Legal Ethics

Pa. Lawyer Gets 1-Year Suspension for Facilitating Now-Disbarred Partner's Thefts from Clients

A Pennsylvania attorney has been suspended from practice for one year because he failed to act promptly and sufficiently to deal with red flags concerning his law partner’s conversion of client settlement funds for his own personal use.

Among other signs that should have alerted Lawrence L. Rubin was his partner’s statement that he intended to refinance his home to make clients whole, a disciplinary board said in a report and recommendation (PDF) attached to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s order on Monday.

Although Rubin had trouble getting a grip on the situation initially, he eventually did everything he could to cooperate with authorities and make clients whole and is remorseful about not doing more earlier, according to the board’s report.

Among other efforts, he used law firm income to repay substantial amounts stolen by his partner, the document notes. For that reason, the disciplinary board recommended that the court not impose a longer suspension requiring Rubin to prove his fitness to practice before regaining his law license.

Rubin’s former partner was disbarred several years ago.

Hat tip: Legal Profession Blog.

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