Tuesday, February 3, 2009
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court (with one justice dissenting) adopted the Disciplinary Board's proposed five year suspension of a 73 year old attorney with no prior discipline. The misconduct involved false allegations of criminal conduct on the part of as judge of the court of common pleas in a case where the lawyer was a pro se defendant. The statements were contained in a motion to recuse the judge, claiming judge and opposing counsel "were in concert and were part of a conspiracy to extort a settlement...numerous perjured statement [in the court's opinion]...bribery may be involved." The assertions were repeated in appeals briefs.
A hearing panel had recommended a three year suspension. The board found the attorney had shown no remorse or recognition of misconduct. Further, there was no evidence of a mental disorder. Thus, the board concluded that a longer suspension was appropriate. (Mike Frisch)