Supreme Court: Suspended Lawyer Cannot Maintain Office for Federal Practice

The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania has ruled that a lawyer who is suspended from the state bar of Pennsylvania, but who has been reinstated to practice before the Federal Courts, cannot maintain a physical office in Pennsylvania for the conduct of his Federal Practice. In an opinion written by Chief Justice Cappy, the Court stated that "Through the maintenance of a law office within the borders of our Commonwealth, Mr. Marcone, a suspended attorney, holds himself out to the citizens of our Commonwealth as one competent to exercise legal judgment and competent in the law. Similarly, through the maintenance of a law office, Mr. Marcone counsels clients as to their legal rights and obligations. Thus, we conclude that by Mr. Marcone’s maintenance of a law office, from which he holds himself out to the public and advises clients as to their legal rights, he has engaged in the practice of law in this Commonwealth." The Court found that this conduct was contempt of its order suspending the lawyer, ordered the lawyer to cease maintaining the office, and remanded the case back to the Disciplinary Board for the determination of sanctions.

The case is Office of Disciplinary Counsel v. Frank J. Marcone, No. 690 Disciplinary Docket No. 2. The opinion may be read online here.