Disciplinary Reporter Case Digest

Attorney ID 13440
Attorney Name Sagett, Samuel H.
DBP Docket No. 38 DB 1989
Supreme Court Docket No. 686 DD No. 2
County Out of State
Disciplinary Counsel Richard Hernandez
Counsel for Respondent Robert W. Costigan
Decision Date 2003-07-24
Effective Date 2003-08-08
Case Digest Petitioner, who was Disbarred on Consent by Order of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court dated May 26, 1989, was denied reinstatement. Petitionerís disbarment was based on his having misappropriated client funds to finance an investment scheme through a businessman who was overseas. Petitionerís misconduct occurred in New Jersey, where he maintained his practice of law. Following Petitionerís disbarment, he was criminally prosecuted in New Jersey and pleaded guilty to charges of theft by failure to make required disposition of property received and theft by deception. The Disciplinary Board addressed the Keller threshold inquiry and concluded that Petitionerís misconduct was not so egregious as to preclude his reinstatement. However, the Disciplinary Board found fault with Petitionerís rehabilitation efforts; therefore, it was determined that Petitioner had failed to meet his burden pursuant to Pa.R.D.E. 218(c)(3)(i). The Disciplinary Board opined that Petitioner should have taken action to obtain specific information relating to his misconduct and to have undertaken efforts to ensure that all of his victimized clients were made whole. Petitioner testified that he was unaware of the total number of clients who were harmed by his misconduct, the total amount he misappropriated, and whether all of his victimized clients were made whole. Evidence was adduced that every client who filed a claim with the Client Security Fund in New Jersey was repaid and that Petitioner reimbursed that organization. Yet, Petitioner did not know if every client he harmed filed a claim because he turned his files over to the New Jersey disciplinary and had no involvement in the process of identifying the clients he victimized.
Rule Violation(s)
Discipline Imposed Reinstatement denied
Points of Law Reinstatement Denied from Disbarment for misappropriation of client funds; Unaware of how many victims & how much money was misused; Repaid New Jersey Lawyers Fund but made no effort to determine if other victims exist.
Report/Opinion Download