Delaware defense attorney suspended for six months

DOVER — The Delaware Supreme Court on Tuesday upheld the earlier suspension of a longtime criminal defense attorney for reported faulty records oversight involving client escrow funds, among other issues.

Andre’ M. Beauregard, who practices primarily in Kent and Sussex counties, will serve a six-month suspension beginning July 2, but can “continue to provide criminal defense representation through the Office of Conflicts Counsel,” according to a 35-page order.

Mr. Beauregard declined comment Wednesday.

Andre Beauregard

When asked about the status of current court matters involving Mr. Beauregard Wednesday, spokesman Jon Offredo said the attorney will continue to handle cases for the OCC that can’t be taken by the Public Defender’s Office.

Mr. Beauregard is barred from practicing law or sharing “in any legal fees arising from clients or cases referred by Mr. Beauregard to any other attorney or share in any legal fees earned for services.”

When the half-year suspension elapses, according to the order, “Mr. Beauregard is permanently barred from maintaining his or a law firm’s books and records, or acting in a supervisory capacity over the law firm’s books and records under Rule 5.3.

“Mr. Beauregard shall pay all of the ODC’s costs in this proceeding and the costs of the Lawyers’ Fund audits, and Mr. Beauregard shall cooperate fully with the ODC in its efforts to monitor his compliance with the suspension order.”

The Office of Disciplinary Counsel initially sought discipline against Mr. Beauregard “for failing to maintain the books and records of his (Brown, Shiels & Beauregard, LLC) law firm as required by the Delaware Lawyers’ Rules of Professional Conduct.”

The Board on Professional Responsibility issued a report that was reviewed by the state’s Supreme Court. The matter was submitted to Chief Justice Leo E. Strine Jr. and Justices Karen L. Valihura and Collins J. Seitz Sr. on April 11.

Mr. Beauregard was also charged with filing an inaccurate 2015 Certificate of Compliance.

Mr. Beauregard was admitted to the Delaware Bar in 1986 and formed the current Dover-based law firm in 2015, serving as managing partner.

According to the order, the attorney admitted to violations regarding maintaining real estate account records in 2005, “failed to supervise non-lawyer employees, and filed inaccurate certificates of compliance with the Court.” He was publicly reprimanded and a three-year probation with conditions resulted. The probation period was successfully completed, the order said.

In September 2015, according to documents, 13 instances of non-compliance were found during an audit of the law firm’s book by the Lawyers’ Fund.

“After the audit, Mr. Beauregard addressed the deficiencies, hired an in-house and an outside bookkeeper, upgraded the firm’s accounting software, increased the time supervising the non-lawyer employees, and hired an accounting firm to complete Rule 1.15 compliance audits quarterly,” the order read.

Attorney Jennifer-Kate Aaronson represented the ODC, while attorneys Myron T. Steele and Ryan C. Cicoski argued for Mr. Beauregard.

Reach staff writer Craig Anderson at canderson@newszap.com

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