US: Erie lawyer suspended for 3 years for not refunding $50K retainer; he bought boat instead

Good try !

One of the basics of practicing law is that an attorney is not allowed to mix personal and business financial accounts.

An Erie lawyer’s failure to abide by that standard, as well as his refusal to return a $50,000 retainer, has cost him his law license until 2024.

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has suspended the lawyer, David C. Agresti, for three years for a number of financial-related problems.

They include depositing the $50,000 retainer in his personal checking account, rather than a business trust account, and using the money to buy a boat and pay tuition at Cathedral Preparatory School even after the client fired Agresti days after he was hired and demanded the retainer back.

The state Supreme Court suspended Agresti in an order on Wednesday, with the penalty effective Aug. 20. The court accepted a May 21 report from the state Supreme Court’s Disciplinary Board, which detailed its findings against Agresti and recommended the three-year suspension.

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