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Disciplinary Reporter Case Digest

Attorney ID 48848
Attorney Name Paz , James Lawrence
DBP Docket No. 97 DB 2010
Supreme Court Docket No. 1630 DD No. 3
County Allegheny
Disciplinary Counsel Mark G. Weitzman
Counsel for Respondent John E. Quinn
Decision Date 2010-08-20
Effective Date 2010-09-20
Case Digest As of October 24, 2008, Respondent was entrusted with $3,953.06, the balance of the funds that were deposited into his IOLTA Account regarding a client's purchase of real estate from an Estate. Respondent was to hold $3,000 for payment of inheritance tax due on the Estate, $453.06 for payment of a water and sewage bill, and $500 to pay the attorney for the Estate for attorney's fees. However, Respondent then misappropriated the $3,953.06 by issuing several checks to himself. In June 2009, Respondent deposited into his IOLTA Account $3,800 of his own funds so that his check, dated June 25, 2009, made payable to the Estate, in the amount of $3,453.06, could clear his IOLTA Account. The check proceeds represented the $3,000 he was entrusted to hold for payment of inheritance tax and the $453.06 he was entrusted to hold for payment of the water and sewage bill. After that check cleared Respondent's IOLTA Account, he was still entrusted with $500 due the attorney for the Estate for attorney's fees. On about May 20, 2010, Respondent, through his counsel, paid the $500 to the attorney for the Estate.
Rule Violation(s) 1.15(b), 1.15(e), 1.15(h), and 8.4(c)
Discipline Imposed Suspension for 1 year and 1 day (on consent)
Points of Law Misappropriation of entrusted funds will ordinarily warrant a suspension for at least a year and a day.
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