Supreme Court punishes 2 Gwinnett attorneys

ATLANTA - Two Gwinnett-based attorneys have lost their privileges to practice law in Georgia, according to orders issued recently by the Supreme Court of Georgia.

In total, the court disbarred six and suspended three attorneys practicing in the state this year.

The justices dealt Duluth real estate attorney Gary Dale Simpson a four-year suspension and disbarred Norcross securities attorney Ulysses Thomas Ware, according to documents handed down Oct. 6.

The court ruled that Simpson manipulated escrow accounts and failed to show true accounting records to a title and settlement company he worked with.

The violations occurred in late 2004 and early 2005, the court found.

Simpson told the court he violated the rules only because he is suffering from a mental impairment - adult attention deficit disorder and executive dysfunction.

In an affidavit, Simpson's psychiatrist wrote that the disability rendered his patient incapable of manipulating the accounts, actions that would "require too much coordinated forethought," documents show.

Reached by phone (last) week, Simpson said the four-year suspension was not retroactive, meaning he won't be able to practice in Georgia until at least 2012. He declined to elaborate on what his current endeavors are, or what his future plans may be.

"I'd like to keep that private," he said.

The court first suspended Simpson on an interim basis in December 2005 when he failed to cooperate with an investigation, documents show.

His readmission is contingent upon a review panel's finding that he has received treatment, "is coping with his impairment, is no longer impaired, and is fit to return to the practice of law," the justices wrote.

Simpson graduated law school at Mercer University. He was first admitted to the state bar in June 1978.

In the case of Ware, the disbarment stems from his conviction this year of two felonies in New York City for defrauding investors with a scheme involving a company called Investment Technology Inc., or "INZS."

Ware promoted - and issued fake press releases - touting INZS as a leader in the online gaming industry, in a scheme to artificially inflate the market price of INZS stock and snag more investors, according to federal documents.

Ware was convicted in federal court of conspiracy to commit securities fraud and securities fraud. He was sentenced to more than eight years in prison, fined $25,000 and has to forfeit more than $228,000 to the United States, documents show.

A graduate of the State University of New York at Buffalo, Ware was admitted to the State Bar of Georgia in November 1991.