Wednesday, June 6, 2012
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has imposed a five-year suspension of an attorney who appeared in a legal matter while suspended. The attorney used the false name of Cohen, rather than his true name, in the proceeding.
The court majority agreed with the view of the Disciplinary Board that found the misconduct to be serious, but not disbarment worthy:
...we believe that Respondent's knowing violation of his order of suspension, forgery of his employer's signature on his Entry of Appearence, intentional use of a alias before the Master to conceal his identity and deceive the Master, interception of a DB-7 letter addressed to his employer, involvement of a third party to deceive the Office of Disciplinary Counsel by asked for an extension of time to answer the DB-7 letter, and failure to self-report his misconduct are serious ethical breaches that should carry grave consequences.
Twp justices dissented, and would find that disbarment is the appropriate "grave consequence." (Mike Frisch)