On Wednesday, the Georgia Supreme Court accepted suspended Savannah attorney Don Smart’s voluntary surrender of his license to practice law as the result of a criminal conviction for stealing a client’s money.
The court’s action is tantamount to disbarment after Smart, 69, admitted that the theft charge arose from his administration of an estate of which he sold real property, then used the $509,618 in proceeds for his own use.
The alleged conduct occurred between April 15, 2013, and Aug. 24, 2018, the Chatham County grand jury charged.
The justices said that Smart admitted that his conduct violated the state’s rules of professional conduct with a maximum sanction of disbarment.
In February, Smart pleaded guilty to a single count of theft by conversion without an agreed-to sentence. Chatham County Superior Court Judge Lousia Abbot sentenced Smart to 20 years in prison with two to serve and the remainder on probation.
Smart, who had been a lawyer since 1975, had been on interim suspension following his indictment.