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OFFICE DISCIPLINARY COUNSEL v. FREDERICK R. HERMAN (03/09/81)

decided: March 9, 1981.

OFFICE OF DISCIPLINARY COUNSEL, PETITIONER,
v.
FREDERICK R. HERMAN, RESPONDENT



No. 176, Disciplinary Docket No. 1, Rule to Show Cause Why Respondent Should Not Be Disbarred.

COUNSEL

John W. Herron, Debra A. Cackowski, Philadelphia, for petitioner.

John J. Duffy, John Rogers Carroll, Philadelphia, for respondent.

O'Brien, C. J., and Roberts, Nix, Larsen, Flaherty and Kauffman, JJ.

Author: Kauffman

[ 493 Pa. Page 268]

OPINION OF THE COURT

Respondent, Fredrick R. Herman, was suspended from the practice of law for a period of three years by an Order of this Court dated March 9, 1978, effective April 9, 1978.*fn1 In

[ 493 Pa. Page 269]

July, 1979, the Office of the Disciplinary Counsel filed a petition for additional discipline, alleging that respondent, in violation of Rules 217(d) and 217(e) of the Pennsylvania Rules of Disciplinary Enforcement ("Pa.R.D.E."), had flagrantly failed to comply with the Suspension Order by (1) failing to file with the Disciplinary Board ("Board") form DB-25 (verified statement of compliance) within the prescribed time;*fn2 (2) failing to advise clients of his suspension and consequent inability to represent them, and failing to withdraw as attorney of record in pending cases, and (3) taking on new matters at least six months after the effective date of suspension.

After a hearing on October 4, 1979, the Hearing Committee of the Board found ample evidence to support findings of fact sustaining the first two allegations, but chose not to reach the merits on the third. The Committee recommended that respondent be suspended for an additional twelve months to run consecutively with the original three years suspension. Disciplinary Counsel, petitioner here, filed with the Board a brief on exceptions to the Hearing Committee's report, arguing, inter alia, that the Hearing Committee erred in failing to reach the merits of the third allegation, supra, and that its recommendation of an additional one year suspension did not reflect the seriousness of respondent's misconduct. The Board, however, adopted the findings of the Hearing Committee and recommended the imposition of an additional twelve month suspension. On July 7, 1980, this Court rejected the Board's recommendation and

[ 493 Pa. Page 270]

    entered a Rule to Show Cause why respondent should not be immediately disbarred from the practice of law.*fn3

Respondent's answer to the Rule does not deny the disciplinary violations here charged, but alleges mitigating circumstances and requests ...


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