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Commonwealth of Massachusetts

NO. BD-2002-036

IN RE: RUTH E. PARKS

S.J.C. Judgment of Disbarment entered by Justice Ireland on September 23, 2002.1

SUMMARY2

On May 14, 2002, after the respondent failed to respond to a petition for discipline or otherwise participate in the disciplinary hearings, the Supreme Court of the State of New Hampshire disbarred the respondent for failing to represent two clients in a competent or diligent manner, failing to respond to reasonable requests from the two clients regarding the status of their cases, and failing to take steps to protect the interests of the clients. In the first matter, the client retained the respondent in August 1997 to represent her before the Veterans Administration in a worker’s compensation matter. The client paid the respondent a retainer. The respondent did not file any pleadings in the case or take any steps to adequately represent the client. Despite many attempts by the client to contact the respondent, the respondent did not return the retainer or any file documents, or take any steps to protect the client’s claim. In the second matter, a client retained the respondent to represent him in an EEO proceeding, and paid the respondent a retainer. The respondent did not file a formal complaint on behalf of the client, with the result that the client missed the deadline for filing his claim. The respondent did not return the client’s file or retainer upon request by the client, or respond to his inquiries about the matter. At the disciplinary hearing, the New Hampshire Professional Conduct Committee also presented documentation of four other matters similarly neglected by the respondent. The respondent’s conduct in these matters was found to have violated Rules 1.1(a), 1.1(b)(4), 1.1(b)(5), 1.1(c)(4), 1.3(a), 1.4(a), 1.16(d), and 8.4(a) of the New Hampshire Rules of Professional Conduct.

The respondent was administratively suspended in Massachusetts on November 24, 1998, for non-registration. She did not seek reinstatement, and she did not comply with the requirements of S.J.C. Rule 4:01, § 17, after thirty days of administrative suspension.

In violation of the requirements of S.J.C. Rule 4:01, § 16(6), the respondent did not notify bar counsel or the Board of Bar Overseers that she had been disbarred in New Hampshire. After learning of the disbarment, bar counsel filed a petition for reciprocal discipline on June 5, 2002, in the Supreme Judicial Court for Suffolk County. The respondent was ordered to show cause why an order of disbarment should not enter in Massachusetts. The respondent failed to file any response.

On September 18, 2002, the Court held a hearing on the petition for reciprocal discipline. Although the respondent was duly notified of this hearing, she did not appear. On September 23, 2002, the Supreme Judicial Court for Suffolk County (Ireland, J.) entered a judgment of disbarment.

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 Court.



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