The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Local News

April 3, 2013

Cambria defense attorney handed 3-year suspension

EBENSBURG — A well-known Cambria County criminal defense attorney will not be able to practice law for a three-year period effective later this month.

John M. Kasaback, 53, of the 300 block of Wood Street, Lilly, has been suspended from the practice of law effective April 27 through April 2016, according to an

order by the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania.

Kasaback, who has served for about a decade as a court-appointed attorney, representing defendants who posed conflicts for the public defender’s office, was suspended because he allegedly:

  • Neglected legal matters
  • Failed to communicate properly with clients
  • Failed to return an unearned fee
  • Engaged in the unauthorized practice of law

Kasaback’s attorney, David Raho of Johnstown, said he received the order Tuesday and still has it under review.

“We’re pursuing it for a possible stay of the order. We’re looking at any reconsideration,” he said.

Raho cited “substantial mitigation evidence” through some of the steps Kasaback took to turn his situation around.

The suspension was the result of an investigation and hearing by the disciplinary board of the state Supreme Court, which recommended Kasaback be suspended for five years.

Kasaback has a history of discipline problems with the state board.

The 15-page document spelling out the history and reason for the latest action lists two informal admonitions in 2002, a private reprimand in 2003 and a stayed suspension for three months with one year probation ordered on Dec. 6, 2010.

Kasaback has failed to pay any of the $1,393 owed to the disciplinary board for the past proceeding in 2010.

The latest disciplinary action is for the same type of misconduct Kasaback was disciplined for 10 years ago and in subsequent proceedings, according to the court order.

In making its case against Kasaback, the disciplinary board said he failed to seek possible sentence modifications for clients James Rice and Edelyn Madalura, a service he had been paid for.

He took no action in either case and failed to return money to Rice or provide him with a written document stating the basis for his fee.

In another case, Kasaback represented Rukiya Ren Smith at a preliminary hearing in 2010 during a time when he was administratively suspended and not permitted to practice law.

Kasaback’s history shows a pattern of being unresponsive to client inquiries and at times failing to take necessary steps in the legal process for those he represents, the court document says.

At his fall 2012 hearing in front of the disciplinary board, Kasaback testified that he has experienced medical issues stemming from a broken back and leg suffered 20 years ago.

He takes oxycodone pills to address the pain and at times finds he is unable to function normally due to the pills.

“We note that (Kasaback) did not offer an expert witness of medical records in support of these claims,” the order read.

“(Kasaback’s) testimony does not mitigate his conduct in this matter.”

Records show that to date in 2013 Kasaback has been paid $6,750 by Cambria County while he received $31,374 in 2012 and $27,500 in 2011.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • Denne, Williams & Stanton Records hearing scheduled

    A Cambria County judge will consider complaints filed by two Johnstown residents seeking documents related to the city’s municipal waste water operation at hearing at the end of this month.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Sen. Bob Casey Casey targets heroin

    The heroin trade has brought addiction, death, violence and theft to Johnstown and other Pennsylvania communities.
    Figuring out how to deal with those issues is difficult for local, state and federal officials.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Drive-in to open with high-tech projector

    Drive-in movie theaters and the term “state of the art” seldom share the same sentence.
    But that will soon be the case for the Silver Drive-In, it’s owner said. The Scalp Avenue site, often marketed as a nostalgic summer night escape, soon will boast a high-end projector capable of displaying the latest and greatest blockbusters in razor sharp high-definition, theater owner Rick Rosco said.

    April 18, 2014

  • Sheetz work underway

    Earthmoving is underway at Richland Town Centre for a nearly 6,500-square-foot Sheetz store.
    And the real estate broker marketing the land says a 3,000-square-foot retail building will be built next door.

    April 18, 2014

  • Smith, Shakir Mosi Police seize heroin, money in Prospect

    Johnstown police reported that several bricks of heroin, along with $4,000 in cash and a handgun, were discovered in the city's Prospect neighborhood around 4 a.m. Friday. An arrest warrant has been issued for the man be­lieved to be the owner or renter of the two homes raided.

    April 18, 2014 2 Photos

  • Comedy night targets serious problem

    Animal advocates are using comedy to take aim at a serious problem.
    The third annual Funny Fundraiser to benefit the Nardecchia Spay and Neuter Fund will be held at 8 p.m. May 16 at Ace’s, 316 Chestnut St. in the Cambria City section of Johnstown.

    April 18, 2014

  • Local briefs 4/19/2014

    April 18, 2014

  • Early morning police raid in Prospect area leads to arrest warrant

    Johnstown police reported that several bricks of heroin, along with $4,000 in cash and a handgun, were discovered in the city's Prospect neighborhood around 4 a.m. this morning.

    April 18, 2014

  • Home is Where The Tribune-Democrat is Delivered!

    April 18, 2014

  • new councilman Judge fills City Council vacancy

    A lifelong Johnstown resident who has never sought election to public office was named Thursday to fill the vacancy on City Council.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo


Do you think that Jack Williams will get the 270 signatures from city residents needed in order to have a referendum placed on a municipal ballot to have the city's pressure test mandate repealed?

I'm not sure
     View Results
House Ads