Disciplinary Reporter Case Digest

Attorney ID 0
Attorney Name Anonymous,
DBP Docket No. 16 DB 2003
Supreme Court Docket No. NA
Disciplinary Counsel Richard Hernandez
Counsel for Respondent Samuel C. Stretton
Decision Date 2004-03-15
Effective Date 2004-03-15
Case Digest Respondent engaged in misconduct that fell into three discrete groupings. First, Respondent commingled her personal funds with funds belonging to clients and third parties in her escrow account and failed to maintain complete records for the fiduciary funds handled through her escrow account. Second, Respondent provided incompetent representation to a client by filing an improper affidavit in the clientís divorce case, failed to complete the divorce, failed to respond to the clientís inquiries, and failed to advise the client to retain new counsel following Respondentís transfer to inactive status. Third, Respondent failed to advise four clients, the courts, and opposing counsel of Respondentís transfer to inactive status, failed to withdraw her appearance in each of those clientsí cases, failed to file a verified statement of compliance with the Disciplinary Board Secretary, and engaged in the unauthorized practice of law in two client matters over a brief time period. Respondent was a young and inexperienced attorney at the time of her misconduct. At the hearing, Respondent expressed her remorse and showed her reform, and presented evidence that she was under extreme stress at the time of her misconduct due to the deaths of her mentor and her uncle, two unsuccessful pregnancies, and the termination of an unhappy and difficult personal relationship.
Rule Violation(s) RPC 1.1, RPC 1.3, RPC 1.4(a), RPC 1.4(b), RPC 1.15(a), RPC 1.16(a)(1), RPC 5.5(b), and Pa.R.D.E. 203(b)(3) via Pa.R.D.E. 217(b), Pa.R.D.E. 217(c)(2), and Pa.R.D.E. 217(e).
Discipline Imposed Private Reprimand with probation for a period of one year under the supervision of a practice monitor.
Points of Law
Report/Opinion not available