After being admitted to the State Bar of Georgia for nearly five decades, an Atlanta attorney’s failure to pay attorney’s fees or appear in court on behalf of paying clients cost him his license to practice.

Following the report and recommendation of Special Master Catherine H. Hicks, the Georgia Supreme Court has barred Joel S. Wadsworth from practicing the state bar.

Wadsworth, first admitted to the State Bar of Georgia in 1972, did not respond to requests for comment via email, phone, or social media.

According to the decision of the state’s highest appellate body, Wadsworth violated several Georgia code of conduct in 2016 while advocating multiple clients in civil matters within the Fulton County Supreme Court system.

“In September 2016, Wadsworth began to represent several plaintiffs in a civil lawsuit in the Superior Court of Fulton County,” the decision said. “Some of the defendants made dismissals and then summaries, but Wadsworth failed to respond to any of these motions on behalf of his clients; does not respond to appropriate inquiries; and stopped working on the case. “

Things got worse for the 75-year-old and his clients when, on September 1, 2017, for his failure to pay State Bar of Georgia fees, he was no longer admitted to the bar for no less than one or more consecutive years of legal practice under one administrative suspension will no longer be permitted to practice the legal profession.

Rather than informing his clients of his inadmissibility and withdrawing from representation, the managing partner of the Wadsworth Firm remained legal counsel during the course of the legal proceedings.

Eight months after he was no longer admitted to the bar, Wadsworth added to his list of violations by ghosting these clients and having them represent themselves, court records show.

“On May 24, 2018, the court presiding over the case granted certain motions by certain defendants for a fast-track verdict and set the case for trial. On June 18, 2018, one of the clients filed a per se request for the extension and extension of the pre-trial order and trial, stating that Wadsworth had not responded and provided her with no documents and information to prepare for in court, “reads the Decision. “Wadsworth’s other clients have also filed Pro-Se motions and represented themselves in the case for not communicating with them.”

The violations were only added to Wadsworth’s existing parking ticket. In the decision, the higher court pointed out that the lawyer had received four formal warnings.

“Wadsworth had a history of discipline… had a dishonest or selfish motive; had committed several offenses; and had extensive experience in legal practice, ”the statement said. “After checking the record – including violations of the new rules, [State Bar of Georgia] allegedly and the found special master, as well as the exact record of Wadsworth’s disciplinary history – we agree that the dismissal in this matter is the appropriate sanction. “

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