Monday, August 10, 2009


Morning Call "newspaper" account

Here's the case that compelled the PA Supreme Court to stop Bernie O'Hare from practicing law in Pennsylvania. It was a good call.

George Usry, of Allentown, a black man, was "let go" by Bethlehem Steel in July 1976. Usry believed he was fired for being black. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission looked into it and agreed with Usry. In September 1979, the EEOC issued a "Notice of Right to Sue," finding reasonable cause to believe that Usry's race was indeed a factor in Usry's firing at Bethlehem Steel.

Sadly, George Usry hired Bernard V. O'Hare III to represent him. At the time, O'Hare was a rookie lawyer working at his father's esteemed law firm in Bethlehem, O'Hare & Heitczman. In August 1980, O'Hare III filed a Civil Rights suit on George Usry's behalf in federal court in Philadelphia.

Shortly thereafter, as O'Hare would later glibly enlighten the Disciplinary Board of the PA Supreme Court, O'Hare came to the conclusion that his client George Usry's Civil Rights case "had no merit." Yup. O'Hare never mentioned his revelation to his client George Usry.

O'Hare also didn't inform Mr. Usry of a rather significant "turning point" in Usry's case:

On July 11, 1981, O'Hare settled George Usry's Civil Rights case against Bethlehem Steel for $60.00 (Usry's out-of-pocket costs for filing his lawsuit).

Apparently, defendant Bethlehem Steel agreed whole-heartedly w/ young plaintiff attorney O'Hare's legal opinion that O'Hare's negro client, "Mister" George Usry, had brought a completely meritless case against them, by God, and now someone get our young friend Bernard a cigar please.

Completely "out of the loop" on this back-door raw deal was George Usry.

O'Hare never told Usry that his case (the one w/ "no merit") was over as of July 11, 1981, by decree of Bernard V. O'Hare III.

And "over" really meant over, as O'Hare had entered into a "Settlement Agreement and General Release" with Bethlehem Steel (on Usry's behalf) that contained a stipulation of dismissal "with prejudice" (nice touch), meaning that the ("uppity?" or "well-spoken?") George Usry could never file his EEOC-endorsed case against Bethlehem Steel ever again, boy.

So how did O'Hare do this dirty deal with Bethlehem Steel w/ OUT the knowledge and approval of his client George Usry?

Simple. As concluded by the PA Supreme Court:

"O'Hare forged or caused to be forged the signature of George Usry on the agreement."

Shocked? Wait. For "hot-shot" attorney O'Hare III, the sadistic fun was just getting started.

Was "booze" to blame? You decide ... (Curiously, "booze" isn't mentioned anywhere in the 22 pages Lehigh Valley Somebody obtained recently from the Pittsburgh office of the Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania [No. 512 Disciplinary Docket No. 2 Disciplinary Board No. 25 DB 84 Attorney Registration 28024]dated January 9, 1986). 

Over the next two years, O'Hare shamelessly jerked George Usry around, while covering-up his unauthorized termination and settlement of Usry's lawsuit.

Client Usry phoned his lawyer O'Hare frequently throughout 1982 and 1983 requesting "updates" on his case, and O'Hare never told Usry that he had unilaterally arranged for Usry's case to be "dismissed w/ prejudice" and in favor of their legal opponent, the defendant, Bethlehem Steel.

Instead, in numerous phone calls, O'Hare told Usry that he (O'Hare) was pondering "a series of increasing offers" from Bethlehem Steel for the settlement of Usry's case.

George Usry testified before the Disciplinary Board that he ultimately "accepted" an "offer" from Bethlehem Steel (via O'Hare) of $85,000.00 ...

and on May 12, 1983, O'Hare told Usry that he had received Bethlehem Steel's $85,000.00 check and that he (O'Hare) would hold it for Usry for seven days until it cleared the bank.

O'Hare's next phase strategy was to engage in a "series of misrepresentations about said settlement check" (it's "in the mail?" "my dog ate it?") while jacking up the anxiety level in an increasingly concerned and frustrated George Usry.

O'Hare eventually told Usry that, "Bethlehem Steel had stopped payment on the check," (oopsie).

This of course was a lie too, there never was any check for $85K, and O'Hare had been purposefully lying to George Usry (and seemingly for the "sport" of it) all along.

Booze? Yeah. Right.

Readers, I'm gonna end "Part 2" right here, because the slithery machinations O'Hare attempted in trying to dupe the PA Supreme Court into believing him will likely end up being a separate post of its own down the road.

What's our point w/ all this? We want you to know the ugly truth about Bernard V. O'Hare III too, because O'Hare has never been rehabilitated; O'Hare has never changed his ways; and O'Hare's "ways" still involve a course of evil intent activity that is characterized by, in the conclusions of the PA Supreme Court:

The other O'Hare ... the one w/ the "serious emotional problem" ... the disgraced former prosecutor who delights in persecuting good guys ... w/ evil intent ... is still out there.

P.S. O'Hare pocketed George Usry's $60.00 "settlement." Maybe he spent it on "booze" (wink wink).