Judged Guilty

/ 24.Jun, 2011

Former Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas Judge Bernard Snyder has an interesting history.  He actually made history as the first sitting judge in Philadelphia history not to be returned to the bench when seeking reelection.  When Judge Snyder sought reelection again, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court declared him inelligible to run for a judicial office.  The Supreme Court’s ruling was based on the finding of the Judicial Inquiry and Review Board (now the Judicial Conduct Board) that Judge Snyder ”evidences a virtual absence of comprehension and appreciation of the meaning and import of the Code of Judicial Conduct.”

Mr. Snyder is back in the news again, as the result of a verdict against him in a RICO case that could potentially reach $2 million.  The verdict is the end result of a lawsuit brought by State Farm Insurance Company against a number of individuals and businesses that were alleged to be participants in a fraud scheme to produce and submit “fraudulent medical reports, bills and other documents. . .”  Mr. Snyder was accused of helping set up a medical facility which then created false medical records for use in personal injury lawsuits.

Mr. Snyder does not have a history of discipline from the Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania.  However, that is likely to change if disciplinary proceeding are commenced.  If Mr. Snyder did indeed knowingly submit false medical records in his cases it would be a violation of Rule of Professional Conduct 4.1 (Truthfulness in Statements to Others) and Rule of Professional Conduct 3.3 (Candor Toward the Tribunal).

Josh J.T. Byrne, Esquire