Disciplinary Reporter Case Digest

Attorney ID 33976
Attorney Name Bolden, James A.
DBP Docket No. 165 DB 2003
Supreme Court Docket No. 1002 DD No. 3
County Philadelphia
Disciplinary Counsel Barbara S. Rosenberg
Counsel for Respondent None
Decision Date 2005-04-19
Effective Date 2005-05-19
Case Digest Commencing in September 1989, Respondent, who was admitted to the bar in 1981, was executor of an estate, which he failed to represent diligently, although his neglect before the four-year period before the filing of the original complaint was introduced as background only. He failed to maintain accurate contemporaneous records of the time and services which he and his firm provided and of his financial transactions in the estate. From a PA estate valued at $201,000 and its income he withdrew over $85,600, for fees, commissions and expense reimbursements. He failed to provide accountings and to remit unearned funds to the beneficiaries even after intervention by their counsel and Orphans’ Court orders and engaged in frivolous litigation to avoid compliance. As Respondent did make restitution of principal but not fully repay as directed by the court due to exigent circumstances, had no record of discipline and an exemplary personal record including military service, a professorship at a local univer-sity, and contributions to racial equality, was co-operative in stipulating to the evidence, and expressed remorse, a recommendation of a public censure was accepted by the Hearing Committee. However, in view of the egregiousness of the misconduct, the Board found that this was insufficient and recommended a three-year suspension, which the Court imposed.
Rule Violation(s) RPC 1.5(a), 1.5(b), 3.1, 3.3(a)(1), 8.4(a), 8.4(c) and 8.4(d)
Discipline Imposed 3 year suspension
Points of Law Misappropriation from an estate and concelament of misconduct warrants a lengthy suspension.
Report/Opinion Download