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Disciplinary Reporter Case Digest

Attorney ID 202443
Attorney Name Abel , Suzanne Spencer
DBP Docket No. 12 DB 2010
Supreme Court Docket No. 1590 DD No. 3
County Cumberland
Disciplinary Counsel Frank Dougherty
Counsel for Respondent None
Decision Date 2010-04-26
Effective Date 2010-05-26
Case Digest Respondent cohabitated with a father and his young children. Father’s estranged wife lived in close proximity and she and the father were involved in ongoing and contentious disputes involving marital issues and their children. Respondent gave father legal advice on some issues in the disputes. An altercation between the parents occurred outside father’s residence and mother called the police, who were familiar with Respondent and the parents from prior problems. Respondent tried to leave in her van and mother contended she had to jump on the front of the van to avoid being run over. With mother still clinging to the front of the van, Respondent drove recklessly for almost half a mile before encountering an approaching police car responding to the call with lights and siren activated. The police car moved to the right, and then moved and stopped more to the right when Respondent crossed the yellow line coming toward the police car. Respondent struck the police car on the left side causing minor damage. Mother suffered personal injuries in the incident. A jury found respondent guilty of Recklessly Endangering Another Person and Disorderly Conduct. The judge found the Respondent guilty of the summary offenses of Criminal Mischief, Driving on Roadways Laned for Traffic, and Careless Driving.
Rule Violation(s) 203(b)(1), Pa.R.D.E; Rule of Professional Conduct 8.4(b)
Discipline Imposed Suspension for one year and one day
Points of Law Conviction of a crime may result in the imposition of discipline under Rule 203, Pa.R.D.E. Committing criminal acts that adversely reflect on the lawyer’s honesty, trustworthiness or fitness as a lawyer in other respects may also be a violation of Rule of Professional Conduct 8.4(b), which may increase the discipline warranted by acts underlying the criminal conviction.
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