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Commonwealth of Massachusetts

NO. BD-2002-001

IN RE: MICHAEL E. BRYANT

S.J.C. Judgment of Disbarment entered by Justice Cowin on February 13, 2007.1

SUMMARY2

On January 2, 2002, the respondent was convicted of three counts of conspiracy to commit larceny over $250 in violation of G. L. c. 274, ß 7. As an employee of the firm of Ellis & Ellis, the respondent had ďconspired with James Ellis Jr., Nicholas Ellis, a client, and a doctor to commit larceny of insurance companies concerning three motor vehicle accidents the client had in 1992 and 1993.Ē Commonwealth v. Bryant, 447 Mass. 494, 496 (2006).

On April 18, 2002, the respondent was temporarily suspended by order of the Supreme Judicial Court for Suffolk County. Matter of Bryant, 18 Mass. Attíy Disc. R. 91 (2002). Bar counsel filed a petition for discipline on April 22, 2002. The respondent filed an answer that raised no matters in mitigation, and the matter was deferred pending the outcome of the respondentís appeal to the Supreme Judicial Court.

The convictions were affirmed by the Supreme Judicial Court on August 25, 2006, in Commonwealth v. Bryant, supra. Bar counsel then requested that the deferral end and a hearing be scheduled on disposition only. Through counsel, the respondent asked that the board not rule on bar counselís request until after a hearing on the respondentís proposed motion in the superior court to revise or revoke his sentence. This request was not served on bar counsel, and bar counsel therefore filed no response.

On October 3, 2006, the board chair allowed bar counselís request to end the deferral, denied bar counselís motion to set the matter for hearing on disposition only, and allowed the respondent fourteen days after disposition of the motion to revise or revoke to amend his answer to allege facts in mitigation. Alerted by this order to the respondentís request, bar counsel filed further pleadings, and, on October 20, 2006, filed with the board the order of the Worcester Superior Court denying the respondentís motion to revise or revoke his sentence. The chairís order was amended on October 20th to require the respondent to file an amended answer by no later than November 15, 2006.

The respondentís failure to file an amended answer was deemed a default that brought the matter before the full board. By letter dated December 18, 2006, bar counsel asked the Board of Bar Overseers to recommend to the court that the respondent be disbarred retroactive to the effective date of the temporary suspension order. The respondent filed no memorandum or other pleading.

On January 8, 2007, the Board of Bar Overseers voted unanimously to recommend that the respondent be disbarred. On January 12, 2007, the board filed an information in the county court recommending that the respondent be disbarred with the effective date retroactive to the date of the temporary suspension order. On February 13, 2007, the county court (Cowin, J.) entered a judgment of disbarment effective April 18, 2002.


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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