CSB 2007-027 Peter Langan Schofield, Grafton, MA (Disbarred)
In early 2004, claimant, an 82-year-old retired dairy farmer, closed on the sale of her farm with Mr. Schofield as her lawyer. He prepared a settlement statement dated January 9, 2004 and gave it to claimant together with a check for $644,862.19 payable to her. A line item in the settlement statement read: "Deposit to ABC [substitute for claimant's name] Irrevocable Trust $250,000.00." That deposit was never made. Claimant's current counsel reported the matter to the Office of Bar Counsel in May 2006 at about the time the Supreme Judicial Court was disbarring Mr. Schofield. In February 2007, the Worcester County Grand Jury indicted Mr. Schofield for the theft of $250,000 from claimant. On October 24, 2007, Mr. Schofield entered guilty pleas to nine charges and was sentenced to 2 _ years in the House of Correction on the first charge; 2 _ years in the House of Correction "on and after" on the second charge; and 15 years probation "on and after" for the other offenses. The Board found a defalcation and awarded claimant $250,000.
CSB 2007-045 Harley H. Anderson, Lexington, MA (Disbarred)
In September 1991, Mr. Anderson drafted the XYZ [substitute for family name] Realty Trust and Mrs. XYZ deeded her Lexington, MA residence to Mr. Anderson as trustee. In early 2001, after Mrs. XYZ was hospitalized, Mr. Anderson sold the home, received sale proceeds of $345,000 and opened three checking accounts in the name of the trust. Following her release from the hospital, Mrs. XYZ moved into an assisted living facility where she died in July 2001. Beginning on February 11, 2001, Mr. Anderson wrote checks from the trust accounts for legitimate expenses incurred by Mrs. XYZ (including her charges at the assisted living facility) and paid himself $7,232 as fees and expenses for his legal services to Mrs. XYZ and her estate. He also wrote many other checks misappropriating $280,286 to pay his own personal credit card expenses; to make deposits to his personal banking and investment accounts; and deposits to the bank account of his own realty trust "which was in serious debt." By December 2003, the XYZ Realty Trust accounts were depleted and nothing remained for claimant, the apparent sole beneficiary of her mother's trust. Neither Mr. Anderson nor anyone else was able to produce a schedule of beneficiaries to the Realty Trust. In July 2001, Mr. Anderson told claimant that there were no funds in the realty trust because all the money went to pay her mother's bills. In May 2005, the Middlesex County Grand Jury indicted Mr. Anderson for felony larceny and embezzlement by a fiduciary. On June 28, 2005, Mr. Anderson entered a guilty plea to both charges and received a two-year sentence on the felony larceny from and after a two-year sentence in a separate unrelated case. On the embezzlement charge, the court imposed a period of ten years probation "from and after" the committed sentences and ordered him to pay restitution of $280,286. The Board made a conditional award to claimant in the amount of $280,286 pending further investigation by counsel to identify the beneficiary or beneficiaries of the trust. [NOTE: This award was made final and unconditional at the Board's February 2008 meeting.]
CSB 2007-024 Vincent G. Campanella, Jr., Woburn, MA (Disbarred)
In November 2003, claimant retained Mr. Campanella and paid him a $1,750 retainer to represent her in a divorce action against her husband. Claimant also delivered her original New York marriage certificate to Mr. Campanella. A few months later, claimant telephoned Mr. Campanella for a status report, having heard nothing from him. In March 2004, claimant called to inform Mr. Campanella that she had changed her mind about going forward with the divorce and wanted to "discontinue the process." The secretary said that she would "get back" to claimant "with a convenient time for both parties to meet." Despite claimant's additional attempts to contact Mr. Campanella later during 2004, no one from his office ever contacted her. Later, when claimant telephoned the office, the secretary told her that they had moved to a new location and that she would send the address to her. Claimant explained to the secretary that it had been more than one year since she asked Mr. Campanella to stop the divorce process and that she wanted "her paperwork and the portion of her retainer that wasn't accounted for returned." Claimant detailed her additional efforts to obtain an accounting, a refund of the unused retainer and the return of her marriage certificate in her letter to the Attorney and Consumer Assistance Program (ACAP) of the Office of Bar Counsel. All those efforts were in vain as Mr. Campanella ignored not only claimant but also ACAP and Bar Counsel. By failing to participate in the disciplinary process, Mr. Campanella admitted the charges in the petition for discipline and he was disbarred in October, 2006. The Board found a defalcation and awarded claimant $1,750.