May 1 –
June 30, 2003
Supreme Court on May 6 ordered David P. Rovner suspended for six months,
as recommended by the Disciplinary Board. According to the disciplinary report,
Rovner prepared false time sheets and bills for non-existent files in order to
hide from his law firm the fact that he was unable to generate the business he
promised when he was hired. The disciplinary report said he never sent the bogus
bills but told the firm they had been submitted and eventually would be paid.
court on June 4 ordered Mary McNeill Zell suspended for one year and one
day, retroactive to Nov. 18, 2002, as recommended by the Disciplinary Board.
According to the disciplinary report, Zell failed to appear for a private
reprimand on a disciplinary matter. At the time of her suspension, she was on
inactive status for failure to meet continuing legal education requirements.
Supreme Court on June 26 ordered James L. Heidecker Jr. to be suspended
for one year and one day and to pay a refund of $1,440 to a client. According to
the disciplinary report, the client’s appeal of a conviction to Superior Court
was dismissed because Heidecker failed to file a brief on behalf of the client.
The report said Heidecker also failed to document his fee arrangement and failed
to refund the fee. The court rejected a majority recommendation of the
Disciplinary Board that Heidecker be suspended for nine months, along with being
ordered to pay the refund. The Office of Disciplinary Counsel filed a separate
petition alleging Heidecker submitted fabricated documents to the Disciplinary
Board during its proceeding, but a majority of board members concluded that
differences in documents were explainable by “secretarial inadvertence” and
“less than efficient” office procedures. Five dissenting board members issued a
minority recommendation calling for suspension of one year and one day on the
misconduct involving the client. Seven dissenting members concluded document
fabrication had taken place and recommended disbarment.
Supreme Court on June 11 rejected the Disciplinary Board’s recommendation of
public censure and ordered Nicholas R. Perrella suspended for three
months. Several members of the Disciplinary Board dissented in favor of a
private reprimand and one in favor of an informal admonition. According to the
disciplinary report, Perrella, a New York attorney, was formerly admitted to
practice in Pennsylvania until being placed on inactive status in 1996 for
failing to meet continuing legal education requirements.
said Perrella engaged in unauthorized practice by acting as plaintiff’s counsel
in an action litigated in the Bucks County Court of Common Pleas.
court on June 30 ordered the disbarment of Roger Clark Peterman,
retroactive to Aug. 1, 2002. Justices Ronald D. Castille and Thomas G. Saylor
dissented in favor of “reciprocal discipline as announced by the Supreme Court
of New Jersey.” There was no indication what discipline was imposed in New
Suspension – Rule 214(d)(1)
following attorneys were placed on temporary suspension under a rule of
disciplinary enforcement pertaining to attorneys convicted of serious crimes: Julius
C. Melograne, Allegheny County, on May 6; and James William Kephart,
Bucks County, on June 27.
Suspension – Rule 208(f)
following attorney was placed on emergency temporary suspension under a rule of
disciplinary enforcement pertaining to attorneys whose continued practice would
cause substantial public or private harm because of the misappropriation of
funds or other egregious conduct: Heywood Eric Becker, Bucks County, on
following attorneys were disbarred on consent under a rule of disciplinary
enforcement pertaining to resignations by attorneys under disciplinary
investigation: Gary R. Block, Chester County, on May 19; Richard S.
Glassman, Philadelphia, on June 11; Arthur S. Alexion, Montgomery
County, on June 11; Terry R. Fisher, Berks County, on June 11; Carol
Ann Black, Philadelphia, on June 26; and Ronald K. Meyer, Delaware
County, on June 27.
Pennsylvania Supreme Court imposed reciprocal discipline on the following
attorneys: Peter A. Wood, out of state, suspended for three months, on
May 6, for like discipline ordered by the Supreme Court of New Jersey; John
J. Anastasio, out of state, suspended for 10 days, on May 6, for like
discipline ordered by the Supreme Court of Florida; Bridgette Harris, out
of state, disbarred, on May 6, for like disbarment by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court
for the Eastern District of Virginia, for revocation of her license by the
Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board and for disbarment on consent ordered by
the Court of Appeals of Maryland; Mark E. Steiner, out of state,
suspended for three years, retroactive to Aug. 1, 2002, on May 19, for a like
suspension ordered by the Supreme Court of Delaware; Alfred A. Porro Jr.,
out of state, disbarred retroactive to March 3, 2000, on June 26, for like
disbarment by the Supreme Court of New Jersey; and Robert C. Jacobs,
Philadelphia, suspended for 41 months, retroactive to June 13, 2002, on June 26,
for a like suspension ordered by the Internal Revenue Service of the U.S.
Department of Treasury.
TO INACTIVE STATUS
May 1 –
June 30, 2003
following attorney was transferred to inactive status in connection with a rule
of disciplinary enforcement pertaining to respondents in disciplinary
proceedings who are suffering from a disability and are unable to prepare an
adequate defense: Marvin I. Barish, Philadelphia, on June 26.
May 1 –
June 30, 2003
Supreme Court approved petitions for reinstatement filed by the following
individuals: John George Takacs,
Philadelphia, from a three-year suspension retroactive to Feb. 26, 1996, on June
4, as recommended by the Disciplinary Board; and Michael
G. Paul, Philadelphia, from a
three-month suspension ordered Jan. 28, 2003, on June 20.
* * * *
on the Internet
Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania has launched its “first
official” Internet Web site, www.padisciplinaryboard.org.
announcing the site, board Chairman Charles J. Cunningham said it “takes public
information that has been hard to find and now makes it easily accessible to the
legal community and the general public.”
consumers, the site
offers access to information on all attorneys registered in Pennsylvania.
Included is information on all attorneys who have been subject to public
discipline or have been transferred to inactive status due to disability during
the board’s 30-year history. Additional features include links to the Rules of
Professional Conduct, an answers to frequently asked questions (FAQ) section,
forms and information on how to file a complaint, and directions for
community groups and organizations on how to request
a program on the attorney disciplinary process.
section for lawyers includes FAQs from attorneys on topics including the
disciplinary process, ethical issues and attorney
registration, plus downloadable attorney registration forms and
information on how to request a CLE program.
court officials, the site offers a one-stop location “to check attorney
registration information and to get breaking news on recent decisions on
attorney discipline, new or proposed rules,
important Supreme Court of Pennsylvania orders regarding changes in attorney
status and other notices of special interest.”