Disciplinary Reporter Case Digest

Attorney ID 33850
Attorney Name Banik, Stephen J.
DBP Docket No. 129 DB 2000
Supreme Court Docket No. 789 D.D. No. 3
County Tioga
Disciplinary Counsel Patti S. Bednarik
Counsel for Respondent William A. Hebe
Decision Date 2002-12-17
Effective Date 2003-05-15
Case Digest Respondent retained funds belonging to a third party without authorization. Respondent submitted a request to be a designated payee for purposes of receiving SSI benefits for Complainant who suffered a mental disability. In the request,Respondent affirmed that Complainant did not owe him any money and he did not expect any money from the benefits.
Rule Violation(s) 1.15(a); 8.4(c)
Discipline Imposed Public Censure
Points of Law A lawyer who serves as a Social Security designated payee violates RPC 1.15(a) by failing to render accounting for those funds to the Social Security Administration. A lawyer who asserts that money not delivered to a client was a loan or payment for past legal services will be expected to produce documentation to corroborate those claims.
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