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Disciplinary Reporter Case Digest

Attorney ID 17826
Attorney Name Thompson, Theodore Q.
DBP Docket No. 131 DB 2009
Supreme Court Docket No. 1676 DD No. 3
County Montgomery
Disciplinary Counsel Patricia A. Dugan
Counsel for Respondent
Decision Date 2011-02-24
Effective Date 2011-03-26
Case Digest Respondent was placed on a six month suspension for the unauthorized practice of law during a time when he was on inactive status for failure to comply with his CLE requirements and his failure to properly represent his client. While on suspension, Respondent met with a client and engaged in a legal consultation. Respondent discussed the facts of the case, legal options, the process involved, and his opinion as to what would happen based on the facts. Respondent handed out business cards to the client and his mother that indicated that he was a lawyer and provided contact information. Respondent quoted a fee and accepted and cashed a $3,000.00 retainer from the client. Respondent knew that the client and his family members believed his license was in good standing yet he took no steps to correct their misconception. Respondent accompanied the client to a police station and Magisterial Court ocessing and attended a preliminary arraignment. The client found out at the preliminary arraignment that Respondent’s license was suspended. The client terminated Respondent’s services. Respondent failed to return the retainer promptly. Respondent had given half of the funds to another attorney and tried to persuade the client to use the other attorney’s services. The client filed a claim with the Pennsylvania Lawyers Fund for Client Security. Respondent did not respond to inquiries made to him by the Fund, even after it notified him of the intent to make an award to the client. The matter was resolved when the other attorney who had received half of the client’s retainer, reimbursed the client the full $3,000.00.
Rule Violation(s) RPC 1.4(b); 1.5(b); 1.16(a)(1); 1.16(d); 5.5(a); 5.5(b)(2); 7.1; 7.5(a); 8.4(c); Pa.R.D.E. 217(d); Pa.R.D.E. 217(j)(1); 217(j)(2); 217(j)(3); and 217(j)(4)
Discipline Imposed Suspension for 2 years
Points of Law The totality of the facts indicated that “Respondent engaged in a legal consultation” and “allowed for no other interpretation than that Respondent represented [the client].”
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