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Commonwealth of Massachusetts

NO. BD-2000-030


S.J.C. Order Denying Petition For Reinstatement entered by Justice Gants on May 14, 2009.1


This matter came to me on a Petition for Reinstatement pursuant to S.J.C. Rule 4:01, § 18 (1), as appearing in 430 Mass. 1329 (2000), filed by the lawyer, Frank H. Gross, Jr. (Mr. Gross), and the Vote and Recommendation of the Board of Bar Overseers (board) filed on March 16, 2009, recommending that the Petition for Reinstatement be denied. Mr. Gross did not challenge the board's vote to deny his petition for reinstatement, but limited his challenge to the board's rejection of the recommendation of the Hearing Panel that he be granted leave under S.J.C. Rule 4:01, § 18 (8), to apply again for reinstatement on or after six months following final disposition of his petition.

After hearing and on consideration of the papers, I conclude that Mr. Gross has not demonstrated good cause why he should be allowed to apply for reinstatement sooner than the one year presumptively required under S.J.C. Rule 4:01, § 18 (8). However, I also conclude that he should not be penalized by the Hearing Panel's recommendation that he be allowed to apply for reinstatement in six months, and by Bar Counsel's successful appeal of that recommendation to the board. Under S.J.C. Rule 4:01, § 18 (8), an attorney, like Mr. Gross, who seeks but is denied reinstatement to the Bar, may not reapply for reinstatement until "one year following the final disposition of an adverse judgment" upon his earlier petition, except as otherwise ordered by the court. If the Hearing Panel had not recommended an exception for Mr. Gross, the board would likely have affirmed the Hearing Panel's recommendation at the board's February 9, 2009, meeting, and the final disposition would have issued the next day, on February 10, 2009, which would have allowed him to apply again for reinstatement on February 10,. 2010. If I were simply to affirm the board's recommendation, the final disposition would not issue until May 14, 2009, and he would not be able to reapply for reinstatement until May 14, 2010. I do not believe that justice is served by delaying Mr. Gross's opportunity to apply again for reinstatement by more than three months simply because Bar Counsel appealed the exception proposed by the Hearing Panel. Rather, I believe that justice requires that the one year period be deemed to have commenced on February 10, 2009, when it would have commenced if the Hearing Panel had not concluded that an exception was warranted for Mr. Gross, and that he be allowed to reapply for reinstatement on or after February 10, 2010.

Therefore, I hereby ORDER that Mr. Gross's Petition for Reinstatement is denied, but that he be allowed to reapply for reinstatement on or after February 10, 2010.


1 The complete Order of the Court is available by contacting the Clerk of the Supreme Judicial Court for Suffolk County.

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