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Disciplinary Reporter Case Digest

Attorney ID 34337
Attorney Name Ehrgood, Daniel G.
DBP Docket No. 113 DB 2000
Supreme Court Docket No. 722 D.D. No. 3
County Lebanon
Disciplinary Counsel Edwin R. Frownfelter
Counsel for Respondent Did not appear
Decision Date 2002-02-14
Effective Date 2003-03-15
Case Digest Respondent was engaged to represent the client in a construction matter in June 1994. Respondent handled the matter capably in litigation until March 1996. At tht point Respondent ceased both activity on the case and communication with the client. Respondent left his firm and retired from the practice of law in late 1997 and took nonlegal employment. He never withdrew his appearance or took any steps to refer the client to other counsel, return his file, or give the client an address at which he could be contacted. The matter was terminated by the court for inactivity in mid-1999. The client was unable to obtain legal assistance from either Respondent's former partner or any other attorney, due to the time the matter had sat unattended. Respondent had a prior record of an Informal Admonition and a Private Reprimand. He did not appear in or defend the disciplinary proceeding.
Rule Violation(s) RPC 1.3; 1.4(a); 1.16(d)
Discipline Imposed Suspension for one year and one day.
Points of Law Respondent's failure to change his conduct after two instances of private discipline showed a lack of fitness to practice law. Respondent's failure to appear and defend the disciplinary inquiry showed a lack of awareness of his obligations as a lawyer. These aggravating factors warrant suspension long enough to require Respondent to petition for reinstatement, although he shows no interest in returning to the practice of law. A lawyer who abandons the practice of law to the detriment of clients will be suspended even if the misconduct is relatively minor.
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