Attorney Gets 6-Month Suspension After LinkedIn Reveals ‘Law-Related’ Activities Performed Under Pseudonym

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court suspended a Montgomery County attorney for six months on consent after a routine background investigation for his reinstatement revealed he engaged in law-related activity for a music management company and nonprofit organization without a license, according to a disciplinary petition published Feb. 25.

In March 2021, Andrew S. Hurwitz filed a petition for reinstatement from administrative suspension and disclosed his employment as president at Studios 1200 in Ardmore, Pennsylvania, from January 2018 to March 2020. Hurwitz acknowledged that his position led him to engage in law-related activities while working for the music management company.

Hurwitz briefly practiced in Pennsylvania from December 1992 until he transferred to inactive status in July 1996. He was later granted reinstatement to the Pennsylvania bar in 2011 until he was placed on administrative suspension for failure to comply with the bar’s annual registration requirement in October 2014. He has not previously been disciplined in Pennsylvania, according to court records.

Hurwitz also practiced in New York, and he was admitted to the Third Judicial Department of the State of New York in May 1998. The department suspended him in February 2008 for nonpayment of annual attorney registration fees. His New York law license remains suspended, according to the disciplinary petition.

During a background investigation relating to the petition, the Office of Disciplinary Counsel uncovered a LinkedIn account under the name “Andy Blackman Hurwitz,” a pseudonym that Hurwitz reportedly uses as an author of children’s books. The LinkedIn profile listed his positions at Studio 1200 and 30AMP Circuit.

In the profile, Hurwitz provided information about his role and responsibility at Studio 1200 and said he performed law-related activities, such as “contracts” in his position as in-house counsel and senior vice president of business affairs. The account detailed that Hurwitz “worked directly under the [p]resident in running this international music and marketing firm responsible for all contracts, business affairs, while helping managing artists, projects and media.”

Hurwitz told the ODC that the company was a “start up” and all of the founders, including Hurwitz, “wore many hats” and “[the founders] all had many jobs.” Studio 1200 did not retain outside counsel to negotiate, write, draft or review contracts from January 2018 to March 2020, according to the disciplinary petition.

Hurwitz noted in his LinkedIn post that the company, which earned 90% of is income through touring and live music, resolved in September 2020 as a casualty to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Hurwitz told the ODC that he accepted the position and duties at Studio 1200 because he believed the role did not actively involve the practice of law, according to the disciplinary petition.

In the same LinkedIn profile, Hurwitz listed his position as executive director and general counsel for 30AMP circuita nonprofit organization that assists with the health, wellness and professional needs of musicians and artists of all mediums, according to its site.

Hurwitz failed to include his position at 30AMP Circuit when applying for reinstatement, despite the organization’s website identifying him as “Andy Hurwitz, Esq.” and describing him as “a celebrated attorney known for his career in the entertainment industry, the label he started (ropeadope), and [his commitment] to the city of Philly.”

Hurwitz told the ODC he did not include the nonprofit organization in his professional history until the COVID-19 pandemic when he reconsidered his candidacy for jobs. He maintained that he never meant to mislead the public, and he withdrew his reinstatement petition to address the ODC’s concerns in July 2021, according to the disciplinary petition.

For his conduct involving Studio 1200, the ODC said Hurwitz violated the Rule 217(j) of the Pennsylvania Rules of Disciplinary Enforcement and engaged in the unauthorized practice of law in violation of Rule 5.5 in the Rules of Professional Conduct, or practicing law outside of jurisdiction. ODC said Hurwitz engaged in conduct involving misrepresentation in violation of RPC 8.4(c) during his time at 30AMP Circuit.

The ODC noted Hurwitz’s acceptance of responsibility for failing to take the steps required to reinstate his Pennsylvania law license. Following the ODC’s inquiries, Hurwitz edited the account to remove his experience at Studio 1200 and 30AMP Circuit.

When considering the appropriate disciplinary action, both parties agreed to a six-month suspension based on Hurwitz’s admission, cooperation and lack of disciplinary record, according to the disciplinary petition.

Hurwitz represented himself and did not return a request for comment prior to publication.

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