Suspended Lawyers Can’t Represent UI Claimants

Pennsylvania РOn March 28th, the State Supreme Court ruled that those with suspended law licenses cannot represent claimants before the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review. This ruling reverses a previous one from the Commonwealth Court, which determined that the Board did not have the authority to bar suspended attorneys from representing litigants.

According to Justice Kevin Dougherty, suspended attorneys should be considered in a different category than a non-attorney representative since they are individuals who have been sanctioned by the court for violations of the Rules of Professional Conduct and thereby are prohibited from appearing on behalf of a client. In his ruling Justice Dougherty wrote, “Our decision is informed by an understanding that the purpose of the attorney disciplinary process, including proceedings which may result in this court’s issuance of suspension or disbarment orders, is to determine whether an attorney is fit to act as an advocate in legal and law-related activities and proceedings. Orders of suspension or disbarment are designed to protect the public from attorneys who have been deemed unfit and to maintain the public’s regard for a profession imbued with its trust.”

The claimant will have another chance to find a suitable person to represent him before the Board of Review.

Read more about this case here: