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Lawyer stripped of license for beating client with bat

Gazette file photo
The West Virginia Supreme Court annulled Joshua Robinson's law license for beating a client with a baseball bat and ordered him to take anger-management classes before he applies for reinstatement in five years.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A lawyer who beat his client with a wooden baseball bat during a dispute over a mishandled payment has been stripped of his law license.

Last week, citing a history of criminal and professional misdeeds, the West Virginia Supreme Court annulled Joshua Robinson's law license and ordered him to take anger-management classes before he applies for reinstatement in five years.

West Virginia lawyer disciplinary rules allow former lawyers to try to renew their law licenses five years after they are revoked.

In 2009, Robinson, 40, attacked his client with a baseball bat after the man confronted him at his home and accused him of pocketing a $1,100 settlement check.

Robinson chased the man, David L. Gump, down the street and used the bat to pummel him in the head, chest and back when he fell to the ground.

Robinson pleaded guilty to unlawful wounding in April 2010 and Kanawha County Judge Duke Bloom sentenced him to one to five years on home confinement.

"Mr. Robinson committed a criminal offense by beating Mr. Gump, his client, with a baseball bat," according to the Supreme Court annulment order. "His conduct brought physical injury to his client and also injured the public by lessening people's faith and confidence in the legal profession."

The order also mentions that, while in Kentucky, Robinson was convicted in February 2010 on charges that he threw a propane tank into the rear window of his wife's car. A child also was inside the car at the time.

In 1995, Robinson was convicted of public intoxication and fourth-degree aggravated assault, the order states. He also was convicted of violating a restraining order that his wife had taken out against him.

After a lawyer disciplinary board hearing last year, which mostly addressed his actions the day he attacked Gump, Robinson accused the board of "arbitrarily ignoring evidence" that Gump was a drug dealer and that he broke window panes on his front door, according to the order.

He grabbed the baseball bat to defend himself and to push Gump away from his house, the order states.

The justices dismissed that argument, noting that Robinson chased Gump out of the house and beat the defenseless man while he was lying on the street.

"Further, it is significant to this Court that Mr. Robinson has failed to take responsibility for or even recognize the magnitude of his actions," the order states.

The court also ordered that Robinson seek out an independent psychiatric evaluation and pay for the costs of his disciplinary proceedings before he applies for reinstatement.

Reach Zac Taylor at zachary.taylor@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5189.


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