||Couvertier, Lisa LaVerne
|DBP Docket No.
||114 DB 1998
|Supreme Court Docket No.
||647 D.D. No. 3
||Anthony P. Sodroski
|Counsel for Respondent
||Respondent was charged with commingling funds in both of her fiduciary accounts, writing checks that were returned for insufficient funds, failing to preserve complete records of fiduciary funds, failing to disclose on her annual registration statement the names of financial institutions in which client funds were held, converting and/or keeping for personal use funds belonging to clients or medical providers, and failing to respond to inquiries from clients. In a divorce matter, Respondent failed to deposit the unearned and filing fees into a trust account and neglected that matter over the course of three years.
After Respondent was put on notice of disciplinary counsel’s investigation, Respondent left the area without a forwarding address. When she was located and served with a petition for discipline, she responded with a pleading that was threatening and vulgar in nature. She did not attend the disciplinary hearing.
There were eight unsatisfied default judgments against Respondent and a state tax lien.
Respondent had no record of discipline.
||1.3, 1.4(a), 1.4(b), 1.15(a), 1.15(b), 1.16(a)(1), 1.16(a)(2), 8.4(b), 8.4(c), 8.4(d); Pa.R.D.E. 203(b)(3) via (former) Pa.R.D.E. 219(d)(1)(iv)
|Points of Law
||An attorney must deposit advanced costs and unearned fees into a trust account.
Mishandling of client monies is a serious breach of trust that cannot be tolerated.
An attorney’s failure to cooperate with disciplinary counsel’s investigation and failure to attend the disciplinary hearing are aggravating factors.