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Disciplinary Reporter Case Digest

Attorney ID 55623
Attorney Name Baker , Thomas H.
DBP Docket No. 60 DB 2011
Supreme Court Docket No. 1741 DD No. 3
County Bucks
Disciplinary Counsel Ramona Mariani
Counsel for Respondent Matthew H. Haverstick; Lorie K. Dakessian
Decision Date 2011-08-25
Effective Date 2011-09-24
Case Digest Respondent owned and operated a business that engaged in issuing title insurance and conducting real estate closings, primarily for residential real estate. In 2006 Respondentís title insurer ended the relationship between it and Respondent due to a large shortfall in Respondentís escrow account which he had been unable to rectify. Thereafter, Respondent continued to conduct title insurance business using forms and documents of an underwriter with whom Respondent had no agency relationship. In 2007, Respondent submitted an application to a new title insurance agency which contained a number of false statements and material omissions. Within less than a year the new title insurance company terminated the relationship with Respondent for, among other things, ongoing deficiencies in Respondentís trust account. The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania granted the Joint Petition in Support of Discipline on Consent and ordered Respondentís license to practice law suspended for a period of four years.
Rule Violation(s) 7.1 and 8.4(c)
Discipline Imposed Suspension for four years (consent)
Points of Law Respondentís misconduct did not occur in connection with the practice of law. Nonetheless, Respondent engaged in misconduct while in a fiduciary role and while responsible for fiduciary funds. Respondentís actions violated RPC 7.1 and 8.4(c) - Rules which prohibit dishonesty and misrepresentation. A four-year license suspension is sufficient to protect the public considering Respondentís age, health and the evidence he would offer in mitigation.
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