Attorney loses contact with pro bono defendant and seeks to leave lawsuit

By Nicholas Malfitano | Jan 25, 2016

David Wisniewski  

PHILADELPHIA – A defendant named in a personal injury liability case is in need of new counsel, according to court records.

David Wisniewski filed a motion to withdraw his appearance on Dec. 14, citing a lack of contact with his client, Soc Thi Kim Ly of Philadelphia. Philadelphia V.I.P., a pro bono legal services group, had initially contacted Wisniewski to represent Ly, who was indigent.

Philadelphia V.I.P. has a Representation Agreement that all of their clients are required to sign, but for reasons unknown, Ly never signed the form – which had been sent to her on Jan. 31, 2013. Ly consented to an arbitration award against her and in favor of the City of Philadelphia, on the stipulation that the City would never enforce the award.

Wisniewski said about two years later, the City reneged on its promise and began to initiate proceedings to enforce that arbitration award. Wisniewski said he attempted to contact Crystal J. Scott of the City of Philadelphia’s Law Department, to find out why the City was now trying to enforce the arbitration award.

However, Scott allegedly did not respond to Wisniewski’s calls, letters or e-mails. Also, Ly has not yet responded to any of Wisniewski’s attempts at contact either. The attorney then contacted Philadelphia V.I.P. seeking to gain permission to withdraw from the suit due to Ly’s lack of contact, before filing the similar petition in the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas.

A hearing in this matter was set for Thursday in Court chambers, at Philadelphia City Hall.

On Feb. 24, 2010, the defendants managed and controlled property on the 1800 block of East Orleans Street in Philadelphia, near the corner of Ruth & Orleans Streets. Allegedly, a dangerous condition existed on the sidewalk of the property’s premises, caused by unlevel and broken concrete and resulting in holes and cracks in the pavement.

The suit says the defendants’ negligence and recklessness in their failure to inspect, maintain or repair the sidewalk caused the fall suffered by plaintiff Delia Lopez. Lopez fell on the sidewalk on Feb. 24, 2010.

Lopez allegedly suffered full-body injuries, including injuries to both of her ankles, a knee injury, a disc herniation and other serious orthopedic injuries – with her medical costs exceeding $1,500.00

The plaintiff is seeking damages, individually, jointly and severally, in excess of $50,000.

The plaintiff is represented by Louis B. Himmelstein and Timothy J. Alles in Philadelphia.

The defendants are represented by Scott and Drew Salaman of Salaman Henry, both in Philadelphia.

Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas case 120100963

From the Pennsylvania Record: Reach Courts Reporter Nicholas Malfitano at

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