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PostPosted: Wed Nov 22, 2006 9:55 pm 
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Disciplinary panel suspends lawyer’s license for 6 months


A panel of the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board suspended for six months the law license of an attorney who had worked for a Virginia Beachbased firm.

The panel made the decision Friday to suspend Richard Neal Butt’s law license because of a collections case from 2003 and 2004 in Fairfax County Circuit Court.

Butt, who worked for Pender & Coward at the time, represented American Express against a defendant, according to the State Bar’s order of suspension. American Express had no proof the defendant was required to pay the balance. But the defendant still got a negative credit history as a result of the case.

The court imposed sanctions against American Express for failing to remove the defendant’s negative credit history, the order stated. Butt paid sanctions himself for a time and did not let anyone at the firm know for fear of losing his job.

Butt, who is 34 and lives in Portsmouth, said he has not practiced law since then.

“I made a mistake,â€

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