St. Louis attorney disbarred over allegedly mishandling $17,000 in nonprofit's funds

By Karen Kidd | Apr 18, 2018

JEFFERSON CITY – St. Louis attorney Corinne N. Darvish has been disbarred following an April 17 Missouri Supreme Court order over allegations she made improper use of a nonprofit organization's funds.

The Missouri Supreme Court found Darvish guilty of professional misconduct before handing down the disbarment, according to the high court's order issued by Chief Justice Zel M. Fischer.

The office of chief disciplinary counsel alleged than an audit turned revealed that in September 2015, Darvish deposited almost $17,000 of a nonprofit's funds into her client trust account and then made withdrawals of more than that amount over the next 10 months, according to a brief filed by that office Feb. 14. The cash withdrawals also included deposits into her personal operating account, according to the office of chief disciplinary counsel's brief.

In June 2017, the summer after disciplinary proceedings were initiated, Darvish provided the nonprofit with a personal check in the amount of $17,000, according to the office of chief disciplinary counsel's brief. The chief disciplinary counsel recommended the state Supreme Court disbar Darvish.

In her own brief filed with the court in March, Darvish asked for a stayed suspension and two years of probation rather than disbarment.

Darvish was admitted to the bar in Missouri in September of 1994, according to the office of chief disciplinary counsel's brief.

Corinne Darvish is a solo practitioner active in St. Louis since 2002 with a practice which focuses on small businesses, not-for-profit organizations and real estate and landlord tenant matters, according to her brief. 

"Ms. Darvish finds herself before this court due to a single charge of mishandling a payment due to her client," she said in her brief. "Ms. Darvish has admitted and readily admits mishandling the payment. Ms. Darvish has also tendered repayment for more than the amount due to the client, and the client has accepted reimbursement of the mishandled funds. Nevertheless, a hearing panel has recommended Ms. Darvish be disbarred."

In its brief, the office of chief disciplinary counsel claimed Darvish's professional misconduct included mishandling a charitable trust's funds.

"Each violation occurred on multiple occasions over a significant period of time," the office's brief said. "The totality of the conduct, combined with a prior disciplinary history and applicable aggravating factors, warrants disbarment."

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