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Case Abstracts for matters heard in September of 2009

CSB-2008-108 Arthur M. Khoury, Lawrence, MA (Disbarred)
Mr. Khoury drafted "Mary’s" will in April 2001 naming claimant ("Mary’s" sister-in-law) as executrix.  When "Mary" died in early 2006, claimant engaged Mr. Khoury as her counsel to settle the estate. "Mary" left her home to her adult granddaughter.  Mr. Khoury received total proceeds of $130,192.24 from the home sale, made cash advances to the granddaughter of $47,345, paid estate expenses of $6,791.31 and later made additional payments to the granddaughter totaling $6,335.00.  That left a balance of $69,720.93 owed to the estate for which Mr. Khoury never accounted and never returned.  The Board found a defalcation of $69,720.93 and made an award in that amount to claimant in her capacity as executrix.  

CSB-2009-010 Bernard J. MacCallum, Revere, MA (Disbarred)
Claimant and a colleague were partners in a commercial real estate venture and, in April 2006 decided to sell the venture’s sole asset for $435,000.  Mr. MacCallum represented the partners in the sale and received proceeds of $286,232.00 from which he paid claimant and his partner $100,000 each, paid himself $12,000 in legal fees, and then paid the partner an additional $37,116.00 in July 2007.  Mr. MacCallum failed to pay claimant his remaining share of $37,116.00.  The Board found a defalcation of $37, 116.00 and made an award to claimant in that amount. 

CSB-2008-097 Bruce L. Namenson, Quincy, MA (Disbarred)
During August 2006 claimant was injured in an auto collision.  At the emergency room he was treated and released and then had substantial outpatient physical therapy.  While claimant was in the ER, a hospital employee said that Bruce Namenson was a very good lawyer who could help him.  The hospital employee had claimant sign papers engaging Mr. Namenson but never gave claimant a copy of them.  Claimant, however, did recall that he was to pay Mr. Namenson a one-third contingent fee.  On October 22, 2007 Mr. Namenson sent claimant a release and asked him to sign and return it.  When claimant did not receive his check, he telephoned Mr. Namenson who told him that the check was delayed because of some medical bills.  Claimant’s January through March 2008 follow-up calls were not returned and claimant was never notified that Mr. Namenson was temporarily suspended December 24, 2007.  When claimant requested a copy of the settlement check from the insurer he saw that it was negotiated August 24, two months before Mr. Namenson asked claimant to sign the release.  The Board found a defalcation and awarded claimant $11,333.34.

CSB-2009-001 Bruce L. Namenson, Quincy, MA (Disbarred)
After claimant was injured in an auto collision in August 1, 2006 he had outpatient physical therapy for which he signed an Assignment of Benefits/Lien form.  Although he was temporarily suspended in December 2007, Mr. Namenson sent claimant a release form in January 2008 which claimant signed and returned.  While waiting for his settlement check, claimant received a March 28, 2008 notice from Mr. Namenson announcing his suspension.  Claimant promptly contacted the insurer and learned that the $18,100.00 settlement check was mailed to Mr. Namenson on January 18, 2008.  The insurer also sent to claimant a December 28, 2007 letter with the notices of lien filed by a collection agency on behalf of the medical providers ($4,475.00).  The Board found a defalcation and awarded claimant $7,591.67 net, to account for the contingent fee and the medical liens.

CSB-2009-042 Bernard J. MacCallum, Revere, MA (Disbarred)
Claimant and a colleague were partners in a commercial real estate venture and, in April 2006 decided to sell the venture’s sole asset for $435,000.  Mr. MacCallum represented the partners in the sale and received proceeds of $286,232.00 from which he initially paid claimant’s partner $100,000 in April 2006 and deducted his legal fee of $12,000 leaving a balance of $174,232.00.  From that amount he paid claimant $100,000 in January 2007 and $37,116.00 in July 2007.  Claimant seeks reimbursement for the interest he lost while deprived of the use of the $137,116.  Claimant had no evidence that Mr. MacCallum earned interest on those funds or used the interest for his own benefit.  The Board dismissed the claim for a lack of evidence of a defalcation or reimbursable loss. 

CSB-2008-096 James Russell Hodgdon, Norwell, MA (Disbarred)
Deep into the disciplinary process, Mr. Hodgdon accepted a $3,500.00 retainer from claimant on July 10, 2007 to perform some post-decree divorce work.  Mr. Hodgdon was suspended from practice on July 26 having performed no meaningful legal service for claimant and having never accounted for or returned the retainer.  The Board found a defalcation and awarded claimant $3,500. 

CSB-2009-095 Christopher Nolan, Longmeadow, MA (Suspended)
Claimant, a Georgia resident, was a Massachusetts chiropractor whose license was revoked for motor vehicle insurance fraud in January 2008 following suspensions in 2001 and 2005.  Mr. Nolan represented claimant, in his role as real estate developer, in a 2006 housing court enforcement action and procured, with claimant's verbal permission, $5,000 of a $10,000 bail claimant posted in housing court and applied it to his fee.  Claimant alleges the bail withdrawal was wrongful because he paid Mr. Nolan "$6-8,000 in checks" but "It's been over 3 yrs. so I no longer have records." In his June 2007 chapter 7 no asset bankruptcy in Georgia, claimant failed to list his claim against Mr. Nolan as an asset before being discharged from $7.5 M in debts $2.4 of which were unsecured.  The Board dismissed the claim because there was no reimbursable loss.

CSB-2008-069 James E. Tamagini, Tyngsborough, MA (Disbarred)
In 2004 claimant's son, "Stan," was sentenced to 10 years in state prison for drug dealing.  On September 30, 2004 claimant's other son, "Lester," paid Mr. Tamagini $2,000 to do post-conviction relief for "Stan." Later, that same day, Mr. Tamagini went to the family home and requested an additional $2,000 that claimant provided.  Mr. Tamagini gave no receipt for this second payment as he did the first.  In March 2005, Mr. Tamagini was indicted on federal drug charges (oxycontin distribution) and is now serving a four-year sentence following a guilty plea.  Mr. Tamagini visited "Stan" once in prison but provided no other legal services. Bar counsel recovered from Mr. Tamagini's court-appointed defense counsel the 15 files Mr. Tamagini had in his office.  There was no "Stan" file among them.  The Board found a defalcation and awarded $2,000 each to "Stan’s" father and brother.

 

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