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Commonwealth of Massachusetts

NO. BD-2001-031

IN RE: CHRISTOS G. LADAS

S.J.C. Judgment of Disbarment entered by Justice Ireland on January 25, 2008.1

SUMMARY2

The respondent was admitted to practice in Massachusetts on December 20, 1990. In 1991, the respondent was admitted to practice in New York and the District of Columbia.

On February 7, 2001, the respondent was suspended from the practice of law in New York for two years for conversion of estate funds. As a result of his suspension in New York, the respondent was indefinitely suspended in Massachusetts, Matter of Ladas, 17 Mass. Att’y Disc. R. 341 (2001), and disbarred in the District of Columbia.

During the time he was suspended the respondent committed several acts of misconduct, as set forth below.

First, the respondent represented a woman in post-divorce litigation in Erie County, New York, and represented the client and her current husband in a mortgage financing transaction. The respondent converted $14,000 of his clients’ funds to his own use and charged the husband $1,780 in legal fees. He also notarized various documents at the closing on the mortgage financing after his notary commission had expired. The respondent used the funds he converted in this transaction to make restitution to other clients whom he had represented in closings while suspended and whose funds he had converted. The respondent did not make restitution to the client or her husband.

Second, the respondent appeared in court on behalf of defendants in two separate criminal matters. The respondent held himself out as an attorney to the clients, the court, and to the assistant district attorneys assigned to the cases.

Third, the respondent represented a seller of residential real estate in Erie County, New York. The respondent converted the sales proceeds of $12,743.92 to his own use. The respondent signed the deed as a witness to his client’s signature when his client had neither signed the deed in front of the respondent nor acknowledged the signature on the deed to be his. In addition the respondent notarized the deed although his commission had expired. The respondent eventually made restitution of the funds he converted in this transaction.

Finally, the respondent filed an affidavit in response to a complaint for contempt filed by the grievance committee for the Fourth Department in New York. In that affidavit, the respondent falsely claimed that he had not engaged in the practice of law during the period of suspension.

The respondent was held in contempt on June 14, 2004, and again on September 30, 2005, by the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court for the Fourth Department of the state of New York. On July 9, 2007, the respondent filed an application for resignation in the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court, Fourth Department acknowledging that he had committed these acts of misconduct and consenting to an order requiring him to make restitution to the post-divorce client and her husband. On September 12, 2007, New York ordered the respondent’s resignation from the practice of law and required him to make restitution of $15,780.87.

In violation of his obligations under S. J. C. Rule 4:01, § 16(6), the respondent did not report his resignation to bar counsel in Massachusetts, who learned of the resignation from another source. On November 2, 2007, bar counsel filed a petition for reciprocal discipline seeking the respondent’s disbarment.

The Supreme Judicial Court for Suffolk County issued an order of notice requiring the respondent to show cause within thirty days why the petition for reciprocal discipline should not be granted. The respondent did not file any response to the petition.

After notice to the parties, the county court held a hearing on the petition on January 22, 2008. The respondent did not appear at this hearing. On January 25, 2008, the county court (Ireland, J.), entered a judgment of disbarment, effective upon entry.


FOOTNOTES:

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

2 Compiled by the Board of Bar Overseers based on the record before the Supreme Judicial Court.



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