Mike Berlon’s legal career is over. His legal issues are not.
The Georgia Supreme Court accepted Monday a voluntary surrender of license from Berlon, a former chairman of Georgia’s Democratic party who practiced law out of Gwinnett. The move is tantamount to disbarment.
Though several separate issues — including a possible criminal investigation — remain in play, the end of Berlon’s career as an attorney is based on his alleged mishandling of a medical malpractice case that began in June 2010. The opinion released Monday by the Supreme Court said that, in addition to the original offenses involving the malpractice case, Berlon’s responses to the complaint with the state bar “contained factual misrepresentations.”
“Although Berlon was concerned that the statute of limitations had expired (in the malpractice case), he did not inform the client of his concern,” the opinion said. “Instead he told her he believed there was sufficient time in which to file an action and falsely led her to believe that he was actively working on the case by sending a demand letter, contacting expert witnesses, and preparing to file an action.”
“Berlon did not accurately advise the client of the status of her case through early 2012 and never filed an action on her behalf.”
Berlon had been chairman of the Georgia Democratic Party until last summer, when he received an original reprimand from the supreme court and was pressured to resign by Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed. Reached Monday, Berlon called the surrender of his license “the right thing to do.”