Legal Ethics

Lawyer Says He Didn’t Realize His License Was Suspended, Blames Office Disarray

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A Pennsylvania lawyer told a judge on Tuesday that his office was in such disarray that he didn’t open a letter notifying him that his law license had been suspended.

The argument apparently didn’t sway Judge Randal Todd of Allegheny County. He found lawyer Charles Hoebler in contempt of court for representing a client at a sentencing hearing during the suspension, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.

Hoebler’s license was suspended in April for failing to meet continuing legal education requirements and reinstated in May, according to the Post-Gazette.

Todd sentenced Hoebler to six months in jail, but allowed him to avoid the sentence by paying $500 to a group that runs a children’s room at the courthouse and $250 to the sheriff’s office. The sheriff’s payment is intended to reimburse the costs of transporting Hoebler’s client back to court where he will have to be resentenced, according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

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