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Disciplinary Reporter Case Digest

Attorney ID 66818
Attorney Name Hiller-Polster, Margaret Elizabeth
DBP Docket No. 148 DB 2001
Supreme Court Docket No. 696 D.D. No. 3
County Out of State
Disciplinary Counsel John Francis Dougherty
Counsel for Respondent
Decision Date 2001-10-22
Effective Date 2001-11-22
Case Digest By order of August 29, 2000 of the Third Judicial District in and for Salt Lake County, Utah, the Respondent was suspended from the practice of law in the State of Utah for a period of three years, with two years of the suspension stayed. The Respondent in four matters engaged in conduct involving lack of retainer agreements, excessive fees, lack of diligence, providing inaccurate information to a court, improper liens against client property, conspiring with a client to hide assets in a divorce, mishandling $20,100 in client funds, and having a client make up life threatening violence to obtain an ex parte protective order pro se to gain a tactical advantage. The Respondent was found to have violated Utah Rules of Professional Conduct 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.4 1.5, 1.8(j), 3.4(b), 1.16, and 8.4(a)(c)(d). The Respondent was placed on probation during the final two years of the suspension and could then practice under a supervising attorney. Conditions such as ethics schooling, removal of liens for fees on client property, and cooperation with malpractice claims and fee dispute resolution were imposed. The Utah State Bar reported the matter to Pennsylvania in March, 2001. By order of August 21, 2001 the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania directed the Respondent to inform the Court of any claim she had that the imposition of identical or comparable discipline in this Commonwealth would be unwarranted and the reasons therefore. The Respondent filed no response and by order of October 22, 2001 she was suspended from the practice of law in this Commonwealth consistent with the Utah order of August 29, 2000 and was directed to comply with Rule 217, Pa.R.D.E.
Rule Violation(s) Rule 216, Pa. R.D.E.
Discipline Imposed Three Year Suspension With Two Years Stayed With Probation
Points of Law An attorney who engages in conduct involving lack of retainer agreements, excessive fees, lack of diligence, providing inaccurate information to a court, improper liens against client property, conspiring with a client to hide assets in a divorce, mishandling in client funds, and having a client make up life threatening violence to obtain an ex parte protective order pro se to gain a tactical advantage violates numerous Rules of Professional Conduct.
Report/Opinion not available