On Tuesday, January 23, 2024, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania issued an order suspending attorney Michael Eric Adler from practicing law for one year and one day. The suspension stems from allegations of professional misconduct in representing clients.

The case is entitled “Office of the Disciplinary Counsel v. Michael Eric Adler,” with case no. 88 DB 2022.

According to court documents, Adler has been licensed to practice law in Pennsylvania since 1998. He began his legal career at large law firms in Philadelphia before transitioning to solo practice in 2013. In June 2022, the Office of Disciplinary Counsel filed a petition against Adler, accusing him of violating rules of professional conduct during his representation of clients in five separate matters.

One matter involved Adler representing a couple whose cat passed away, allegedly after consuming recalled cat food. As the cat food brand, Natural Balance, was owned by J.M. Smucker Company, its in-house counsel Bruce Davis was assigned to the case on July 13, 2020. Davis claimed that during exchanges from July 13-August 16, 2020, Adler repeatedly misstated facts and made misrepresentations related to the recall.

Specifically, Davis asserted Adler incorrectly linked the recall to chlorine when it was actually due to elevated choline chloride levels in a recall. Davis also alleged that on August 16, 2020, Adler sent unsolicited emails to Smucker’s board and leadership in violation of rules prohibiting contact with represented parties.

Further, Adler posted on social media that same day referring to a “chlorine cover-up” and accusing Smucker of prior wrongdoing and stonewalling clients, which Davis viewed as an attempt to undermine his competency and the company’s reputation.

At the disciplinary hearing, Adler acknowledged initially misstating details but maintained his social media posts were factually accurate. While admitting his email to the Smucker board violated rules, Adler said he apologized and retracted statements.

On April 20, 2023, the hearing committee determined Adler violated rules and recommended a two-year suspension. In exceptions filed on May 10, 2023, Adler argued for a lesser sanction. However, on July 25, 2023, the Disciplinary Board upheld the findings and recommended suspension length. Finally, on January 23, 2024, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court imposed the one-year and one-day suspension.

The Disposition states:

“AND NOW, this 23rd day of January, 2024, upon consideration of the Report and Recommendations of the Disciplinary Board, Michael Eric Adler is suspended from the Bar of this Commonwealth for a period of one year and one day. Respondent shall comply with the provisions of Pa.R.D.E. 217 and pay costs to the Disciplinary Board. See Pa.R.D.E. 208(g).”

According to avvo.com, Mr. Adler is a litigation attorney in Wynnewood, Pennsylvania. He attended the Temple University School of Law, graduating in 1998. He acquired his law license in Pennsylvania in the same year.

A copy of the original filing can be found here.