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Office of Disciplinary Counsel v. Scott Diclaudio

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF PENNSYLVANIA


April 28, 2011

OFFICE OF DISCIPLINARY COUNSEL, PETITIONER
v.
SCOTT DICLAUDIO, RESPONDENT

Per curiam.

No. 156 DB 2009

Attorney Registration No. 59118 (Philadelphia)

ORDER

AND NOW, this 28th day of April, 2011, upon consideration of the Report and Recommendations of the Disciplinary Board dated December 21, 2010, the Petition for Review and Exceptions and Objections and response thereto, the request for oral argument is denied and it is hereby

ORDERED that Scott DiClaudio is suspended from the practice of law for a period of three months, the suspension is stayed in its entirety and he is placed on probation for a period of one year, subject to the following conditions:

1. Respondent shall select a practice monitor subject to the approval of the Office of Disciplinary Counsel.

2. The practice monitor shall do the following during the period of Respondent's probation:

a. Periodically examine the Respondent's law office organization and procedures to ensure that the he is maintaining acceptable tickler and filing systems, providing written fee agreements to new clients, and efficiently managing other administrative aspects of his practice;

b. Meet with Respondent at least monthly to examine his progress towards satisfactory and timely completion of clients' legal matters and regular client contact;

c. File quarterly written reports on a Board-approved form with the Secretary of the Board; and

d. Shall immediately report to the Secretary any violations by Respondent of the terms and conditions of probation.

It is further ORDERED that the expenses incurred in the investigation and prosecution of this matter are to be paid by the Respondent.

Mr. Justice Baer files a dissenting statement.

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF PENNSYLVANIA

OFFICE OF DISCIPLINARY COUNSEL, Petitioner v. SCOTT DICLAUDIO, Respondent

No. 1694

Disciplinary Docket No. 3 Attorney Registration No. 59118 (Philadelphia) No. 156 DB 2009

DISSENTING STATEMENT

JUSTICE MAX BAER

Attorney Scott DiClaudio (Respondent) missed a briefing date resulting in a criminal appeal to the Superior Court being dismissed. During the subsequent disciplinary proceedings, he was not candid with the Office of Disciplinary Counsel (ODC), as to why this happened.

Notably, in 2003, Respondent was informally admonished for failure to file a statement of matters complained of on appeal, an offense similar to the one giving rise to the disciplinary proceedings before us. Moreover in 2008, Respondent was informally admonished for making false and misleading statements to ODC. He also repeated that behavior during the pendency of this matter.

The hearing committee noted in its recommendation that Respondent had done little to improve his practice and did not seem to have taken to heart the seriousness of his past discipline. The Board, bothered by his misrepresentations in this case (as referenced above, a repetition of a concern during the 2008 proceedings), and his failure to address his shortcomings (again, indicating a repeat of behavior), recommended a stayed six-month suspension and a two-year probation with conditions; principally a practice monitor. The order of this Court recommends a three-month suspension, rather than the six-month suspension recommended by the Board, and a one-year probation, rather than a two-year probation, recommended by the Board.

Given that Respondent has a longitudinal history of similar disciplinary infractions (2003, 2008 and the present) with apparently little concern for his continuing transgressions, I believe protection of the public from additional instances of misconduct is better served through adoption of the Board's recommendation of a six-month suspension and a two-year probation with a practice monitor. Moreover, it seems counterproductive to the totality of our process to "second guess" the Board's recommendations in this manner.

Accordingly, I respectfully dissent.

20110428

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