Disciplinary Reporter Case Digest

Attorney ID 58106
Attorney Name McCague, Richard J.
DBP Docket No. 64 & 107 DB 2005
Supreme Court Docket No. 1183 DD No. 3
County Allegheny
Disciplinary Counsel William R. Friedman
Counsel for Respondent Sumner Lee Parker and W. Thomas McGough
Decision Date 2006-11-30
Effective Date 2006-12-30
Case Digest Respondent was charged with violation of Rules of Professional Conduct 1.16(d) and 8.4(d) arising out of failure to timely file documents and other conduct in his representation of a criminal defendant and his failure to turn over the client’s file to successor counsel in two cases. The hearing committee found that Respondent’s failure to provide a witness list and exhibit list at 107 DB 2005 resulted in prejudice to ODC and ruled that Respondent was precluded from offering witness testimony and exhibits or documents as evidence in 107 DB 2005. Although permitted to do so, Respondent did not present witnesses in 64 DB 2005. The Disciplinary Board filed its Report and Recommendation on July 10, 2006. The Board found that “by his own actions, or lack thereof, Respondent severely limited his ability to present a defense to the charges against him.” The Board further found that “Respondent has a prior history of engaging in conduct that is detrimental to his clients and to the legal profession.” Moreover, Respondent’s actions, “reveal a lack of lucid judgment.” Additionally, “Respondent has not shown positive improvement from his past encounters with the disciplinary system. Most strikingly, [he] has not offered evidence acknowledging his misconduct or apologizing for it. Respondent has failed to understand his role as an attorney and advocate” The Board recommended that Respondent be suspended for two years, with one member dissenting in favor of a three year suspension. Thereafter, on August 17, 2006 Respondent filed a Petition for Review. By Order dated November 30, 2006, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania denied Respondent’s Application to File Supplemental Petition and suspended Respondent for a period of two years
Rule Violation(s) RPC 1.1; 1.3; 1.4(a); 1.16(d); 8.4(d).
Discipline Imposed Suspension for two years
Points of Law Failure to timely file an Answer to a Petition for Discipline will result in the factual allegations contained in the Petition for Discipline being deemed admitted. Failure to provide a witness list or exhibit list when ordered to do so may result in being precluded from presenting witness testimony or offering exhibits as evidence. Respondent’s prior experience with the disciplinary system, especially when there is no improvement in Respondent’s respect for the legal system or clients, can be used as aggravating factors in increasing the level of discipline imposed.
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