John W. Herron, Asst. Disciplinary Counsel, Philadelphia, for Disciplinary Bd.
Donsky, Katz, Levin & Dashevsky, Eli N. Donsky, Joseph N. Bongiovanni, Jr., Philadelphia, for Green.
Eagen, O'Brien, Pomeroy, Nix and Manderino, JJ. Jones, C. J., and Roberts, J., did not participate in the consideration or decision of this case.
The Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania has recommended that respondent, Paul Green,
be disbarred from the practice of law by this court for professional misconduct occurring during his representation of Mrs. Patricia Davis and her minor child, Ronald L. Davis, Jr. We review this recommendation pursuant to Pa.Supreme Ct.Rule 17-8(c).
I. Review of the Recommendation of the Disciplinary Board.
The facts surrounding this matter are as follows. On October 28, 1971, Patricia and Ronald L. Davis retained respondent to represent Mrs. Davis and their minor son, Ronald, Jr., regarding an automobile accident claim. The contingent fee agreement established the following terms: a one-third share of the claim of Ronald L. Davis, Jr. and a one-half share, after medical expenses, of the claim of Patricia Davis. In November, 1971, Allstate Insurance Company issued a check made payable to the Davises in the amount of $303 for certain medical costs. This check was endorsed over by the Davises to respondent, who deposited the proceeds in his attorney account. In March of 1972, Allstate made a supplemental medical payment in the amount of $136. This check was made payable to the respondent as attorney for the Davises. The proceeds were deposited in respondent's account with no notification to the Davises of the check's receipt.
Later, in March of 1972, respondent settled the accident claim of his clients. On March 22, 1972, the Government Employees Insurance Company issued a check in the amount of $2,222.93 payable to the Davises individually and as guardians of their minor child, Ronald, Jr., and respondent. Again the Davises endorsed the check to respondent who deposited the amount in his account.
From April, 1972 until July, 1972, the Davises demanded payment of the proceeds of the insurance company's settlement and an accounting of the expenses. In response ...