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Disciplinary Reporter Case Digest

Attorney ID 18676
Attorney Name Rowe Jr., Edward T.
DBP Docket No. 29 & 90 DB 2006
Supreme Court Docket No. 1285 DD No. 3
County Westmoreland
Disciplinary Counsel Cory John Cirelli
Counsel for Respondent John Allen Roth
Decision Date 2007-10-30
Effective Date 2007-11-30
Case Digest Respondent misappropriated a client’s $9,000 entrustment to him over a period of several years and then misled the client about having satisfied the lien he was to have paid for her. Respondent then attempted to mislead Petitioner in the course of its investigation of the client’s allegations by making material misrepresentations of fact and providing only those bank records for his trust account which showed his account balance to be sufficient to support the client’s entrustment to him. In an unrelated matter, Respondent was appointed to represent a client in his appeal of his criminal conviction for homicide. Respondent failed to adequately communicate with his client and failed to timely file a petition for allowance of appeal with the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania. Respondent subsequently cooperated with Petitioner’s investigation and prosecution of these matters and admitted to his misconduct and rule violations. Respondent offered the testimony of a psychiatric expert witness to attempt to establish Braun mitigation.
Rule Violation(s) 1.3, 1.4(a), 1.15(a), 1.15(b), 1.16(d), 8.1(a), 8.4(c)
Discipline Imposed Suspension for one year and one day.
Points of Law Although it was clear that Respondent suffered from episodes of depression during his adult years, “the evidence is not clear and convincing that the depression caused Respondent’s misconduct.” His expert witness was not aware of the mishandling of funds nor his material misrepresentations to Petitioner and “[t]his incomplete awareness weakens [the expert’s] testimony regarding a causal connection.” Three members of the Board dissented in favor of a three year suspension.
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