A personal injury case ended in a mistrial eight days into trial when the judge discovered the plaintiff’s attorney’s license had been suspended for failing to pay his annual registration fee and submit the requisite paperwork.
In DiSalvio v. Cream-O-Land Dairy, Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas Judge Lisa M. Rau issued an order Oct. 29 declaring a mistrial because plaintiffs counsel, Steven M. Mezrow of Pansini & Mezrow in Philadelphia, “did not disclose his administrative suspension to this court, opposing counsel or his clients at any point prior to or during the trial until this court raised the issue today.”
“This court first learned of Mr. Mezrow’s suspension upon receiving notice on Oct. 28, 2013, from the Office of the President Judge, of the list of those attorneys who are administratively suspended pursuant to the Supreme Court’s order of Sept. 18, 2013, pursuant to Rule 219, Pa. R.D.E. and confirmed his continued suspension by contacting the disciplinary board this morning prior to convening court,” Rau said in the order.
Rau ordered Pansini & Mezrow to pay the defense’s trial costs, excluding attorney fees.
Rau said in the order that “allowing an attorney unauthorized to practice law to represent the plaintiffs in this action contaminated the entirety of the trial and compromised the integrity of any verdict that might result.”
Read more in an upcoming edition of The Legal.