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Charleston attorney suspended

By: David Donovan//February 24, 2016

Charleston attorney suspended

By: David Donovan//February 24, 2016

Attorney: Julie Maria Fitzharris

Location: Charleston

Bar membership: Member since 2009

Disciplinary action: Suspended from the practice of law for three months on Feb. 17

Background: In October 2010, Fitzharris was retained to represent a client in a negligence action against a chiropractor. Fitzharris believed the parties had verbally agreed to settle the case for $3,200, but neither noted the date of the agreement nor requested written confirmation of it. In December 2014, Fitzharris reviewed the client’s file and noticed there was no settlement check. She delivered $3,200 to the client from her operating account and took no fee for the case. Fitzharris told the client she would work on a Medicare lien in the case, but did not follow up until after she received a complaint about the matter. When she reviewed the file in June 2015, Fitzharris realized no settlement check had been received, no settlement statement had been signed, and the Medicare lien was still outstanding. She found an email from defense counsel that she had not previously read that stated the case was not settled and that it had been dismissed because the statute of limitations had expired. Fitzharris acknowledges she failed to calendar the case in any way and, therefore, she missed the statute of limitations.

Previous discipline: None.

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