Tuesday, May 13, 2008

A Fair Result

An attorney who had fabricated documents and made false statements in response to a bar investigation of an overdraft of a $750 trust account check was suspended on consent for two years by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. There was mitigating evidence including remorse, lack of practice experience, voluntary closing of law practice and cooperation "evidenced by [the attorney's] voluntary decision to enter into consent discipline.

This strikes me as a good example of the value of consent discipline. The sanction is swift and sure without consuming limited disciplinary resources. The lawyer cannot resume practice without demonstrating substantial rehabilitation and is spared the humiliation of disbarment. Credit is given for cooperation and recognition of wrongdoing. In all, a responsible exercise of discretion by the disciplinary system. (Mike Frisch)

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