Office of Disciplinary Counsel v. Viscuso, 042717 PASCDC, 2316
|Docket Nº:||2316 Disciplinary Docket 3|
|Opinion Judge:||PER CURIAM|
|Party Name:||OFFICE OF DISCIPLINARY COUNSEL, Petitioner v. MICHAEL JOSEPH VISCUSO, Respondent No. 108 DB 2016|
|Case Date:||April 27, 2017|
|Court:||Court of Judicial Discipline of Pennsylvania|
Delaware County Attorney Registration No. 208273.
AND NOW, this 27th day of April, 2017, upon consideration of the Recommendation of the Three-Member Panel of the Disciplinary Board, the Joint Petition in Support of Discipline on Consent is granted, and Michael Joseph Viscuso is suspended on consent from the Bar of this Commonwealth for a period of one year and one day, retroactive to November 9, 2016. He shall comply with all the provisions of Pa.R.D.E. 217.
BEFORE THE DISCIPLINARY BOARD OF THE SUPREME COURT OF PENNSYLVANIA
JOINT PETITION IN SUPPORT OF DISCIPLINE ON CONSENT PURSUANT TO Pa.R.D.E. 215(d)
Petitioner, the Office of Disciplinary Counsel (hereinafter, "ODC") by Paul J. Killion, Chief Disciplinary Counsel, and Harold E. Ciampoli, Jr., Disciplinary Counsel and Respondent, iMichael Joseph Viscuso (hereinafter, "Respondent"), respectfully petition the Disciplinary Board in support of discipline on consent, pursuant to Pennsylvania Rule of Disciplinary Enforcement ('"Pa.R.D.E.") 215(d), and in support thereof state:
1. ODC, whose principal office is situated at Pennsylvania Judicial Center, 601 Commonwealth Ave., Suite 2700, P.O. Box 62485, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, is invested, pursuant to Pa.R.D.E. 207, with the power and duty to investigate all matters involving alleged misconduct of an attorney admitted to practice law in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and to prosecute all disciplinary proceedings brought in accordance with the various provisions of the aforesaid Enforcement Rules.
2. Respondent, Michael Joseph Viscuso, was born on March 2, 1982, and was admitted to practice law in the Commonwealth on November 14, 2008. On October 27, 2016, Petitioner and Respondent filed a Joint Petition to Temporarily Suspend an Attorney and by Order dated November 9, 2016, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania placed Respondent on temporary suspension. Respondent is subject to the disciplinary jurisdiction of the Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court.
SPECIFIC FACTUAL ALLEGATIONS ADMITTED
3. On April 12, 2013, Respondent entered his appearance on behalf of the defendant in the matter captioned: Nacoreyus Hough v. Carlee Marie Cadden, Delaware County Court of Common Pleas, No. 2012-052945 (hereinafter, "Cadden Matter").
4. Although Respondent had not previously represented Ms. Cadden, he never provided her a writing that explained the rate or basis of his fee.
5. An arbitration hearing for the Cadden Matter was scheduled for October 8, 2013.
6. On October 8, 2013, Respondent entered into an agreement on behalf of Ms. Cadden to settle the Cadden Matter for $2, 000.00.
7. Respondent represented to Phyllis Haskin, attorney for Mr. Hough, that Respondent would collect the $2, 000.00 from Ms. Cadden and provide it to Ms. Haskin's office.
8. In November 2013, Ms. Cadden provided Respondent $2, 500.00 to settle the Cadden Matter. 9. Respondent converted, misapplied or misappropriated Ms. Cadden's $2, 500.00.
10. By letters dated February 27, 2014, May 5, 2014, and June 27, 2014, Ms. Haskin requested Respondent to contact her immediately to complete the settlement Respondent had entered into in the Cadden Matter.
11. Respondent did not respond in any manner to Ms. Haskin's letters.
12. On July 28, 2014, Ms. Haskin filed a Petition to Enforce Settlement, alleging inter alia, that Respondent had not communicated with her or provided her a release and status of the settlement funds in the Cadden Matter.
13. Although Respondent received the Petition to Enforce Settlement, Respondent did not respond in any manner.
14. Respondent did not inform Ms. Cadden of the Petition to Enforce Settlement.
15. By Order dated September 23, 2014, Judge G. Michael Green granted the Petition to Enforce Settlement and ordered Ms. Cadden to pay the settlement amount to Plaintiff within twenty days or suffer sanctions.
16. Although Respondent received the September 23, 2014 Order, Respondent did not respond in any manner.
17. Respondent did not inform Ms. Cadden of the September 23, 2014 Order.
18. On October 2, 2014, Ms. Cadden texted Respondent:
a) advising she had just received the September 23, 2014 Order from the Court "regarding the car accident we settled in court"; and
b) inquiring if Respondent knew "why they are sending this alter we agreed on the settlement payment I made? Kinda has me worried."
19. Respondent responded to Ms. Cadden's October 2, 2014 text on the same date as follows: "I will deal with it. Don't worry."
20. On November 7, 2014, Ms. Cadden texted Respondent the following: "hey Mike. The court still has the case listed as 'notice of order' and doesn't show the case is satisfied. I have to prove this is settled for the gaming control board to renew my license at work. lmk. thanks."
21. Respondent responded to Ms. Cadden's November 7, 2014 text on the same date as follows: "It should be resolved by mid-November. Sometimes the court takes awhile. I will call the court and the attorney."
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