Disciplinary Reporter Case Digest

Attorney ID 0
Attorney Name Anonymous,    
DBP Docket No. 13 DB 2001
Supreme Court Docket No. N/A
Disciplinary Counsel Anthony T. Verwey
Counsel for Respondent
Decision Date 2002-12-12
Effective Date 2003-01-11
Case Digest Respondent was charged with neglect and failing to comply with the notification and certification requirements imposed on formerly admitted attorneys. Respondent was retained to represent a client in a Driving Under the Influence (DUI) matter and received a “flat fee” for his services. However, after appearing at his client’s preliminary hearing Respondent was placed on inactive status by the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania. Respondent never notified his client that he had been placed on inactive status and would not be able to complete her DUI matter on her behalf. Moreover, Respondent failed to communicate with his client or afford her with an opportunity to timely retain new counsel. Respondent’s client eventually navigated through the paperwork necessary to be placed in Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD). Respondent acknowledged his misconduct and claimed that his conduct was mitigated by his depression. The Office of Disciplinary Counsel did not challenge Respondent’s mitigation based on depression. The Board found that Respondent had violated the Rules of Professional Conduct charged and recommended public discipline.
Rule Violation(s) Rule 217 (a), (b), (c), (d), (e) and (i), Pa.R.D.E.; R.P.C. 1.3; 1.4(a) and (b); 1.16(d).
Discipline Imposed Suspension – One year stayed in its entirety with one year probation with practice and mental health monitors.
Points of Law A lawyer who fails to notify a client of his transfer to inactive status and who continues to represent the client wil be suspended.
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