December 11, 2008
An attorney who in 2002 had been declared severely mentally disabled and been involuntarily committed by the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County Pennsylvania was transferred to disability inactive status in that same year. He had been convicted of an array of criminal offenses including DUI, forgery, criminal trespass, tampering with public records, unsworn falsification to authorities, escape and criminal mischief. He is in the process of seeking reinstatement to the Pennsylvania Bar.
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court accepted a consent disposition of charges based on the criminal matters, consisting of a five-year suspension backdated to 2002. The proposed disposition of the Disciplinary Board (attached) notes that the attorney suffers from alcoholism, depression and bipolar disorder. An expert testified that these conditions were the "unfortunate platform" that led to the crimes. The attorney has been in alcohol recovery since 2004. By imposing the suspension as effective in 2002, this order appears to make the attorney eligible for reinstatement now. (Mike Frisch)
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