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Case Abstracts for matters heard in May of 2010

CSB-2005-017 O. Roland Orlandi, Boston, MA (Deceased)
When his lending bank went into FDIC receivership in 1989, claimant had received only $3.8MM of a $5MM construction loan for an office park he was building.  Unable to continue servicing the loan or to fund the balance of the project on his own, claimant found a workout specialist who said he could obtain refinancing for the project and that a lawyer with whom he shares an office, Mr. Orlandi, could handle the legal services at the closing of the refinancing.  Claimant paid Mr. Orlandi a $20,000 retainer in fall 1991 after which the workout specialist advised claimant to start making monthly forbearance payments to the FDIC of $34,000 through Mr. Orlandiís IOLTAbecause the FDIC would accept checks only from such an account.  From December 1992 through February 1994, claimant paid $463,500 to Mr. Orlandi in his capacity as escrow agent and trustee.  That amount included an additional $2,000 in legal fees to Mr. Orlandi and $27,000 for the workout specialistís services.  When claimant could reach neither Mr. Orlandi nor the workout specialist in mid-1994, he visited the FDIC and learned that not one dollar in forebearance payments had been made on his behalf.  In October 1994, the FDIC foreclosed on claimantís office park, took possession of the property, collected $250,000 in rent from claimantís tenants, and applied those funds to the interest that had accrued during 14 months.  In November 1994, claimant filed a grievance against Orlandi with the Office of Bar Counsel and in January 1995 filed a Superior Court suit against Mr. Orlandi and the workout specialist.  During that suit, the workout specialist was separately convicted of federal wire fraud charges and remains a fugitive today.  In January 2000, the Superior Court entered a treble-damage default judgment against him for $1,813,362 plus interest and costs.  Before Mr. Orlandi died of cancer in August 2004 and and after the close of the jury-waived trial, he violated a pre-trial court order by selling his sole asset, a condominium, at a bargain price of $350,000.  The Superior Court entered judgment against Mr. Orlandiís estate for $485,500.00 plus $250,000 in consequential damages.  Ultimately, the Probate Court ordered Mr. Orlandiís now-diminished estate to pay claimantís legal fees of $136,973.66.  The Board found a defalcation and awarded claimant $348,526.34. 

CSB-2009-076 Scott A. Young, North Attleboro, MA  (Suspended)
During a bitter and contentious divorce proceeding, claimantís first counsel and counsel for his estranged wife reached substantial agreement about custody of the two minor children and the value of the marital estate but still disagreed over the marital home.  Claimant wanted to buy out his wifeís interest in the family home and believed he was the better custodial parent because his wifeís adulterous relationship with another man was harmful to the children.  After dismissing his first counsel, claimant hired Mr. Young, paid him a flat fee of $10,000, and directed him to pressure claimantís wife for a favorable settlement that included physical custody of the children.  Mr. Young advised claimant that, absent proof of a motherís unfitness, a grant of custody to the father was rare.  Mr. Young ceased communicating with claimant in April 2006 and claimant dismissed him in August 2006.  During his tenure as counsel, Mr. Young made three brief court appearances, drafted a pre-trial memorandum, prepared two hand-written financial statements, a motion to continue, and participated in several client conferences in person and by telephone.  Claimant filed a financial statement with the court under oath stating that his legal fees amounted to $9,500.  The Board found a defalcation and awarded claimant $500.00. 

CSB 2009-056 Edward G. Kelly, Fall River, MA  (Disbarred)
In March 2007, claimant paid Mr. Kelly a retainer of $2,000 to defend her son against four criminal charges.  In July 2007, claimantís son paid him an additional $1,800 and claimant paid a final $200.  Mr. Kelly acknowledged receiving the $4,000 legal fee and performing some work for claimantís son.  Successor counselís affidavit stated that the prosecuting attorney informed him that Mr. Kelly did no pretrial discovery, that Mr. Kelly had not forwarded claimantís sonís file to him and did not do any substantial work on behalf of his client.  The Board found a defalcation and awarded claimant $4,000. 

CSB 2009-081 Edward G. Kelly, Fall River, MA  (Disbarred)
Claimant, a member of a school systemís professional staff, paid Mr. Kelly $5,000 during April and May 2008, to have his criminal arrest record (he was not convicted) expunged or sealed.  Before Mr. Kelly performed any meaningful legal services, he was indicted in December 2008 for forgery and witness intimidation and suspended from practicing law in January 2009. Mr. Kelly dishonestly concealed those facts from claimant.  The Board found a defalcation and awarded claimant $5,000.

 CSB 2010-005 Edward G. Kelly, Fall River, MA  (Disbarred)
In December 2007, Mr. Kelly gave claimantís mother a receipt for $5,000 on which he wrote that he would refund that fee if he were not successful in getting her sonís sentence reduced.  On March 7, 2008 the court denied the motion to revise and revoke as untimely filed.  Mr. Kelly dishonestly concealed the courtís ruling from claimantís mother through the balance of 2008 when she discovered Mr. Kellyís office was abandoned.  Claimant wrote to the court and learned of the March denial.  The Board found a defalcation and awarded claimantís mother $5,000. 

CSB 2010-021 Edward G. Kelly, Fall River, MA  (Disbarred)
In April 2008, claimant, age 87, advanced $2,500 to her adult son as a legal fee for Mr. Kelly to get the sonís license reinstated.  Mr. Kelly promised that if the license were not reinstated within six months, he would return the legal fees.  During the next six months, the client spoke several times to Mr. Kelly who assured him that everything was progressing well with the reinstatement process.  When Mr. Kelly stopped taking the sonís calls, the son discovered on the Internet that Mr. Kelly was temporarily suspended from the practice of law.  Mr. Kelly dishonestly concealed his indictment and suspension from claimant and performed no legal services for him.  The Board found a defalcation and awarded claimantís mother $2,500. 

CSB 2010-033 Edward G. Kelly, Fall River, MA  (Disbarred)
In August 2008, claimant paid Mr. Kelly $7,000 to defend him on some criminal charges.  Mr. Kelly appeared in court twice with claimant only to obtain continuances "so Atty Kelly could file motions on my behalf."   In March 2009, Mr. Kelly, now under indictment and suspended from the practice of law, failed to appear.  Claimant hired successor counsel who advised him that Mr. Kelly did no work on his behalf other than obtain two continuances.  The Board found a defalcation and awarded claimant $7,000. 

CSB 2010-035 Edward G. Kelly, Fall River, MA  (Disbarred)
In July 2008, claimant paid Mr. Kelly $1,000 to file suit on his behalf.   Claimant spoke to Mr. Kelly several times thereafter and received assurances that everything was fine but that the suit was delayed because of government layoffs.  Although claimant left several messages for Mr. Kelly between August, 2009 and December 2009, Mr. Kelly dishonestly concealed the criminal indictments and his disciplinary proceedings.  In December 2009, Mr. Kellyís sister notified claimant that Mr. Kelly was in prison.  Mr. Kelly never performed any legal services for claimant.  The Board found a defalcation and awarded claimant $1,000. 

CSB 2009-075 Edward G. Kelly, Fall River, MA  (Disbarred)
In January 2008, claimant, while under a one-year restraining order, paid Mr. Kelly $250 (of a $500 fee) to represent him in a battle of alternating restraining orders against a woman friend.  Claimant, a person of very limited means, needed time to gather the balance of the fee.  In February 2009, when claimant learned of Mr. Kellyís indictment and suspension from the practice of law, he unsuccessfully tried to contact Mr. Kelly to get a refund to hire another attorney.  Mr. Kelly provided no legal services for claimant.  The Board found a defalcation and awarded claimant $250. 

CSB-2009-102 Edward G. Kelly, Fall River, MA  (Disbarred)
In May 2007 and October 2008, claimant borrowed $1,500 and $1,000 from a friend to pay Mr. Kelly to represent him on an OUI and two lesser charges.  Mr. Kelly appeared at the claimantís arraignment but provided no other legal services.  When claimant followed Mr. Kellyís advice to ignore pre-trial hearing dates because the hearings had been "postponed," claimant was defaulted three times.  After claimant appeared alone for a hearing and explained to the judge what had happened, the court appointed a lawyer to represent claimant.  All matters were continued without findings.  Successor counsel confirmed that Mr. Kellyís sole legal service for claimant was to appear at the arraignment.  The Board found a defalcation and awarded $2,500 to claimantís friend. 

CSB-2010-030 Raymond A. Desautels, Oxford, MA  (Disbarred)
Mr. Desautels settled a civil suit for claimant (a home builder) that required him to make several monthly payments to the plaintiff.  Claimant gave four checks (1x$500 and 3x$300) to Mr. Desautels with blank payee lines to be filled in by Mr. Desautels.  Instead, Mr. Desautels made himself the payee.  When the plaintiff did not receive the checks, she obtained a $26,737 judgment and execution against claimant as provided in the settlement agreement.  Claimantís successor counsel ultimately had the judgment set aside.  The Board found a defalcation and awarded claimant $1,400. 

CSB-2010-050 William Francis Smith, Haverhill, MA (Suspended)
Claimant, age 89, bought a bedroom set on an installment plan from a local furniture store. When, after a few months, a large crack developed in the headboard, claimant stopped making payments and the store sued her.  Claimant paid Mr. Smith $300 to defend her.  At his one and only court appearance, Mr. Smith asked claimant to wait in the courthouse lobby.  When he reappeared, he told her that everything was all set and that they could leave.  The suit was still pending and claimant had to hire successor counsel.  In response to a demand to return the $300, Mr. Smith returned $100.  The Board found a defalcation and awarded claimant $200.



 

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