PA. Lawyer Disbarred for Video Game Addiction

A Carlisle, Pennsylvania, lawyer blamed his addiction to video games for sloppy legal work that inevitably resulted in a three-year suspension of his ability to practice law in the state. 43-year-old attorney Mathew Eshelman claimed that he immersed himself in video games to fight job stress and problems at home.

His alleged addiction managed to get him fired from the law firm he worked for in 2007, but he continued his "addiction" even as he set up his practice and took on new clients. This month the Pennsylvania Supreme Court Disciplinary Board's report detailed 17 cases Eshelman mishandled. The cases included bankruptcy, divorce, and debt collection. While handling these cases, he missed deadlines and court dates, lost track of client money, ignored client phone calls, and even lied in a divorce filing on one occasion.

Clients, angry at the bad service the attorney provided, began filing complaints to the disciplinary board in 2007.

Testifying in front of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court Disciplinary Board, Eshelman admitted that he had a problem and needed to rebuild his life. The board agreed and gave him a three-year suspension from practicing law. While the board wanted to give him five years, they took into consideration that -at one time – he was a decent lawyer.


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  1. 0
    tallimar says:

    from what i read here, it looks like he was disbarred for his professional misconduct.  from what i gather he basically said that he let his gaming habits get out of control so they gave him a nice long unpaid vacation.

  2. 0
    Neeneko says:

    Wait, was he disbarred for video game addiction, or was he disbarred for problems in his professional standards and behavior but blamed (perhaps rightly so) on video game addiction.

    The two are VERY different things.

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