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Disciplinary Reporter Case Digest

Attorney ID 54032
Attorney Name Urbanski , Stephen K.
DBP Docket No. 30 DB 2009
Supreme Court Docket No. 1566 DD No. 3
County Luzerne
Disciplinary Counsel Edwin W. Frese Jr.
Counsel for Respondent None
Decision Date 2010-03-10
Effective Date 2010-04-02
Case Digest This prosecution involved three complaints. The Respondent did not answer the Petition for Discipline nor attend the disciplinary hearing. All of the factual allegations were deemed admitted. The first complaint involved having a divorce client sign a blank verification and later attaching it to a complaint which he filed with the court without having the client review it. It also involved failure to take any action on the divorce case after filing the complaint and failing to challenge a child support order against his client even though she and her husband shared custody. As a result, the client had to pay arrearages of $480 she otherwise would not have had to pay. In the second case, Respondent improperly advised his client that he could have her felony conviction expunged, but thereafter took no action on the matter. Over the next two years, the Complainant spoke to the Respondent only three times, during which he led her to believe he was proceeding with her case. Respondent failed to advise his client that he had been suspended and could no longer represent her, but misrepresented to the Disciplinary Board in his Statement of Compliance that he has fully complied with the suspension order and applicable rules. Complainant filed a complaint after she could no longer contact Respondent. The third complaint involved Respondentís neglect of a rent collection case against his client, his misrepresentation to her that he had listed the case for arbitration, and his failure to advise his client that he had been suspended. In two of the cases, Respondent failed to account or refund unearned fees and in the third failed to promptly account and refund unearned fees. The Respondent had an extensive history of prior discipline for similar misconduct including three informal admonitions, a private reprimand, a stayed one-year suspension with probation, which Respondent violated resulting in his one-year suspension. The Disciplinary Board recommended disbarment, which the Court imposed.
Rule Violation(s) RPCs 1.1, 1.3, 1.4(a)(3) and (4), 1.15(b), 1.16(d), 3.3(a)(1), 8.4(c); PaRDE 217(b)
Discipline Imposed Disbarment
Points of Law Having a client sign a blank verification which is later attached to a pleading and filed with the court without having the client actually review the pleading may constitute a material misrepresentation to the court that the client personally verified the averments in the pleading in violation of RPC 3.3(a)(1).
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