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Final Registration Notification for Pennsylvania Attorneys

If you have NOT yet completed your 2013 – 2014 Annual Attorney Registration, you must submit it by July 31 to avoid late fees.

Website Goes Mobile Friendly

With many attorneys turning to mobile devices to access information, The Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court of PA recently updated its website to be mobile-friendly.

2012

New Jersey Supreme Court Offers Attorneys a Convenient Electronic Registration System and Discounted Annual Assessment for 2012

Pursuant to Rules 1:20-1(b) and (c), 1:28-2(a), 1:28B-1(e), and1:42-2(b), attorneys licensed to practice in New Jersey are annually required to pay an assessment and file a registration statement in a form prescribed by the Administrative Director with approval of the Supreme Court.

2011

Attorneys Seeking Reinstatement Must Take Courses

The Secretary of the Disciplinary Board has published a schedule of the courses an attorney seeking reinstatement must take.

Attention Pennsylvania Attorneys: Annual Attorney Registration Information

The Annual Registration Packets were sent to all attorneys on May 14, so look for yours to arrive in your mailbox this week. Don't forget to send it in by July 1 to avoid late penalties.

Annual Attorney Registration Can Now Be Completed Online!

(Harrisburg, PA) - The Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania is pleased to announce the annual attorney registration can be completed online beginning Monday, May 2, 2011.

2009

Aggressive Actions Taken To Stop Disbarred Lawyer From Continuing To Practice

(Harrisburg, Pa.) - In early August of this year, the Office of Disciplinary Counsel (ODC) filed in the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County a civil complaint, therein asking the Honorable Pamela Pryor Dembe, President Judge of that court, to enjoin a disbarred Philadelphia attorney from continuing to practice law. The last time ODC had to take such a drastic step to prevent a disbarred attorney from practicing law was 20 years ago.

Pennsylvania Deputy Chief Disciplinary Counsel Named Fellow of American Bar Foundation

(Philadelphia, Pa.) - Paul J. Burgoyne, Deputy Chief Disciplinary Counsel, has been named a fellow of the American Bar Foundation.

Disciplinary Board Of Pennsylvania Makes Address Change Process Easier For Attorneys

(Lemoyne, Pa.) - The Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania announces an improvement in the way Pennsylvania attorneys submit address changes.

Annual Registration Fee for Lawyers to Increase

2008

Informational Video Produced For Disciplinary Board Of Pennsylvania Receives AVA Gold Award

(Lemoyne, Pa.) The Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania has been recognized for its informational video “Assuring the Citizen Access to the Commonwealth’s Legal System” with an Ava Gold Award. The video, produced and submitted by GK Visual, was selected among 2,200 entries in the 2008 international competition.

Disciplinary Board Of Pennsylvania Provides New Tool For Understanding Attorney Disciplinary System

(Lemoyne, Pa.) The Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania recently released an informational video, posted on its Web site www.padb.us, entitled Assuring the Citizen Access to the Commonwealth’s Legal System. The video provides an overview of the Disciplinary Board and the activities that occur within the organization. It’s been designed to simplify what is a complex process, and to make it easy for both attorneys and consumers to understand the policies and procedures within the Disciplinary Board.

Supreme Court Adopts New Money Handling Guidelines

The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania adopted a major revision of the Pennsylvania Rules regarding the handling of client funds by lawyers.

Pa Disciplinary Board Member Elected as Pennsylvania Bar Association Treasurer Court Of Pennsylvania

(Lemoyne, Pa.) - The Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania announced that one of the members of the Board was elected treasurer of the Pennsylvania Bar Association (PBA) in early June. Francis X. O'Connor, Esq., an attorney and sole practitioner from Great Bend, is a former member of the PBA Board of Governors, past chair of the PBA Membership Committee, and past president of the Conference of County Bar Leaders. Additionally, he is secretary/treasurer of the Susquehanna County Bar Association.

Annual Registration Statements to be Mailed

Annual Lawyer Assessment statement forms for 2008-2009 will be mailed sometime toward the middle of May.

2007

Lawyer Feels Obligation To Live By Rules

Smith B. "Bart" Gephart found his passion in the courtroom, so he takes it very seriously when lawyers stray from the rules. "I loved it," said Gephart, who was a founding partner of Killian and Gephart in Harrisburg. "All I ever wanted to do was be a trial lawyer." The Harrisburg-area native resigned his partnership about three years ago, but still keeps his old office at the firm on Pine Street. Gephart, who turns 80 on July 2, recently was appointed to a second term on the Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, which reviews cases of lawyers accused of bad conduct.

Pennsylvania Lawyer Looks at Disciplinary Board

The January/February issue of the Pennsylvania Lawyer magazine, a publication of the Pennsylvania Bar Association, has two articles on the disciplinary system. "Passing Judgment," by Helen Roth Vanston, relates the author's experience and perspectives from her years of service on one of the Hearing Committees of the Disciplinary Board.

Justice Newman Announces Retirement

Justice Sandra Schutz Newman of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania has announced she will retire from the bench effective January 1, 2007. Justice Newman was the first and is still the only woman elected to a full term on the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania.

2006

Disciplinary Board Offers To Help Solo Practitioners Better Understand Rules Of Professional Conduct

(Lemoyne, Pa.) - Consisting of more than 60 percent of the attorneys in the state, solo and small-firm practitioners make up the largest lawyer constituency in Pennsylvania. These attorneys face unique challenges in both the operation of their practice and adherence to the Pennsylvania Rules of Professional Conduct.

Attorneys Marc S. Raspanti And Raymond Wierciszewski Of The Pa. Disciplinary Board To Speak During "A Day On Health Law"

(Lemoyne, Pa.) - The Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania announces that board member Marc S. Raspanti and Raymond Wierciszewski, the disciplinary counsel-in-charge of the Office of the Disciplinary Counsel's (ODC) District II office, will speak at the Pennsylvania Bar Institute's (PBI) "A Day on Health Law" seminar on October 11, 2006 at the CLE Conference Center in Philadelphia. They will present "An Insider's Look at How the Pennsylvania Disciplinary Process Works: A Practitioner's Primer." The seminar is available via videoconference at the Koppers Building in Pittsburgh.

Newly Enhanced Web Site Better Educates Attorneys on the Rules of Professional Conduct

(Lemoyne, Pa.) - The Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, an independent agency, announces the launch of its newly redesigned, user-friendly Web site, www.padb.us. The new design features easier navigation so both attorneys and consumers are able to efficiently access information.

New Web Site for Consumers to Research or Report Attorney Ethics Violations

(Lemoyne, Pa.) - The Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania announces the launch of its newly designed, user-friendly Web site, www.padb.us. The new site incorporates easier navigation so both consumers and attorneys are able to more efficiently access information.

The District IV (Pittsburgh) office of the Office of Disciplinary Counsel has moved.

Consumer Group Rates Pennsylvania Disciplinary System Nation's "Most Improved"

HALT, a nationwide advocacy group which has been highly critical of lawyers, rated Pennsylvania's disciplinary system the nation's "Most Improved" in its new 2006 survey of lawyer disciplinary systems. Pennsylvania had ranked 51st and last in the organization's 2002 survey, but HALT rated Pennsylvania's the 5th best system in the country in its 2006 survey.

National Legal Reform Organization Recognizes PA Legal System For Policy

(Camp Hill, Pa.) - Written fee agreements can clearly and thoroughly describe how an attorney's fees will be determined. They can also explain the responsibilities and expectations of all parties as well as outline the details of the attorney-client relationship.

2005

PA Supreme Court Disciplinary Board Consumer Rights Information Now Available

(Camp Hill, PA) - A new brochure outlining the rights of consumers regarding the professional conduct of attorneys in Pennsylvania is now available to the public. The brochure, published by the Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, is available at Pennsylvania county bar association offices statewide, as well as in the district offices of the Disciplinary Board.

Consumer Organization HALT Praises PA Fee Writing Rule

The consumer advocacy organization HALT (www.halt.org) has been very critical of the legal profession at large, and of Pennsylvania's disciplinary system in particular.

Disciplinary Board Launches Email Newsletter

The Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania has launched an electronic newsletter to inform and educate attorneys regarding activities and initiatives of the Disciplinary Board and to advance the highest standards of legal services for the citizens of Pennsylvania.

Attorney E-Newsletter Provides Innovative Communications For The Disciplinary Board And Pennsylvania Attorneys

(Camp Hill, PA) - The Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania has launched an electronic newsletter to inform and educate attorneys regarding activities and initiatives of the Disciplinary Board and to advance the highest standards of legal services for the citizens of Pennsylvania.

The Executive Director of the Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania Shares His Thoughts on the Status and Future Direction of the Organization

Joe Farrell is no stranger to the workings of administrative organizations. Previous assignments as Deputy Executive Director of Administration and Enforcement for the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, and as Manager of the Executive Office for Customer Advocacy at First Energy have provided a wealth of management and professional experiences for his task at the Disciplinary Board.

2004

Disciplinary Board Extends Comment Period

(Camp Hill, PA) - The Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, a 16-member independent agency created by the Supreme Court with complete oversight and investigative power to review the conduct of Pennsylvania lawyers, recently announced that it is considering a historic step to alter the traditional confidential nature of disciplinary proceedings in Pennsylvania.

Disciplinary Board Changes Hearing Committee Structures

The Disciplinary Board is proposing changes in the way the Hearing Committees who conduct hearings in disciplinary cases and review Disciplinary Counsel recommendations are assigned. Currently, all Hearing Committees are empanelled on a long-term basis with three lawyers who practice in the District in which the disciplinary case is brought, and the member of the Hearing Committee with the longest tenure in that role serves as its Chair.