Disciplinary Reporter Case Digest

Attorney ID 67742
Attorney Name Cavadel, Joel H.
DBP Docket No. 176 DB 2006 & 5 DB 2007
Supreme Court Docket No. 1302 DD No. 3
County York
Disciplinary Counsel Edwin W. Frese Jr.
Counsel for Respondent None
Decision Date 2008-03-12
Effective Date 2008-04-11
Case Digest Respondent was transferred to inactive status in 2003 for failure to comply with CLE requirements. He thought that was a mistake and continued to practice immigration law and preside over mental health commitments. The first PFD involves an immigration client that Respondent began to represent in June 2005. Respondent signed a representation form falsely asserting he was a member in good standing of the PA Bar. As a result of Respondentís having represented numerous other immigration clients and falsely asserting that he was in good standing but while on inactive status, the Board of Immigration Appeals suspended Respondent from practice before the Immigration Court for 9 months in November 2005, thus effectively terminating his representation of the complaining client. Respondent failed to send that client his file, refund fees or render an accounting despite the clientís request. A week after being suspended in the Immigration Courts, Respondent signed a Statement of Compliance falsely asserting to the Disciplinary Board that he had complied with the Order from 2003 transferring him to CLE inactive status. As a result, he was transferred back to active status. However, in April 2006, Respondent was reciprocally suspended from practice in PA for 9 months. While under that 9 month suspension, in October 2006, Respondent held himself out to a woman as representing her boyfriend in a dispute with her. When the police arrested the boyfriend, Respondent advised the police and Magisterial District Judge that Respondent was the boyfriendís counsel.
Rule Violation(s) RPCs 1.4(a)(3)(4), 1.5(b), 1.15(b), 1.16(a)(1), 1.16(d), 3.3(a)(1), 5.5(a), 8.4(a)(b)(c)(d); PaRDE 217(c)(d)(e)
Discipline Imposed Suspension for two years.
Points of Law Respondent did not answer either PFD thereby admitting all of the factual allegations. However, he denied many of them during his testimony. His primary defense was that he did not realize he was on inactive status due to the fact that his depression, ADHD and severe diabetes caused him not to open his mail from the Disciplinary Board and to think that his CLE transfer was the result of a mistake. However, neither the Hearing Committee nor the Board concluded that Respondent met the Braun standard for mitigation in that Respondentís expert was not familiar with the details of Respondentís conduct and did not offer an opinion that Respondentís conditions ďsubstantially causedĒ his misconduct.
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