Disciplinary Reporter Case Digest

Attorney ID 53355
Attorney Name Fisher, Robert S.
DBP Docket No. 169 DB 2004
Supreme Court Docket No. 640 DD No. 3
County Philadelphia
Disciplinary Counsel Anthony P. Sodroski
Counsel for Respondent Samuel C. Stretton
Decision Date 2004-11-16
Effective Date 2005-08-29
Case Digest Respondent was reciprocally suspended for three months, for like discipline imposed by the Supreme Court of New Jersey by Order dated July 8, 2004, effective August 2, 2004. The New Jersey Supreme Court imposed a three-month suspension as a result of Respondent’s violating several New Jersey RPC’s, namely NJ RPC 1.3 (lack of diligence), NJ RPC 1.4(a)(failure to communicate with client), NJ RPC 1.7(a) and (b)(conflict of interest), NJ RPC 1.9(a)(conflict of interest - former client), NJ RPC 5.5(a)(failure to maintain a bona fide residence), and NJ RPC 8.1(b)(failure to cooperate with disciplinary authorities). Respondent was under suspension in Pennsylvania for one year and one day by Order dated July 29, 2004. Upon receiving notice that Respondent had been suspended in New Jersey for three months, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court issued a rule under Pa.R.D.E. 216(a) for Respondent to show cause why the identical or comparable discipline should not be imposed. Respondent filed a response to the rule to show cause, wherein he did not contest the imposition of a reciprocal three-month suspension but requested that it run concurrently with the suspension then being served. ODC filed a Reply, contending that a consecutive term of suspension was appropriate because Respondent failed to report his suspension to the Secretary of the Disciplinary Board, as required by Pa.R.D.E. 216(e); there was no factual or temporal relationship between the misconduct that resulted in the one-year-and-one-day suspension and Respondent’s subsequent ethical misconduct in New Jersey, such that concurrent discipline might be appropriate; and it did not appear from precedent that “concurrent” reciprocal suspensions are favored in Pennsylvania. The Supreme Court imposed a consecutive suspension.
Rule Violation(s) None
Discipline Imposed Three-month reciprocal suspension consecutive to a one-year-and-one-day suspension
Points of Law
Report/Opinion not available