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Disciplinary Reporter Case Digest

Attorney ID 37959
Attorney Name Valentino, Jr., Philip A.
DBP Docket No. 26 DB 1997
Supreme Court Docket No. 306 DD No. 3
County Philadelphia
Disciplinary Counsel Raymond S. Wierciszewski
Counsel for Respondent James C. Schwartzman
Decision Date 2004-07-29
Effective Date 2004-07-29
Case Digest By Opinion of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania decided May 20, 1999, Petitioner was suspended from the practice of law for a period of five years retroactive to February 24, 1997, the date on which he was placed on temporary suspension. Petitioner’s suspension arose out of his November 1996 guilty plea to one count of mail fraud which was aggravated by his subornation of perjury by his mother before a federal grand jury. Petitioner was sentenced to three years of probation, with the first twelve months on home confinement. He was also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $21,800.00 and a fine of $500.00. Although convicted of only one count of mail fraud, the record established that between 1987 and 1996, Petition engaged in several instances of fraud by submitting medical records that Petitioner knew to be fraudulent. Petitioner filed a Petition for Reinstatement on September 17, 2002. Office of Disciplinary Counsel opposed Petitioner’s reinstatement. By Report dated January 12, 2004, the Hearing Committee recommended that the Petition for Reinstatement be denied. By Report and Recommendation dated April 27, 2004, the Disciplinary Board recommended that the Petition for Reinstatement be granted. The Disciplinary Board disagreed with the Hearing Committee’s determination that Petitioner did not engage in meaningful community service during his suspension, noting that Petitioner’s band performed without compensation at twelve to fifteen charitable events per year for worthy causes. The Disciplinary Board also held that the Hearing Committee’s findings that Petitioner did not understand the harm his misconduct caused to other people and the judicial system and did not show sufficient remorse were not supported by the record. The Disciplinary Board noted that in its Opinion of May 20, 1999, the Supreme Court acknowledged that Petitioner “demonstrated recognition of his wrongdoing and accepted responsibility for it by cooperating with the authorities, volunteering information regarding additional impropriety, and immediately bringing to the attention of the court his subornation of perjury.” The Disciplinary Board found that Petitioner had presented persuasive evidence that he continues to be remorseful. By Order dated July 29, 2004, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania granted the Petition for Reinstatement. Mr. Justice Saylor dissented.
Rule Violation(s)
Discipline Imposed Petition for Reinstatement granted.
Points of Law While the Supreme Court has emphasized the need for meaningful community service as a means of rehabilitation, there are no strict guidelines as to what actions a petitioner must engage in to constitute such meaningful service.”
Report/Opinion Download