Wednesday, September 24, 2008
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court imposed a stayed six-month suspension with conditions of an attorney who had been convicted of aggravated assualt by vehicle while driving under the influence, recklessly endangering another person, and driving while under the influence of a controlled substance. The attorney was driving in the wrong direction on the Pennsylvania Turnpike and caused a head-on collision that injured two people. He was diagnosed as a "functional alcoholic" and had left his brother-in-law's college graduation prior to the accident. He is now in a rehab program and apparently doing well.
A Board dissent favored an actual six-month suspension, concluding that the attorney had been untruthful in his bar admission application and in a later sworn deposition: "I find this deceitfulness difficult to swallow." The concerns relate in part to the attorney's statement in his bar application that he was a moderate drinker, which was inconsistent with his evidence in the bar proceeding. (Mike Frisch)