Justice Watch: Lawyer Keeps Fighting To Have Fees Discharged
He's known as "Mighty Mouth," a Pennsylvania personal injury attorney suspended several times before finally losing his license.
The best known of Allen L. Feingold's law license suspensions came in 2006 after he allegedly choked a 74-year-old judge pro tempore in Philadelphia because he was unhappy with his knowledge of the law.
Feingold was already on the hot seat with the Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania for filing a number of lawsuits against attorneys, doctors and others, accusing them of manufacturing testimony in his personal injury cases.
"I figured, hell, if I'm going to lose my license at least let me get my one punch in," Feingold reportedly said at his disciplinary hearing.
The lawyer was disbarred in 2008 after he was accused by the Pennsylvania Office of Disciplinary Counsel of practicing law through another attorney by using his computer password unbeknownst to his colleague.
The disciplinary board locked Feingold out of his office and put a conservator in charge of his clients in 2009.
But what really rankled the board is Feingold has refused to pay the $45,000 in the conservator's expenses in closing down his practice. With a home in Aventura, he sought bankruptcy protection in South Florida.
Feingold now has set a precedent for disbarred attorneys facing financial penalties for disciplinary actions.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit partially sided with the board, agreeing the conservator's costs can be considered a fine and not a dischargeable expense in a personal bankruptcy case.
A week after arguments, the three-judge panel said in the Sept. 17 ruling that a bankruptcy judge and a district judge "stopped short" in fully evaluating Feingold's claim he should not have to pay the $45,000, leaving the door ajar for the disbarred lawyer to continue his legal maneuvers.