Hello everyone and welcome to this Ethics Alert which will discuss the recent Pennsylvania Supreme Court disciplinary Order disbarring a lawyer on consent for forging a judge’s name on an Order and misspelling it. The disciplinary case is In the Matter of Stephen P. Ellwood, Docket No. 181 DB 2015 (11/10/15), and the disbarment entry is here: https://www.padisciplinaryboard.org/look-up/supreme-court-actions.php
According to media reports, the lawyer represented a client in a matter and claimed that he had obtained the $250,000.00 judgment. The former client then went to another lawyer for assistance in collecting the judgment that he thought he had received; however, the new lawyer noticed that the judge’s name had been misspelled in the order.
After being confronted with the evidence, the lawyer admitted to forging the signature and agreed to two years of probation with 75 hours of community service in a criminal prosecution. The lawyer then agreed to be disbarred by consent after admitting to forging a judge’s signature on a $250,000.00 judgment. The media reports are here: https://www.pennlive.com/news/2015/11/schuylkill_attorney_disbarred.html and here: https://www.abajournal.com/news/article/lawyer_gets_probation_for_forging_judges_name_on_court_order_and_is_disbarr/
Bottom line: This is a very bizarre example of a lawyer who apparently wanted a client to believe that he had accomplished a positive result and resorted to creating a false judgment, which led to his criminal prosecution and disbarment.
Be careful out there.
Disclaimer: this e-mail is not an advertisement, does not contain any legal advice, and does not create an attorney/client relationship and the comments herein should not be relied upon by anyone who reads it.
Joseph A. Corsmeier, Esquire
Law Office of Joseph A. Corsmeier, P.A.
2454 McMullen Booth Road, Suite 431
Clearwater, Florida 33759
Office (727) 799-1688
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