Monday, April 12, 2010
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court agreed with its Disciplinary Board that an attorney had engaged in multiple acts of misappropriation over a four-year period and repeatedly lied to Disciplinary Counsel. However, the court rejected the board's proposed five-year suspension and suspended the attorney for three years. Two justices would impose the sanction that the board had recommended.
The hearing committee had found that the attorney had established that he suffered from a psychiatric disorder that caused the misconduct and had established mitigation under the so-called Braun standard. Disciplinary Counsel argued to the board that the evidence was insufficient to establish mitigation. The board upheld the hearing committee, finding that "while perhaps not the strongest [evidence] ever rendered in a Braun case, [it] is sufficent to meet the Braun standard." (Mike Frisch)