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Commonwealth of Massachusetts

NO. BD-2001-030


S.J.C. Judgment of Reinstatement entered by Justice Cowin on May 25, 2006.


The petitioner, William L. Harvey, III, was suspended from the practice of law for six months by order dated April 26, 2002, with an effective date of May 26, 2002. Matter of Harvey, 18 Mass. Att’y Disc. R. 296 (2002). The reason for Mr. Harvey’s suspension was unusual:

On May 9, 2001, the respondent admitted to sufficient facts in the Lowell District Court to the crime of assault with a dangerous weapon, a car, in violation of G.L. c. 265, § 15B. The respondent, while operating his automobile, twice attempted to strike another lawyer. The victim was able to jump out of the way without being hit. The court continued the case without a finding for two years on condition that the respondent have no avoidable contact with the victim and that he continue in counseling.

Harvey, 18 Mass. Att’y Disc. R., at 296.

It is undisputed that Mr. Harvey completed his two-year probationary period successfully, and was discharged from probation on May 9, 2003. See Reinstatement Questionnaire, Exhibit C. During his probationary period, Mr. Harvey completed an anger management program successfully, and was assessed by his counselor as being “an exceptionally engaging and enthusiastic student.” Reinstatement Questionnaire, Exhibit E.

There were two conditions to Mr. Harvey’s suspension, although it was only for six months. The first was that he would have to petition for reinstatement, and the second was that if he failed to petition for reinstatement within one year of the date that he became eligible to do so, he would have to take and pass the Multi-State Professional Responsibility Examination (MPRE). For reasons that are not germane to this report, Mr. Harvey did not apply for reinstatement within the requisite one-year time period. Consequently, he was required to take and pass the MPRE, which he has done. See report of scores, Exhibit J to Reinstatement Questionnaire.

During what has stretched to a suspension of almost four years, Mr. Harvey has made significant efforts to obtain treatment directed at ensuring that he will have no repetition of the behavior that led to his suspension. See Reinstatement Questionnaire, Exhibits E, F, G, H. He has worked assiduously and successfully at real estate investment. He also has continued practicing law to some extent in New Hampshire, where he was not suspended from practice despite having reported to the appropriate authorities in New Hampshire that he had been suspended in Massachusetts. See Reinstatement Questionnaire, p. 2 and Exhibit A (Certificate of Good Standing, New Hampshire Supreme Court).

At his reinstatement hearing on February 13, 2006, Mr. Harvey met the burden imposed upon him by S.J.C. Rule 4:01, § 18(5), by “demonstrating that he . . . has the moral qualifications, competency and learning in law required for admission to practice law in this Commonwealth, and that his . . . resumption of the practice of law will not be detrimental to the integrity and standing of the bar, the administration of justice, or to the public interest.” Mr. Harvey listed in his Reinstatement Questionnaire a large number of legal seminars that he has attended and publications that he has reviewed since his suspension. See Reinstatement Questionnaire, 3.S. He presented at the hearing the testimony of several articulate and clearly sincere friends and supporters, all of whom attested to Mr. Harvey’s being a person of integrity and decency. Moreover, one of Mr. Harvey’s witnesses, P. Scott Bratton, Esquire, of the Lowell law firm Bratton & Springer, LLP, attested to his willingness to bring Mr. Harvey into his practice. For his part, Mr. Harvey expressed the intention to practice with Mr. Bratton.

Based upon Mr. Harvey’s written submission, his own testimony, and that of his witnesses, the Hearing Panel recommends that Mr. Harvey be reinstated without delay. The Office of Bar Counsel does not oppose Mr. Harvey’s reinstatement, provided that he agrees to continue in treatment and counseling for whatever emotional issues played a part in the outburst that caused his suspension from practice, and Mr. Harvey expressed his willingness (indeed, eagerness) to comply with that condition. Bar Counsel requests, Mr. Harvey agrees, and the Hearing Panel recommends that the sole condition of reinstatement be that Mr. Harvey continue with his present course of therapy for two years, during which he will provide copies of his two therapists’ notes to the Office of Bar Counsel on a quarterly basis, and a detailed report if his therapists recommend a cessation of treatment.

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