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U.S. High Court Denies Surrick Discipline appeal The U.S. Supreme Court has refused to take up the case of attorney Robert B. Surrick’s suspension — an issue that sharply divided the judges of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania and the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court originally hit Surrick with a five-year suspension in March 2000 for violating ethics rules when he filed a brief in Superior Court in 1992 that accused several Pennsylvania judges of fixing cases. The battle soon shifted to federal court when Surrick urged the Eastern District bench to impose no “reciprocal” discipline. At first, Surrick won when a three-judge panel recommended no suspension. But the full court later rejected the recommendation and Surrick was ultimately suspended from Eastern District practice for 30 months — half the punishment imposed by the state court. Surrick appealed the decision, and his case also led to disagreement among the 3rd Circuit judges assigned to hear the case. The two-judge majority voted to uphold the Eastern District, finding that an appeals court had an “extremely limited” role when reviewing a federal district court’s decision to impose reciprocal discipline. But a dissenting judge said he would have overturned the federal suspension because Surrick’s due process arguments “presented a grave reason to reject the commonwealth’s decision.” Surrick later lost his petition for argument before all 14 active judges on the 3rd Circuit. On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court denied Surrick’s petition for certiorari. - Shannon P. Duffy Mangino drops out of Attorney General’s race The complexion of the Democratic race for Pennsylvania attorney general has changed since the pullout of the only candidate from the western part of the state, Lawrence County District Attorney Matthew T. Mangino, who cited a lack of funds as the primary reason. The move came Monday, just two days before the deadline for candidates to withdraw their names from the state ballot. The other candidates — Ballard Spahr Andrews & Ingersoll partner James Eisenhower, Northampton County District Attorney John Morganelli and David Barasch, the former U.S. attorney for the Middle District of Pennsylvania — will no doubt be jockeying for the support of Mangino’s backers in Western Pennsylvania. “It’s disappointing in the sense that I invested a lot of time and effort into this race,” Mangino said. “But it’s not bad in the sense that I got to meet a lot of people across the state and was able to participate in the dialogue.” Mangino said he had not decided whether he would endorse one of the three other candidates. Eisenhower’s campaign manager, Nick Pullen, did not respond specifically when asked how Mangino’s withdrawal would affect the race. He said Eisenhower was the only candidate to run and win a statewide primary election, referring to his victory over Morganelli four years ago in the attorney general’s race. Barasch, who was in Philadelphia raising money yesterday, said he believes Mangino’s withdrawal will help him. “I’ve been in Western Pennsylvania a great deal over the past several months, and I would always run into Matt at events but never Jim or John,” Barasch said. “The impression I got was that they weren’t spending as much time out there as Matt and I. “There have been a lot of people in Western Pennsylvania who said they would support me if they weren’t already committed to Matt. So I think with him now out of the race, I have an excellent opportunity to be the dominant candidate in Western Pennsylvania. But I still have to capitalize on it.” Morganelli said it opens Western Pennsylvania for the three remaining candidates. “There are a lot of votes up for grabs,” he said. “I think this enhances opportunities for myself and, secondarily, Dave Barasch. I did run out there before and I won every Western Pennsylvania county except for Mercer.” – Jeff Blumenthal Ciardi joins litigation boutique Bankruptcy partner Albert Ciardi III has joined litigation boutique Janssen & Keenan after having spent his entire law-firm career until now at Ciardi Maschmeyer & Karalis. With the addition of Ciardi, the firm that was started two years ago as an offshoot of Hoyle Morris & Kerr has changed its name to Janssen Keenan & Ciardi. “We were looking for an experienced bankruptcy lawyer with a client following because our clients really wanted that service,” name partner Paul Keenan said. Ciardi, whose father, Albert Ciardi Jr., was a name partner at his previous firm before taking counsel status, leaves behind what appears to be an uncomfortable situation for an entirely new opportunity. Ciardi said he decided to make the move because being at a litigation boutique would offer his largely debtor clientele more services that he could cross-sell. But The Legal Intelligencer learned yesterday that Ciardi’s father filed a writ of summons in Philadelphia Common Pleas Court against colleagues Paul Maschmeyer and Aris Karalis on Feb. 12 concerning a business dispute. No complaint has been filed. Sources familiar with the situation said the younger Ciardi is not involved in that dispute. Ciardi said he looked at several firms before settling on Janssen & Keenan, which, he added, would look to open a Wilmington office. Janssen & Keenan was started by four lawyers who left Hoyle Morris, with litigators Hank Janssen and Paul Keenan serving as partners. Keenan said the firm has eight lawyers with the addition of Ciardi and plans to hire some associates by the end of the year. Janssen, prior to his time at Hoyle Morris, was a partner at Rawle & Henderson, while Keenan was a partner at Buchanan Ingersoll. Ciardi graduated from Villanova University School of Law in 1991 and joined Ciardi Maschmeyer after a yearlong federal judicial clerkship. Karalis would not comment on the departure other than to say that it was amicable and that he wished Ciardi well. He confirmed the dispute with the elder Ciardi and said he hoped it would be resolved. As of now, the seven-attorney firm is still called Ciardi Maschmeyer & Karalis. – Jeff Blumenthal Lead Paint Case Settles for $1 Mil. An 8-year-old Lehigh County boy who allegedly suffers from learning disabilities as a result of lead paint poisoning while a toddler has secured a $1 million settlement from the owners of the apartment his family rented at the time. According to court papers, Jamar Harris lived with his family in an Allentown apartment owned by Allentown News Agency when he was 2 years old. Harris claimed that the chipping of lead-based paint and the presence of lead paint dust in the apartment lead to his hospitalization in December 1996. Harris further alleged, court papers state, that Allentown News Agency and its property manager were aware of lead-based paint in the building as recently as 1994, when the building was found to be in violation of health codes by the local health bureau. The defense claimed that on that occasion, the presence of lead-based paint was limited to a different apartment. Attorneys involved in the case said that the matter was proceeding before Judge Thomas A. Wallitsch in a Lehigh County Court of Common Pleas with a 12-member jury present when the settlement was reached on the second day of trial. Harris’ attorney, Leonard V. Fodera of Monheit Silverman & Fodera, and Allentown News Agency’s lawyer, John F. Kent of Kent & McBride, both said that Allentown News Agency had offered to settle for $500,000 prior to trial. Fodera said that his client had demanded $3 million before trial. Fodera said that his client, currently a second-grader, needs special education for math and reading because of the lead paint poisoning. Fodera was assisted by John Trotman Jr. – Asher Hawkins

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