A Las Vegas criminal defense lawyer who knowingly didn’t show up for several clients’ court hearings and failed to reply to requests for information was suspended for six months by the state’s highest court.
Michael R. Pandullo also didn’t respond to the bar’s demand for information regarding five grievances it received from his clients and from members of the bar, the Supreme Court of Nevada said in a March 23 opinion.
“Considering the duties Pandullo violated, that he acted knowingly, and that his conduct resulted in serious injury with the potential for further serious injury to his clients, the public, and the profession, the baseline sanction before factoring aggravating and mitigating circumstances is disbarment,” the court noted.
The four aggravating circumstance are prior disciplinary offense; a pattern of misconduct; multiple offenses; and substantial experience in the practice of law, it said.
Pandullo didn’t respond to the bar’s complaint so he’s considered in default even though he appeared at the formal disciplinary hearing, the court said.
There, Pandullo said his alleged misconduct was due to “personal and emotional problems,” which is a mitigating factor, it said.
Because disbarment is irrevocable in Nevada, the court agreed with the disciplinary hearing panel that a suspension was more appropriate here, but ordered Pandullo to participate in the Nevada Lawyers Assistance Program before applying for reinstatement and to pay restitution to two clients as well as the costs of the proceeding.
The case is In re Pandullo, 2020 BL 106531, Nev., No. 79873, 3/23/20