Attorney Suspended for a Year, Partly For Failure to Complete Her CLE Requirements
An attorney licensed in multiple states continued to represent clients in Pennsylvania following her administrative suspension for failure to complete CLE credits, resulting in a full suspension term of one year and one day.
Shevelle McPherson of McPherson Law in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, failed to complete her continuing legal education requirements and was administratively suspended as of August 20, 2021. McPherson, who is admitted to practice law in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and the District of Columbia, has had disciplinary issues before.
In 2017, she was found guilty of indirect criminal contempt in Pennsylvania. Then in 2018, McPherson was administratively suspended for failure to file the registration form and submit payment to the Pennsylvania Attorney Registration office. McPherson is currently administratively suspended in the District of Columbia.
The Pennsylvania CLE Board attempted unsuccessfully to contact McPherson many times through the mail and through two email addresses. Despite the fact that she was administratively suspended in August, McPherson continued to represent several clients in criminal cases.
In one such case, McPherson’s client Angenika Armbrister was facing charges of aggravated assault, simple assault, and harassment. McPherson entered her appearance in the Court of Common Pleas on Armbrister’s behalf in February 2021. That same month, Armbrister posted bail and was released from custody. Judge Vito P. Geroulo, the trial judge in the case, ordered that if Armbrister’s case was not resolved by May 20, 2021, the defendant, defense counsel, and the assistant district attorney must appear on that date.
According to the joint motion, McPherson failed to inform Armbrister of the order and when neither McPherson, nor Armbrister appeared in court, the judge issued a bench warrant for Armbrister.
Geroulo dismissed Armbrister’s case pursuant to an agreement on January 4, 2022. But McPherson’s conduct in the case, as well as the fact that she was administratively suspended at the time, has now resulted in this more serious disciplinary matter.
McPherson’s attorney, Samuel C. Stretton, said he regularly represents attorneys, judges and other licensed professionals facing disciplinary issues.
“I see a lot of this where lawyers don’t pay attention,” said Stretton. “Attorneys forget their CLEs, move their office, and don’t notify the board, and then they don’t get notices and are unaware of their inactive status.
“Lawyers have to pay attention and cannot put their heads in the sand,” said Stretton. “Every lawyer knows, they’ve got to get 12 CLEs and pay $275 to renew their license.
“If you have not sat for 12 CLEs this year or if you have not paid that fee, you better start making calls and finding out your status,” said Stretton. “The discipline can be tough. Oftentimes your license can be suspended anywhere from six months to a couple of years.”
You can read more about this situation here.
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