Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Reinstatement Granted

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has granted reinstatement of an attorney suspended for a year and a da for criminal conduct unrelated to the practice of law..

The misconduct

In the summer of 2008, Petitioner was involved in an ongoing controversy with a neighbor, which culminated in an incident on August 22, 2008, where Petitioner drove approximately 4/10th of a mile down the neighborhood road with the neighbor clinging to the windshield of Petitioner’s vehicle. Petitioner’s vehicle struck the front end of a police vehicle that was responding to the scene.

On November 20, 2008, a seven count Information was filed in the Cumberland County Court of Common Pleas charging Petitioner with aggravated assault, recklessly endangering another person, disorderly conduct, criminal mischief, driving on roadways laned for traffic, careless driving, and reckless driving. 

On November 8, 2009, following a jury trial in the Cumberland County Court of Common Pleas, Petitioner was convicted of recklessly endangering another person, disorderly conduct, criminal mischief, driving on roadways laned for traffic and careless driving. Petitioner was acquitted of aggravated assault and reckless driving. (citations to record omitted).

After the incident

Petitioner was diagnosed by her treating psychiatrist with major depression, post traumatic stress disorder, and the effects of family estrangement.

Although insurance issues interfered with treatment, she has been employed as an unpaid intern with a law firm. 

She also accepted responsibility and demonstrated remorse

The Committee weighed the evidence, concluded that Petitioner met her stringent burden of proof, and recommended that Petitioner be reinstated. ODC does not oppose reinstatement. Upon our independent review of the record, we conclude that Petitioner met her reinstatement burden and we recommend that the Petition for Reinstatement be granted. Petitioner credibly testified on her own behalf and presented testimony from six credible character witnesses: former Judge J. Wesley Oler, Jr.; Taylor Andrews, Esquire; Jason Davies; Beverly Doorly; Sheri Romano; Virginia Hostetter; and Teresa Stephens, LCSW. Petitioner also submitted into evidence character letters from her employer, her landlord, a coworker, and student testimonials. The totality of this testimony and evidence demonstrates that Petitioner has the moral qualifications, competence and learning to practice law and that the resumption of her practice will be neither detrimental to the integrity and standing of the bar or the administration of justice, nor subversive of the public interest.


As further evidence of rehabilitation, Petitioner demonstrated her interest in giving back to her community by volunteering for the Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet and the ESC. She rejoined her temple, and became active in the issue of parental alienation by organizing a local support group and speaking at conferences.

(Mike Frisch)


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