Disciplinary Reporter Case Digest

Attorney ID 72655
Attorney Name Eshelman, Matthew J.
DBP Docket No. 167 DB 2009
Supreme Court Docket No. 1734 DD No. 3
County Cumberland
Disciplinary Counsel Edwin W. Frese Jr.
Counsel for Respondent None
Decision Date 2011-08-17
Effective Date 2011-09-16
Case Digest This prosecution involved seventeen (17) separate complaints primarily from Respondentís divorce and bankruptcy clients. Most of the misconduct occurred in 2007 through 2009 when the Respondent was trying to establish a solo practice. All of the complaints involved neglect and lack of communication. The more recent complaints also involved Respondentís failure to properly handle advanced fees and costs, and failure to account or refund unearned fees. Some of the complaints also involved excessive fees and lack of a fee writing. One complaint involved filing a Divorce Complaint with a knowingly false date of separation. In general, the Respondent would agree to represent a client, get paid, do little or no work, and fail to respond to the clientís attempted communications. The Respondentís explanation for his misconduct was that he was addicted to video games and escaped the pressures of his law practice and home life by retreating into the world of video and computer games. No expert testimony was offered. At the hearing he admitted that he was not mentally fit to practice and that his clients would have to look to the Lawyers Fund for Client Security for restitution. While Disciplinary Counsel sought disbarment, the Hearing Committee recommended a five-year suspension. No Briefs on Exception were filed. However, the Board noted ďthat upon close inspection most of the cases standing alone did not involve serious misconduct, recommended a three-year suspension consistent with the case of ODC v. McCormack, No. 59 DB 2002 (2/18/04). (Bd.Rpt p87)
Rule Violation(s) 1.1, 1.3, 1.4(a)(3), 1.4(a)(4), 1.4(b), 1.5(a), 1.5(b), 1.15(b), 1.15(e), 1.15(i), 1.15(m), 1.16(d), 3.3(a)(1), 8.4(c), and 8.4(d).
Discipline Imposed Suspension for 3 years
Points of Law
Report/Opinion Download