On Thursday, February 22, 2024, the Supreme Court of North Dakota disbarred attorney Mark J. Pilch for violating several rules of professional conduct.

The case is entitled “In the Matter of Mark J. Pilch,” with case no. 2024 ND 35.

The charges cited North Dakota Rules of Professional Conduct 1.3, 1.4, and 1.16. 

According to the filing, Pilch had abandoned a client during a divorce proceeding, which negatively impacted the client. He failed to communicate important case information or respond to opposing motions, and neglected to attend mandatory hearings. Pilch also did not refund any unearned portion of the client’s retainer fee.

The disciplinary board had found Pilch in default, meaning the formal charges against him were deemed proven. Records show Pilch has faced suspension or disbarment in five previous cases for ethical violations. As part of the disbarment ruling, Pilch must pay $2,000 in restitution to the abandoned client and $250 to cover disciplinary proceeding costs. He is also prohibited from applying for reinstatement as an attorney for at least five years. The North Dakota Supreme Court adopted the disciplinary board’s recommendations, stripping Pilch of his law license to practice in the state.

The Disposition states:

“IT IS ORDERED that Mark J. Pilch is DISBARRED from the practice of law, effective immediately.”

According to avvo.com, Mr. Pilch was an attorney in Fargo, North Dakota. He acquired his law license in North Dakota in 2019.

A copy of the original filing can be found here.