Thursday, December 14, 2017
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court imposed a year and a day suspension for an attorney's misconduct in two matters.
Count One could be a good PR exam question (thinking along these lines as my students are being tested today)
The client in one matter was in a automobile accident and was hospitalized in a coma.
Respondent's agent came to the hospital and induced the client's wife to retain him and to give the him power of attorney over the client's assets.
The agent advanced the client's wife a thousand dollars.
Over the course of the representation, the client received nearly $16,000 in payment from the attorney.
The case settled for $333,333.34 (a figure that obviously was intended to be easily divisible by 3) but the attorney took a 40% contingent fee. The client revoked the POA shortly after the settlement.
The client tried to get the attorney to explain the fee and filed a bar complaint when an answer was not forthcoming on the reason for the percentage of the fee.
A second matter involved the attorney's mishandling of a slip-and-fall of a pregnant woman, whose contentions were deemed credible as opposed to those of the attorney.
The case is Office of Disciplinary Counsel v. Blake Berenbaum and can be found at this link. (Mike Frisch)