Disciplinary Reporter Case Digest

Attorney ID 0
Attorney Name Anonymous,    
DBP Docket No. 19 DB 2002
Supreme Court Docket No.
Disciplinary Counsel Richard Steven Levine
Counsel for Respondent Robert P. Vincler
Decision Date 2003-09-04
Effective Date
Case Digest Complainant is a Judge of the Criminal Division of the Court of Common Pleas of ____ County. Respondent represented the defendant in a DUI case before the Complainant. Prior to trial, upon motion of the Commonwealth, the court ruled that no party was permitted to make reference to a Preliminary Breath Test ("PBT"), and that the jury would not be permitted to see any part of the test which was recorded on video-tape. Respondent objected to the ruling arguing that deleted portions of the video-tape impeached the prosecuting officer and showed the defendant to be lucid. During the jury trial, in compliance with the court's ruling, the prosecuting officer omitted reference to the PBT in his testimony. In response and in open court, the Respondent asserted that court was "suborning perjury" to the officer's "false" testimony. In reply to Office of Disciplinary Counsel's letter of inquiry, Respondent vigorously asserted that his allegation of "suborning perjury" was justified by the Judge's conduct of "withholding the whole truth from the jury."
Rule Violation(s) 8.2(b)
Discipline Imposed Informal Admonition
Points of Law A false accusation in open court during a criminal jury trial that the Judge suborned the perjury of a witness for the Commonwealth is a violation of Rule 8.2(b).
Report/Opinion not available