The Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania - An Excellent Model For Ethical Practice

The lawyers at the Locks Law Firm are single-minded in their dedication and devotion to zealous representation of our clients. However, we also believe that in the course of our zealous advocacy of our clients, it is important that we scrupulously adhere to the Rules of Professional Conduct, which is the code of ethics that governs all aspects of an attorney’s practice. I have always believed that it is possible to get great results for my clients and yet not cross the border into any practices which even remotely seem to be unprofessional or lack an ethical foundation.


Many years ago, I was appointed to a Hearing Committee for the Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania. My initial appointment to this Committee was for a six-year term from 1995 to 2001. I then stepped down because the rules only permit a six-year term which must then be followed by a hiatus from the Committee. I was then reappointed for a second six-year term in 2005 through 2011 and then was reappointed to a third term in 2013 and presently serve as a Senior Hearing Committee Member.


The duties of the Hearing Committees are to serve as a court which takes evidence on alleged ethical violations by attorneys practicing in Pennsylvania. The Hearing Committee then prepares a report to the Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania which then either agrees with the recommendation of proposed discipline suggested by the Hearing Committee or makes its own recommendation, which is then forwarded to the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania which has the ultimate decision-making responsibility in this process.


In addition to serving as a Hearing Committee member I have also been honored to be asked to speak to all of the Hearing Committee members at their annual training sessions sponsored by the Disciplinary Board. The first time I was invited to make such a presentation was in October of 2013 and I was asked to lecture on the topic of “Pre-Hearing Conferences And Hearings”. I was asked to speak again in October of 2014 and the subject of my lecture at that time was “Duties Of Senior And Experienced Hearing Committee Members”. Just a few weeks ago I was once again privileged to lecture at the annual training session for all Hearing Committee members and the topic of my presentation was “Reinstatements”.


I have considered it an honor to both serve in this important capacity of a Hearing Committee member as well as to be asked to lecture in training sessions for all of the other Hearing Committee members in the state of Pennsylvania. Our profession is one of the few which is self-policing and the system established by the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania has proven to be effective and efficient in making sure that all of the lawyers who practice within the Commonwealth do so within all of the bounds of ethical conduct.

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