Disciplinary Reporter Case Digest

Attorney ID 0
Attorney Name Anonymous,    
DBP Docket No. 140 DB 2000
Supreme Court Docket No. N/A
Disciplinary Counsel Patti S. Bednarik
Counsel for Respondent
Decision Date 2002-06-12
Effective Date 2001-12-06
Case Digest ODC filed a Petition for Discipline based on respondentís guilty plea to one of count of driving under the influence of alcohol. Thereafter, ODC learned that the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) disposing of a prior charge of driving under the influence had been revoked and a separate sentence entered. Therefore, ODC filed an amended Petition for Discipline which included both DUI criminal convictions pursuant to Rule 203(b)(1). In the first DUI incident, Respondent crossed over the centerline and hit a legally parked car into another legally parked car. Respondent was accepted into the ARD program as a result of this incident. After ARD was revoked due to the second DUI arrest, respondent pled guilty, and was sentence to costs of prosecution, 5 days of intermediate punishment, and 6 months probation. In the second DUI arrest, a police officer stopped him for driving without headlights. The officer smelled an odor of alcohol, and other indicia of driving under the influence of alcohol, and he was arrested. Respondent pled guilty, and was ordered to pay costs and $1000 fine, was placed in Intermediate Punishment for 60 days, followed by 18 months probation. Mitigating Circumstances - After the second arrest, Respondent sought the assistance of Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers and Alcoholics Anonymous. He remained sober for 7 months prior to the disciplinary hearing, and received counseling and medication for depression and chemical dependency.. There was no evidence that Respondentís drinking affected the quality of his legal work, and his law partner was not even aware that Respondent had an alcohol problem. Respondent had no prior disciplinary history. He had an excellent reputation among his peers. He made sincere efforts to seek help for his drinking problem, and he made restitution for the accident victims through his insurance.
Rule Violation(s) Pa.R.D.E. 203(b)(1)
Discipline Imposed Private reprimand with one-year period of probation with a sobriety monitor.
Points of Law Two DUI convictions with substantial mitigation.
Report/Opinion not available