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Disciplinary Reporter Case Digest

Attorney ID 64572
Attorney Name Johnson , Mary Louise
DBP Docket No. 154 DB 2008
Supreme Court Docket No. 1571 DD 3
County Philadelphia
Disciplinary Counsel Robert P. Fulton
Counsel for Respondent None
Decision Date 2010-04-16
Effective Date 2010-05-16
Case Digest Respondent originally received an Informal Admonition. Attached to the IA was a condition that Respondent refund unearned fees to the complainant. At the time of the IA, Respondent had not complied with the condition but within a few days provided to CDC a letter addressed to complainant with a copy of a check in the amount due pursuant to the condition. As a result, CDC notified Respondent that the condition was completed. Shortly thereafter it was determined that the letter was sent to an old address. Subsequently, Respondent sent another check to complainant, which check was returned for insufficient funds. Formal charges were filed. At the hearing, ODC established that Respondent knew that the original letter was not sent to a valid address as Respondent had been notified on at least six occasions over a period of two and one-half years that the address was no longer valid and of the complainantís correct new address. ODC also established that at the time Respondent issued both checks that she knew that there were insufficient funds in the account. Respondent eventually provided complainant with a check that was honored by the bank.
Rule Violation(s) RPC 8.4(b) and RPC 8.4(c)
Discipline Imposed Suspension for one year.
Points of Law Respondentís actions were troubling in that they reveal a deliberate attempt to hide facts from ODC of which ODC should have been apprised. The particular facts of this case and the sanctions in prior cases, where respondents engaged in deceptive practices, warranted a suspension for a period of one year.
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