Recently, the constitutionality of the Dragonetti Act, as applied to ­lawyers, was questioned by Chester County Court of Common Pleas Judge Edward Griffith. Griffith, after lengthy examination of the Dragonetti Act’s elements and penalties as applied to attorneys, held the Dragonetti Act is unconstitutional as applied to lawyers, in Villani v. Seibert, No. 2012-09795 (Chester Ct. Com. Pl. 2015). The reasoning and ­holding of Griffith was examined and adopted by Judge Mark L. Tunnell, who also found the Dragonetti Act is unconstitutional as applied to lawyers in Estate of Smith v. Freehand H.J., No 2011-04211 (Chester Ct. Com. Pl. 2015).

These judges found the Dragonetti Act unconstitutionally encroaches on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s exclusive power to regulate the conduct of attorneys. The Pennsylvania Constitution gives sole authority to regulate the conduct of attorneys to the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania. The Pennsylvania Constitution, Article 5, Section 10 provides, in relevant part:

This content has been archived. It is available through our partners, LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law.

To view this content, please continue to their sites.

Not a Lexis Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Not a Bloomberg Law Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Why am I seeing this?

LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law are third party online distributors of the broad collection of current and archived versions of ALM's legal news publications. LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law customers are able to access and use ALM's content, including content from the National Law Journal, The American Lawyer, Legaltech News, The New York Law Journal, and Corporate Counsel, as well as other sources of legal information.

For questions call 1-877-256-2472 or contact us at [email protected]