Attorney Sandra Thompson's public reprimand scheduled by disciplinary board

Liz Evans Scolforo
York Dispatch
York NAACP President Sandra Thompson speaks during a press conference held, in support of increasing the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour, at Continental Square in York City, Thursday, March 24, 2016. Dawn J. Sagert photo

Local attorney Sandra Thompson's public reprimand by the Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania has been scheduled for next week.

The disciplinary board issued a news release on Tuesday, Jan. 7, stating that a three-member panel of the board will mete out Thompson's public discipline at 10:45 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 15, at Philadelphia City Hall.

Thompson made "material misstatements of facts" to her clients in a Philadelphia lawsuit and violated seven rules of professional conduct, the board has said.

Public-discipline documents detailing the misconduct state Thompson represented clients in an appeal in a civil lawsuit against the clients' union, the Philadelphia Labor Union, sometime after the case was dismissed in 2012.

Ryan Paddick, the clients' original attorney, was initially hired to handle the appeal, but he was terminated and sought compensation for his work prior to Thompson's hiring, court documents state.

Thompson declined ccomment on Tuesday afternoon.

She was hired to handle the appeal with the contingency that she would receive 35% of any recovery or settlement proceeds, according to documents.

Lien filed: After the lawsuit was settled, Paddick asserted a charging lien against the clients on the settlement proceedings, but Thompson claimed her retention was only for the clients' claims against the union and not against Paddick's fees, according to documents.

According to an order filed by U.S. Magistrate Judge David Strawbridge, Thompson contended that Paddick's award should come from the clients and not her fee.

Court documents state Thompson was ordered to pay her clients and Paddick by July 10, 2018. While she sent out the payment on July 10 to her clients, Paddick was not paid until October.

Thompson owed him more than $50,000 in legal fees, and she had to pay about $15,000 more in attorney time in January 2019 after she did not comply with the court's order, according to documents.

More:York County judge holds attorney Sandra Thompson in contempt of court

More:Disciplinary board: Judge candidate did not follow court order

About Thompson: Thompson, who is president of the York NAACP and owns her own law firm, made national headlines when police were called on her and four other black women at a Dover Township golf course in April 2018.

York attorney Sandra Thompson

They alleged discrimination after former York County Commissioner Steve Chronister, whose family owns Grandview Golf Course, called police after the five wouldn't leave. Chronister said he believed they were playing too slowly and were delaying other golfers. 

The complaints prompted hearings from the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission last year.

Thompson recently lost a bid to be elected a York County common pleas judge, losing to Matt Menges.

She also recently butted heads in court with York County Common Pleas Judge Craig T. Trebilcock, who initially held her in contempt of court but later rescinded his ruling.

— Reach senior crime reporter Liz Evans Scolforo at levans@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.