Disciplinary Reporter Case Digest

Attorney ID 36435
Attorney Name Joseph, Marlene E.
DBP Docket No. 26 DB 1992 and 79 DB 1993
Supreme Court Docket No. 961 D.D. No. 2
County Philadelphia
Disciplinary Counsel Barbara S. Rosenberg
Counsel for Respondent John Rogers Carroll
Decision Date 2002-12-09
Effective Date
Case Digest By order dated October 13, 1993, the Supreme Court disbarred Petitioner on consent from the practice of law. The disbarment was based on Petitioner’s federal court convictions of the charges of one count of mail fraud and two counts of tax evasion; and four separate pending disciplinary complaints involving various charges, including one instance of forgery, conversion of client funds, failure to refund an unearned fee, and unauthorized practice while on inactive status. The Board initially determined that Petitioner’s misconduct was not so egregious as to preclude reinstatement. In her Petition for Reinstatement, Petitioner contended that her gambling addiction was a causal factor for her professional misconduct from 1986 to 1993. Petitioner submitted evidence, including active participation in Gambler’s Anonymous, psychotherapy, and changed behavior patterns, to show that her professional misconduct was unlikely to be repeated. The Board found that Petitioner had demonstrated success in rehabilitating herself from her addictive condition. The Board also found that Petitioner had settled her tax obligation to the IRS through an Offer in Compromise and that she had satisfied all restitution obligations she owed to clients who filed claims with the Pennsylvania Lawyers Fund for Client Security. The Board, however, recommended that the petition be denied because Petitioner had made no effort since her release from prison to contact one former client to verify payment of restitution; the Board found this lack of effort “particularly disturbing” in light of the 12-step recovery program of Gamblers’ Anonymous, which mandates that Petitioner make amends to those who she harmed as a result of her addiction. Another concern was Petitioner’s lack of consistent and steady employment; since her release from prison, Petitioner had held various employment positions, most ending after only a few months of employment.
Rule Violation(s)
Discipline Imposed Reinstatement Denied
Points of Law Lack of consistent and steady employment is not indicative of a successful rehabilitative process. Failure to make restitution to a client is grounds for denial of reinstatement.
Report/Opinion not available