Lawyer Disbarred Over Videogame Addiction


It doesn’t matter if you’re addicted to games or not; if you’re a lawyer who keeps screwing up cases, you’re going to get slapped by the long arm of the law.

When news surfaces about people getting into trouble over gaming habits, they tend to be students in high school or college. However, a middle-aged lawyer has been suspended from practicing law because his videogame “addiction” caused him to flub a number of cases, which wound up harming his clients.

43-year-old Mathew Eshelman was apparently fired from the firm he worked for in 2007 due to his addiction (which he claims stemmed from job stress and problems at home). After that, he set up his own practice and worked with a number of new clients. And, according to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court Disciplinary Board, that’s when things got really bad:

“When attempting to conduct his own law practice, he sought refuge from his problems by playing video and computer games with an even greater intensity. He described himself as ‘addicted’ to the games,” lawyer Howell K. Rosenberg wrote in the 89-page report.

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court Disciplinary Board’s report detailed 17 cases – mostly involving bankruptcy, divorce, and debt collection – that Eshelman mishandled. He missed deadlines, lost track of client money, and once lied in a divorce filing – all while ignoring calls from increasingly angry clients.

Sick of being ignored, Eshelman’s clients (understandably) started filing complaints against him.

Reportedly the Disciplinary Board wanted to originally suspend Eshelman for five years, but lessened the sentence because the man used to be a decent lawyer. If Eshelman’s videogame habits are really as bad as he claims, maybe he should think seriously about a rehab program.

Source: Philly via GamePolitics

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