Disciplinary Reporter Case Digest

Attorney ID 60643
Attorney Name Weinberg, Marc Alan
DBP Docket No. 30 DB 2011
Supreme Court Docket No. 1733 DD No. 3
County Montgomery
Disciplinary Counsel Ramona Mariani
Counsel for Respondent James C. Schwartzman
Decision Date 2011-07-12
Effective Date 2011-09-14
Case Digest By Recommendation dated April 15, 2011, a three-member panel of the Disciplinary Board recommended that the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania grant the parties’ Joint Petition in Support of Discipline on Consent for a public censure. Respondent represented the plaintiff in a personal injury case filed in the Court of Common Pleas of Fulton County, Pennsylvania. On December 17, 2009, the Court issued an Order providing, among other things, that Plaintiff’s deposition was to occur within 30 days from the date of the Order and that Respondent could not seek to cancel or continue the deposition without leave of Court. Further, the Court ordered Respondent to file an affidavit with supporting documentation by Friday, January 8, 2010, confirming Respondent’s unavailability to attend the two previously scheduled depositions. Respondent cancelled Plaintiff’s deposition the evening before it was scheduled without seeking leave of the Court. Respondent also failed to file the requested affidavit. Accordingly, defense counsel filed a motion for sanctions. On February 17, 2010, the Court entered an Order scheduling a full evidentiary hearing on the sanctions motion for June 1, 2010. Respondent had pre-existing commitments on that day, but he failed to promptly inform the Court of that fact. Instead, Respondent faxed a letter to the Court on June 1, 2010, explaining that he was “on trial.” The Court rescheduled the sanctions hearing for June 15, 2010, at which time Respondent appeared and testified, among other things, that the reason for his non-compliance with the Court’s December 8, 2009 Order was that Respondent had never read the Order. The underlying case settled later that month. The Court imposed sanctions of $1,000.00, which Respondent paid on July 22, 2010. Respondent belatedly filed the required affidavit on August 16, 2010, after receiving correspondence from Disciplinary Counsel. By Order dated July 12, 2011, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania accepted the Disciplinary Board Panel’s recommendation. The Supreme Court imposed the public censure on September 14, 2011.
Rule Violation(s) 1.3, 3.2 and 8.4(d)
Discipline Imposed Public Censure
Points of Law A public censure is appropriately imposed for a willful or negligent violation of a court order.
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