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Disciplinary Reporter Case Digest

Attorney ID 75280
Attorney Name Corcoran , Richard . M
DBP Docket No. 74 DB 2009
Supreme Court Docket No. 1624 DD No. 3
County Cambria
Disciplinary Counsel Mark G. Weitzman
Counsel for Respondent None
Decision Date 2010-09-20
Effective Date 2010-10-20
Case Digest A three-charge Petition for Discipline was filed. Each charge involved several acts of misconduct. As to the first charge, Respondent was entrusted with funds by a client in a divorce matter to pay the client's wife's attorney as part of resolution of equitable distribution. However, Respondent intentionally misappropriated these funds to pay past due amounts on his and his wife's mortgage in order to prevent their residence from being sold at a Sheriff's Sale. Months later, he misappropriated funds entrusted to him on behalf of other clients to fund the check he issued to the divorce client's wife's attorney for equitable distribution. He also misrepresented to one of these other clients on several occasions that he did not receive the funds due her in order to cover-up his misappropriation of those funds. As to the second charge, while representing a client in a divorce action, Respondent made several misrepresentations to the client, neglected his client's Superior Court appeal, failed to comply with Orders issued by the Superior Court, did not inform the client that her Superior Court appeals had been dismissed, and did not return her telephone calls to him about the status of the appeals. As to the third charge, Respondent knowingly engaged in the unauthorized practice of law on several occasions from December 18, 2007 through at least January 2, 2008, by representing clients in court proceedings after being transferred to inactive status by Order of the Supreme Court, effective on December 15, 2007. He also forwarded to the Disciplinary Board an executed Statement of Compliance, in which he falsely certified that he had fully complied with the provisions of the Supreme Court Order placing him on inactive status and the applicable provisions of the Rules of Disciplinary Enforcement and Disciplinary Board Rules. He also did not inform the tribunal before whom he was appearing on behalf of his clients, his clients, or opposing counsel that he had been transferred to inactive status and was prohibited from practicing law.
Rule Violation(s) 1.3, 1.4(a)(3), 1.4(a)(4), 1.5(b), 1.15(a), 1.15(b), 5.5(a), 8.4(c), 8.4(d), Rule 217(j)(4)(ii), (iv), (v), (vi), and (vii).
Discipline Imposed Suspension for 5 years
Points of Law An attorney who knowingly misappropriates entrusted funds, makes misrepresentations to his clients, knowingly engages in the unauthorized practice of law while on inactive status, files a false Statement of Compliance with the Disciplinary Board, and does not present sufficient evidence for mitigation, pursuant to Office of Disciplinary Counsel v. Braun, will be suspended from the practice of law for a significant period of time.
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