On Wednesday, October 13, 2022, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania suspended Philadelphia attorney Charles C. Shainberg upon consideration of the Recommendation of the Three-member Panel of the Disciplinary Board.
The case is styled ‘Office of Disciplinary Counsel v. Charles C. Shainberg’ and was brought by the Office of Disciplinary Counsel (“ODC”), under case no. 41 DB 2022.
The charges cited Shainberg’s violations of Rules of Professional Conduct RPC 1.2(a), 1.7(a)(2), 1.8(j), and 8.4(a), which states:
Subject to paragraphs (c) and (d), a lawyer shall abide by a client’s decisions concerning the objectives of representation and, as required by Rule 1.4, shall consult with a client as to the means by which they are to be pursued. A lawyer may take such action on behalf of the client as is implied authorized to carry out the representation. A lawyer shall abide by a client’s decision whether to settle a matter. In a criminal case, the lawyer shall abide b by the client’s decision, after consultation with the lawyer, as to a plea to be entered, whether to waive jury trial and whether the client will testify.
Except as provided in paragraph (b), a lawyer shall not represent a client if the representation involves a concurrent conflict of interest. A concurrent conflict of interest exists if . . .(2) there is significant risk that the representation of one or more clients will be materially limited by the lawyer’s responsibilities to another client, a former client or a third person or by a personal interest of the lawyer.
A lawyer shall not have sexual relations with a client unless a consensual relationship existed between them when the client-layer relationship commenced; and
It is professional misconduct for a lawyer to violate or attempt to violate the Rules of Professional Conduct, knowingly assist or induce another to do so, or do so through the acts of another.
The rules of professional conduct can be found here.
The following are as alleged and summarized from the filing:
Shainberg was retained by LKR on February 27, 2018, to handle her child support and divorce. During his representation of LKR, Shainberg allegedly engaged in misconduct by having sexual contact with LKR. Moreover, Shainberg had a concurrent conflict of interest in his representation of LKR as the representation was materially limited by his personal interest in LKR. It was further alleged that Shainberg failed to oblige with LKR’s decision of having a prompt divorce as she had limited financial resources.
Accordingly, the Office of Disciplinary Counsel and Shainberg agreed that the latter should receive a suspension of one year and requested the three-member panel of the Disciplinary Board review and approve the Joint Petition in Support of Discipline on Consent and recommended to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court the one-year suspension of Shainberg.
With the foregoing facts and discussions, the Court ruled against Shainberg in relation to the above-cited admitted misconduct.
The Order reads:
“AND NOW, this 13th day of October 2022, upon consideration of the Recommendation of the Three-Member Panel of the Disciplinary Board, the Joint Petition in Support of Discipline on Consent is GRANTED, and Charles C. Shainberg is suspended on consent from the Bar of this Commonwealth for a period of one year. Respondent shall comply with all the provisions of Pa.R.D.E 217 and pay costs to the Disciplinary Board.”
Prior to this suspension, Mr. Shainberg practiced in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He has been admitted to practice in Pennsylvania, license no. 19420.
A copy of the suspension order can be found here.