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Disciplinary Reporter Case Digest

Attorney ID 61712
Attorney Name Bentivegna, Antoinette M.J.
DBP Docket No. 156 DB 2002
Supreme Court Docket No. 929 DD No. 3
County Philadelphia
Disciplinary Counsel Richard Hernandez
Counsel for Respondent Stuart L. Haimowitz
Decision Date 2004-07-15
Effective Date 2004-08-14
Case Digest Respondent’s misconduct occurred in four bankruptcy matters. Respondent engaged in a pattern of serial filing of bankruptcy petitions and pleadings without authorization from her purported clients and failed to communicate her actions to her purported clients. Respondent also failed to make required payments of installments fees and in one bankruptcy matter collected a fee in violation of the bankruptcy procedures. In another bankruptcy matter, Respondent misrepresented to opposing counsel that she had permission to settle a matter for the debtor when she did not represent the debtor. At the hearing, Respondent offered testimony that was impeached and she frequently contradicted her own testimony. Respondent operated a “slipshod law practice,” failing to read documents carefully, to keep track of information, and to know the status of her client files. In aggravation of discipline, Respondent showed no remorse for her misconduct and had a record of discipline consisting of a private reprimand for misconduct in two bankruptcy cases. In one bankruptcy case Respondent made a misrepresentation to a bankruptcy judge and in the second case Respondent failed to appear at a bankruptcy hearing.
Rule Violation(s) RPC 1.1, RPC 1.2(a), RPC 1.4(a), RPC 1.4(b), RPC 1.5(a), RPC 3.3(a)(1), RPC 8.4(c), and RPC 8.4(d)
Discipline Imposed Two-year suspension
Points of Law Probation is not an option when an attorney does not recognize the causes of her misconduct or demonstrates a real commitment to change. Moreover, probation is not appropriate where an attorney engages in misrepresentations, which a practice monitor cannot prevent.
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