Stroudsburg Attorney Banned from Practicing Law

Court documents say he mishandled clients money

STROUDSBURG, MONROE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) - Clients thought he was reputable, but instead he's accused of mishandling their money. This week a local attorney was stripped of his title, and the Pennsylvania Supreme Court says he can never practice law in the state again.

Disbarment is the most serious professional punishment an attorney can receive. According to a lengthy court ruling, Peter J. Quigley started practicing law in 1982.

Three days after his disbarment, Quigley's sign still hangs outside his office. The attorney himself is still there, too.

Eyewitness News' camera was rolling as Quigley left his office near Courthouse Square in Stroudsburg.

Eyewitness News reporter Brianna Strunk asked Quigley if he has anything to say about the violations. He said no, got in his car and took off.

"I think anyone who has the trust of a client and then takes advantage of it is not a good person, particularly," says Michael Miller, employee at the neighboring Jade Hair Salon.

The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania says Quigley mismanaged client settlement funds once they were placed in special trust accounts. Quigley used their money to resolve his own financial issues, including paying off a lien owed to his former law partner.

According to the fourteen page ruling, Quigley mishandled at least five clients' funds over several years. Court documents also say the attorney didn't fully pay his clients until receiving notice of disciplinary charges.

Quigley  spoke with the Eyewitness News I-Team in 2008. Three years after the interview, ethical violations would begin, leading to the end of a career Quigley spent decades building.

"I know they [lawyers] take their trust very seriously. So to have somebody take that and destroy it is bad for the whole legal society," Miller adds.

According to the ruling, Quigley admitted to wrongdoing. He blamed it on a break-up, depression, personal troubles with the IRS and a typo in the phonebook.

There's no word who his current clients will be referred to. Five of the seven Pennsylvania Supreme Court members recommended his disbarment.


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