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Disciplinary Reporter Case Digest

Attorney ID 38637
Attorney Name Mazza, Mark David
DBP Docket No. 95 DB 2000
Supreme Court Docket No. 588 DD No. 3
County Philadelphia
Disciplinary Counsel Richard Hernandez
Counsel for Respondent Samuel Stretton
Decision Date 2008-02-27
Effective Date 2008-03-28
Case Digest Following the submission of pleadings to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court by the Office of Disciplinary Counsel (“ODC”) and Respondent, Respondent was held in contempt for violating Rule 217(j)(4)(i), Pa.R.D.E., by Order dated March 11, 2005. ODC alleged in a contempt petition filed with the Pennsylvania Supreme Court on September 24, 2004, that Respondent had violated Rule 217(j)(4)(i), Pa.R.D.E., by performing “law-related activities” at the law firm he was associated with on or after the date Respondent engaged in acts which resulted in Respondent’s temporary suspension and subsequent disbarment. Respondent was temporarily suspended by Order dated August 3, 2000; Respondent was subsequently disbarred by Order dated July 24, 2003. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court referred the matter to the Disciplinary Board for a hearing and recommendation of an appropriate sanction. In turn, the Disciplinary Board referred the matter to a Hearing Committee. After considering the recommendation of the assigned Hearing Committee, the Disciplinary Board filed a report in which it recommended to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court that Respondent be filed $1,000 and that he be prohibited from filing for reinstatement until August 3, 2010. In its report, the Disciplinary Board also found that Respondent was continuing to engage in “law-related activities.”
Rule Violation(s) Rule 217(j)(4)(i), Pa.R.D.E.
Discipline Imposed Fine of $1,000; barred from applying for reinstatement until August 3, 2008
Points of Law The Disciplinary Board does not have the authority to override the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s finding of contempt. Respondent’s willful violation of an Enforcement Rule outside the presence of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court constitutes indirect criminal contempt. A finding of indirect criminal contempt may be sanctioned by a fine and by imposition of private or public discipline. Because Respondent was disbarred at the time he engaged in his contemptuous behavior, it was appropriate to impose a sanction that impacted the reinstatement process.
Report/Opinion Download