A Dalton lawyer accused of using a forged signature in court in an attempt to get attorney’s fees was convicted and sentenced this week to six months in prison.

Jurors in Floyd County Superior Court convicted Lyle Vincent Anderson, 63, of first-degree forgery. Judge Tami Colston sentenced Anderson to six months in prison, followed by three and half years’ probation.

“I hate for anybody to receive the punishment that he received, but if anybody deserved it, he deserved it,” said Paul Ware, whose signature Anderson forged. “I have empathy, but I don’t have much sympathy.”

Anderson’s conviction stems from a 2010 civil suit he filed against Ware and Teresa Watson. Anderson claimed in that suit he was given two cases to evaluate, and that he spent more than 100 hours of legal work for which he wasn’t fully paid.

Anderson then sought damages for breach of contract, among other complaints.

Ware said Friday that Anderson wanted more than $200,000 for his legal work, and claimed Ware had guaranteed payment.

“None of that was true,” Ware added.

Anderson’s suit reached trial in June 2011. During that trial Anderson had a business card that purportedly had Ware’s signature on it. A handwriting examiner, however, said it wasn’t Ware’s signature.

Anderson lost his case, and Ware approached District Attorney Leigh Patterson about criminal charges.

A grand jury indicted Anderson in December. His trial was this week.

“Attorneys have a code of conduct they’re required to abide by,” Patterson said. “He has to carry himself and be professional, and he did not.”

Patterson said record of Anderson’s conviction has been sent to the State Bar of Georgia. Anderson currently is listed as an active member in good standing with the Georgia Bar Association.

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