that "the legislative branch of government cannot abridge the rule-making power of this Court." In re Mann, 151 W.Va. 644, 651, 154 S.E.2d 860, 864 (1967), overruled on other grounds by Committee on Legal Ethics of West Virginia State Bar v. Boettner, 183 W.Va.......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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