Disciplinary Reporter Case Digest

Attorney ID 13570
Attorney Name Simpson, Stephen W.
DBP Docket No. 6 DB 2004
Supreme Court Docket No. 1038 DD No. 3
County Philadelphia
Disciplinary Counsel Harriet R. Brumberg
Counsel for Respondent None
Decision Date 2005-07-22
Effective Date 2005-08-21
Case Digest Respondent repeatedly mishandled his escrow account, commingling personal funds and overdrawing the account. Respondent admitted that he did so in order to avoid federal tax liens on his personal accounts. In addition, Respondent, who had been transferred to inactive status for failure to comply with continuing legal education requirements in 1999, continued to practice law and thus engaged in the unauthorized practice of law for over three years. Respondent handled approximately 100 matters during this time period and entered his appearance in one court proceeding.
Rule Violation(s) RPC: 1.15(a); 1.16(a)(1); 5.5(b); 8.4(b); 8.4(c); 8.4(d); and
Discipline Imposed Suspension for two years.
Points of Law An attorney has an affirmative duty to know the status of his privilege to practice law and to comply with professional requirements. The acts of fulfilling CLE credits, filing an annual registration form, and paying an annual fee are not mere ministerial duties, but are part and parcel of the privilege of practicing law. Although attorney expressed remorse and admitted his wrongdoing, attorney’s conduct was contemptuous and warranted a two year suspension.
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