Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania Announces New Plan to Raise Awareness of Attorney Discipline

New Procedure Will Work to Ensure Public Knowledge of Misconduct

Harrisburg, Pa. – Demonstrating its commitment to safeguarding the public and the reputation of the legal profession, the Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania announces an initiative to make it easier for the public to determine when an attorney has received public discipline. Effective immediately, the Board is issuing a news release to media outlets in communities where an attorney does business when the attorney is disbarred or suspended by order of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania.

Although the Board has a longstanding practice of posting these notices on its website for the public and notifying newspapers of appropriate disciplinary actions, the notices typically appear only in the legal notices section of classified advertising. This latest effort is designed to broaden the reach of the disciplinary notices to boost public awareness of the actions.

The Disciplinary Board was created by the Supreme Court in 1972 to consider and investigate the conduct of any attorney admitted to practice law in Pennsylvania. Funded by annual assessments paid by attorneys licensed to practice in the Commonwealth, it assists the Supreme Court in all matters involving attorney licensing and discipline throughout the Commonwealth.

“As members of the Disciplinary Board, our duty is to assist the Supreme Court in protecting the public, preserving the integrity of the legal profession and safeguarding the reputation of our courts and the legal system,” said R. Burke McLemore, Jr., Chair of the Disciplinary Board. “By raising awareness of attorney discipline, we highlight our commitment to achieving these goals by demonstrating to the public how the profession is policing itself.”

The decision to focus additional efforts on raising public awareness of such actions was partly prompted by events earlier this year when a Dauphin County lawyer failed to notify his clients that he was forced to surrender his law license. Some of his clients claimed significant financial loss.

To stay up to date on the latest notices, the public also is encouraged to visit the Board’s website at www.padisciplinaryboard.org. Designed for easy viewing, the website enables users to search recent actions on attorneys, including Supreme Court orders detailing the actions and reasons under the Look Up – Supreme Court Actions tab.

About the Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court of PA

The Disciplinary Board's goals are to protect the general public, maintain a high standard of integrity in the legal profession, and safeguard the reputation of the courts of Pennsylvania. The Disciplinary Board was created by the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania to review conduct and assure compliance by all attorneys to the Pennsylvania Rules of Professional Conduct. For more information about the Disciplinary Board, please visit www.padb.us.