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Disciplinary Reporter Case Digest

Attorney ID 12967
Attorney Name Fitz, Jack
DBP Docket No. 76 DB 2007
Supreme Court Docket No. 1292 DD No. 3
County Philadelphia
Disciplinary Counsel Richard Hernandez
Counsel for Respondent None
Decision Date 2007-11-07
Effective Date 2007-12-07
Case Digest In four client matters, Respondent failed to hold inviolate fiduciary funds. In two of the four client matters, Respondent’s escrow account was “out of trust” for less than a month. Respondent held funds aside from the client’s settlement proceeds to pay medical providers; Respondent failed to remit any payment of these funds to the medical providers. Respondent’s escrow account was “out of trust” with respect to these funds for at least 10 months. In one client matter, involving Respondent converted funds belonging to the client. Respondent converted to his own use part of the client’s funds. Mitigating factors in determining the discipline to impose were Respondent’s lack of a record of discipline; cooperation, remorse, and satisfaction of the award issued to the client by the Pennsylvania Lawyers Fund for Client Security. Also, Respondent’s delay in distributing to the client her share of the settlement funds was partly explained by Respondent’s concern that the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare (“DPW”) might have been entitled to receive a larger share of the proceeds to satisfy DPW’s lien. A three-member panel of the Disciplinary Board approved a Joint Petition in Support of Discipline on Consent, in which Respondent consented to a two-year suspension. On November 7, 2007, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court approved the Joint Petition in Support of Discipline on Consent.
Rule Violation(s) RPC 1.15(a), 1.15(b), 8.4(b), 8.4(c), and Pa.R.D.E. 203(b)(3) via Pa.R.D.E. 219(d)(1)(iii).
Discipline Imposed Suspension for two years.
Points of Law
Report/Opinion Download