Penn. high court suspends ex-Morgan Lewis lawyer over work on tax case

REUTERS/Andrew Kelly
  • Attorney Daniel Dixon suspended for a year and a day
  • Morgan Lewis fired Dixon in 2018

(Reuters) - A former Morgan, Lewis & Bockius attorney has been suspended from practicing law by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court for filing false affidavits, misrepresenting his work and missing a key case deadline.

The court on Friday suspended Daniel Dixon for one year and one day over his conduct in a tax case that also led to his June 2018 termination from Morgan Lewis. He had told the court's disciplinary board that he was "in no way prepared" to handle his position at the major U.S. law firm due to his mental health issues.

Dixon told the board he was diagnosed with severe depression, anxiety and adult-onset attention deficit hyperactivity disorder after he separated from his wife in 2013. He said he was "pretty spotty" with his treatment and thought he could "power through" his mental health issues on his own.

Dixon, now a name partner at Murphy Maddren Dixon in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, said in an email he was disappointed by the court's order.

"I continue to take my mental health and the mental health of the legal community seriously, and look forward to putting this issue and isolated incident behind me," Dixon said.

Although he testified before the disciplinary board, Dixon did not formally answer its charges when he had the opportunity in 2020. As a result, the disciplinary board said in a December report that it considered the factual allegations against Dixon to be "admitted."

Dixon's suspension stems from his failure to pass on an adverse state agency ruling to his client CSI International Inc in a tax assessment case and to inform CSI of a 90-day appeal window. After that window expired, Dixon wrote "misleading" emails to CSI, describing actions and progress in the case that had not occurred, the board said.

In March 2018, Dixon submitted affidavits he prepared for himself and his assistant asserting that they had not received copies of the agency order, even though he knew he had, the board said.

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David Thomas reports on the business of law, including law firm strategy, hiring, mergers and litigation. He is based out of Chicago. He can be reached at d.thomas@thomsonreuters.com and on Twitter @DaveThomas5150.