A lawyer has been suspended after falsely telling four clients that he had resolved their cases and then paying them amounts ranging from $10,000 to $424,000 from his personal funds. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court suspended the lawyer in a July 31 order. The lawyer agreed to the four-year suspension, which is retroactive to Feb. 25, 2016, the date that he was temporarily suspended from law practice.
The lawyer self-reported his misconduct in February 2016, detailing 11 client matters in which he misrepresented the status of cases to clients. In seven additional cases, he advised clients that he had filed complaints, motions and responsive pleadings when he had not, the joint petition says. In four cases, he used his personal funds to pay clients after telling them that he had received money from settlements, awards and legal claims. The amounts he paid were $10,000, $31,000, $69,500 and $424,000.
The joint petition for discipline noted mitigating circumstances. He “self-reported his misconduct and was forthright and specific,” the petition said. He completely cooperated with the Pennsylvania Office of Disciplinary Counsel, making admissions that wouldn’t have been discovered without his assistance. He also “exhibited deep remorse for his misconduct.”
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