Lawyer can go back to work after five-year suspension for controversial insurance case

Attorney received a retroactive ban, whereas judge was jailed

Lawyer can go back to work after five-year suspension for controversial insurance case

Insurance News

By Ryan Smith

An attorney has settled a disciplinary case some seven years after he was suspended for giving “items of value” to a former county judge.

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court issued a five-year retroactive suspension to lawyer Harry Cardoni, who had been on temporary suspension since 2010. Cardoni admitted that he gave Luzerne Country Judge Michael Thomas Toole perks by letting the judge use his beach house in exchange for appointing his preferred arbitrator. The case ultimately resulted in a $1 million award for the client of Cardoni.

The original case involved an uninsured/underinsured motorist. According to prosecutors, after using the beach house Toole contacted Cardoni through an intermediary to ask if he had a preference as to which arbitrator was appointed in the case.

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Toole ultimately pleaded guilty to accepting an illegal gratuity, as well as a failure to pay taxes relating to a finder’s fee that he had picked up from another attorney. As a result he was jailed for two and a half years and picked up a $5,000 fine back in 2011. He was also disbarred.

Meanwhile, Cardoni cooperated with prosecutors in the case against Toole with prosecutors noting his “genuine remorse”. However, his licence was still temporarily suspended.

Now however, the retroactive suspension is already complete – and with Cardoni having completed all of the education requirements during his suspension he can file a petition for reinstatement. 

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