On Wednesday, May 3, 2023, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania suspended attorney Mark William Ford for his misconduct involving failure to answer in a notice and order directing him to provide a response against an imposition of reciprocal discipline for his initial suspension in the State of New Jersey after being initially suspended for improperly assisting a client and delaying a bankruptcy proceeding.

The case is entitled “In the Matter of Mark William Ford,” with case no. 28 DB 2023.

On December 6, 2022, the Supreme Court of New Jersey suspended the respondent for dishonesty. Specifically, the respondent violated the Rules of Professional Conduct through dishonesty, fraud, and deceit. The respondent allegedly acted in ways designed to improperly assist a client and to delay a bankruptcy proceeding.

The report states:

“On March 22, 2019, four days after receipt of Mallory’s e-mail, respondent filed Schemelia’s Chapter 13 bankruptcy petition, in the form executed a few days prior. Stated differently, the respondent filed the bankruptcy petition, and its accompanying Schedule A/B, listing the Property as Schemelia’s asset, despite the respondent’s actual knowledge to the contrary. Moreover, the debt repayment plan respondent filed sought to cure the mortgage arrears on the Property at a rate of S200 per month, and listed SJFCU as having a $96,000 secured claim, despite the respondent’s knowledge that SJFCU held title to the Property. The certification above the respondent’s signature to the bankruptcy petition read “I have no knowledge after an inquiry that the information in the schedules filed with the petition is incorrect.”

The report continues:

“Respondent later admitted that, prior to filing the petition with the bankruptcy court, he knowingly failed to correct Schemelia’s bankruptcy petition, despite having received the information provided by Mallory. He specifically testified: I knowingly made misstatements to the [bankruptcy court]. As I stated, everything was sworn to, actually, prior to any contrary information coming in. I regret not making the changes.”

The New Jersey Supreme Court noted that despite his prior disciplines, the respondent failed to learn the same. According to the court, the respondent has proven that he cannot be trusted to act in accordance with the high standards required of attorneys and that he continues to pose a danger to the public. Thus, a significant term of suspension was the appropriate quantum of discipline against the respondent to protect the public and its confidence in the bar.

Accordingly, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania issued a notice and order directing the respondent to provide reasons why an imposition of reciprocal discipline should not be imposed against him in the State of Pennsylvania. However, the respondent failed to answer, leading to the court deciding to impose the same.

The Disposition states:

“AND NOW, this 3rd day of May 2023, having failed to respond to a Notice and Order directing him to provide reasons against the imposition of reciprocal discipline, Mark William Ford is suspended from the practice of law in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for a period of one year. He shall comply with the provisions of Pa.R.D.E. 217.”

Mr. Ford practices in Gloucester City, New Jersey. He is licensed in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. His info can be found on avvo.com.

A copy of the original filing can be found here.