I had sent several letters to the Pennsylvania Office of Disciplinary Counsel in 1997 advising of the adjudication of Freedman v. D.C. Department of Human Rights in the hopes my license to practice law in Pennsylvania would be suspended or revoked. I could then allege that the actions of Akin Gump in filing false sworn statements regarding my mental health and stability with a District of Columbia agency, and the D.C. Superior Court disposition of my case constituted a violation of my civil rights. Unfortunately, the Office of Disciplinary Counsel did not play into my game.
The Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania
Office of Disciplinary Counsel
September 5, 1997
3801 Connecticut Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20008-4530
Re: Your Report to the Administrative Office of the Pennsylvania Courts -- File No. C3-97-237
Dear Mr. Freedman:
I have been reviewing your various submissions to this office and pondering what the appropriate disposition of your status is. In previous correspondence I had sent you a “Certificate of Admission of Disability” for possible transfer to inactive status under Rule 301 of the Pennsylvania Rules of Disciplinary Enforcement, which you signed and returned. However, this approach is only appropriate where there has been either a disability defense asserted in a disciplinary proceeding, or a court determination that the lawyer is suffering from a disability sufficient to render him incompetent. There is no disciplinary proceeding against you -- indeed, I have no record that anyone has ever filed a complaint against you. Despite the antagonism in the past between you and the attorneys of Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld, as far as I can tell neither that firm nor any of its attorneys has ever corresponded with this office to suggest that action regarding your admission to the practice of law should be taken.
As to the second possibly the court decision by Judge [redacted] was an adjudication of civil rights issues relating to the termination of your employment with Akin Gump, not a general determination of incompetency. Although I understand you have been determined to be qualified for disability benefits by the Social Security Administration, that is not a determination which adversely reflects on your licensure to practice law. For these reasons I have concluded that the prerequisites for filing a “Certificate of Admission of Disability” under Pa. R.L. 301 are not met, and I have not done so.
Your current preferences, as I understand them, are that you do not plan to practice law at this time and would like to be on inactive status to be relieved of payment of the annual assessment fee and exempted from Continuing Legal Education requirements. I think these goals could be accomplished by your simply assuming voluntary inactive status. You could do this simply by checking the appropriate block to assume voluntary inactive status, and you would have the option of reassuming active status by paying the registration fee and satisfying the continuing education requirements at any time during the next three (3) years. After three years you would have to file a petition for reinstatement and go through a hearing process to be reinstated. On your Annual Registration form for 1997-98, you did not check either the “Active” or “Inactive” box, but wrote “Disabled” in the space next to the blocks. Unfortunately, “Disabled’ is not a recognized status under the Pennsylvania Rules of Disciplinary Enforcement. After I discussed this issue with the Attorney Registrar, she decided to treat your registration as a request for “Inactive -- Voluntary Retired” status. The main difference between this status and simple inactive status, as I understand it, is that you will be removed from the Continuing Legal Education office’s list and will not receive mailings about CLE activities unless and until your status changes.
It is my feeling that if this administrative action satisfies your goals, this inquiry can be considered resolved. Please inform me if the disposition above is not in accordance with your preferences, and feel free to call or write if you have any questions or concerns. Unless I hear from you by the end of September, I will consider this solution appropriate to the needs of all and close my file on the matter.
Thank you for your consideration of these issues.
Edwin R. Frownfelter
Senior Disciplinary Counsel
cc: Suzanne E. Price, Attorney Registrar
[re: Pennsylvania Bar ID 41032]