Saturday, January 13, 2018
The Altoona Mirror reported on a recent Pennsylvania consent to disbarment
Attorney Meghan Farrell Irwin, who narrowly lost a race for magisterial district judge in November, was disbarred Friday by the state Supreme Court.
The disbarment is “on consent” by Irwin, who has submitted her resignation, according to the court’s Disciplinary Board, which did not disclose the reason for disbarment.
The court disbarred her because of an allegation — not made by a client — in February 2017, that she performed with “lack of diligence on a matter,” Irwin said Friday.
The allegation was untrue, and she could have defeated it, she said. But she decided not to fight it because she is exhausted from the election campaign and her work as a lawyer, and because, if she lost the election, she was going to wind down her practice to focus on her family anyway, she said.
“In some ways, I feel relieved,” said Irwin, who has five children. “I feel like I don’t have anything left in the tank for a job I didn’t want to do anymore.”
The allegation was made to the court after she had announced her intention to run for election, and she believes it was made because of her campaign, Irwin said.
She declined to disclose who made the allegation, saying it was confidential.
If she had won the election, she could have served as a magisterial district judge despite the disbarment, she said, explaining that MDJs don’t need to be attorneys.
Asked why she didn’t fight the allegation, if only to clear her reputation, she said the public would still have known, “and people talk and form their opinions, no matter what my (actual) conduct.”
“I just wanted to end it,” she said.
The disbarment goes into effect Feb. 11, reflecting the standard 30-day grace period to enable disbarred lawyers to wrap up their practice, according to the Disciplinary Board.
Irwin has notified her outstanding clients about what has happened, referring them to her father, Tom, an attorney who practices in the same office.
She didn’t dismiss the idea of working again as a lawyer, saying she could apply for license reinstatement at some point, “if that’s what I want to do.”
“I wish it was not this way,” she said. “(But) I don’t have regrets.”