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Saturday, September 28, 2019 9:58 AM

Pittsburgh attorney suspended from legal practice

July 2, 2019

Pittsburgh, PA - Ivan DeVoren was a partner with a Houston lawfirm until 2013, when he left to start a solo practice. By 2018 he was practicing law out of his apartment in Pittsburgh PA, where he lived with his dog Snoopy, a six-month-old yellow Lab. 

In February 2018 DeVoren was arrested after neighbors complained of "disgusting" sounds coming from DeVoren's apartment.  One neighbor reported he would wake up to sounds of a chair rocking and a dog crying, and that it happened three or four times a day, day and night. Another neighbor said the sounds made his wife cry, and were so disturbing they had to leave their apartment.

When officers responded to the complaints, they found drugs and paraphernalia, and removed Snoopy from the apartment, along with sheets and dog bedding. The dog was taken to a vet who later testified she found internal injuries after examining Snoopy; another vet, however, said the dog was not sexually abused.

In March 2019, additional charges were filed against DeVoren after neighbors reported hearing a gun being discharged inside his apartment. DeVoren claimed he had just dropped a spaghetti pan, but officers removed two weapons, ammunition, holsters, and three crack pipes. DeVoren, who is a cocaiine and heroin addict, was charged with 10 counts of felony aggravated animal cruelty, 10 counts of sexual intercourse with an animal, 4 counts of possession of heroin, crack cocaine, marijuana, and drug paraphernalia, and two counts of firing a weapon in an occupied structure.

During court proceedings, DeVoren's attorneys claimed DeVoren had been clean for ten months, and said the suspicious sounds heard by neighbors were simply neurological tics exacerbated by DeVoren's drug use. In January 2019,  DeVoren pleaded guilty to the drug counts, the weapons charges, and to disorderly conduct. He also agreed to surrender Snoopy permanently and not have any contact with animals or weapons. In return, the District Attorney dropped all animal-related charges.  DeVoren was given six months' probation and temporarily suspended from law practice.