On September 7, 2022, the Georgia Supreme Court denied attorney Andrew Matteson’s petition for a voluntary six-month suspension after admitting he mishandled several client matters. Matteson acknowledged he violated various Georgia Rules of Professional Conduct, but claimed the violations were a result of mental health issues. While the State Bar of Georgia recommended the Court accept Matteson’s petition, the Court found Matteson had neither provided adequate proof of his mental health issues nor his plan to overcome those issues. The Court also noted Matteson did not present any evidence that his clients’ matters had been adequately resolved.
Matteson was admitted to the Bar in 2000 and began managing the Matteson Firm’s litigation practice in 2011. He generally represented corporate and individual clients in transactional matters and civil litigation. According to the evidence presented, Matteson stepped away from the practice of law in 2019 after a mental health diagnosis. During that same year, one of Matteson’s long-time clients filed a claim against him for failing to disclose his use of client funds to negotiate and pay lien holders for disputes surrounding the construction of an Atlanta home. Matteson also admitted to mishandling another client’s matter by allowing a default judgment to be entered. Importantly, Matteson claimed that both foregoing matters had been fully resolved.
The Georgia Supreme Court agreed that a six-month suspension would be appropriate for Matteson’s violations. However, Matteson had not provided adequate evidence to the Court. The Court specifically highlighted that, although Matteson alleged that he satisfied a payment of over $640,000 to his former clients, he never submitted proof. Similarly, with respect to the construction matter, Matteson alleged his client’s claims had been fully resolved without submitting any evidence. The Court also wondered about Matteson’s plan for the future. Matteson did not propose any conditions about his return to the practice of law or if he would return at all. As such, his petition was denied.
The attorneys at Chilivis Grubman represent clients of all types and sizes in connection to State Bar of Georgia Investigations. If you need assistance with such a matter, please contact us today.