Cardoni & Associates, of Kingston, Pa., will close its doors by the end of the year, sources familiar with the Pennsylvania insurance defense bar say, following federal charges that a Luzerne County Common Pleas judge allegedly accepted the use of a New Jersey beach house owned by the firm’s managing member and improperly ruled in that attorney’s favor in a civil litigation case.

Harry V. Cardoni has been identified by sources and court documents as the attorney who loaned Common Pleas Judge Michael T. Toole the beach house while continuing to litigate before him. One of the ways Toole was alleged to have ruled improperly in that attorney’s favor was in the manner in which Toole oversaw the appointment of a neutral arbitrator in an uninsured/underinsured motorist case the attorney was handling in March 2006, according to a criminal information filed Dec. 2 by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania.

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