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Commonwealth of Massachusetts

NO. BD-2002-038

IN RE: BEN W. PAYTON

S.J.C. Order of Term Suspension entered by Justice Ireland on September 23, 2002.1

SUMMARY2

On April 30, 2002, the respondent was suspended for three months by the Supreme Court of New Jersey for failure to communicate with a client and failure to provide a written fee agreement. Matter of Payton, 172 N.J. 34 (2002). The suspension was ordered to run concurrently with a suspension previously ordered by the New Jersey Supreme Court effective July 16, 2001, for gross neglect, lack of diligence, failure to communicate with a client, failure to have a written fee agreement, and record-keeping violations. Matter of Payton, 169 N.J. 109 (2001).

The respondent was administratively suspended in Massachusetts on February 13, 1998. He did not seek reinstatement and did not comply with S. J. C. Rule 4:01, § 17, as was required after thirty days of administrative suspension. The respondent did not provide certified copies of the order of suspension or otherwise provide notice of the suspension to the Board of Bar Overseers or to bar counsel, in violation of the requirements of S. J. C. Rule 4:01, § 16(6).

Bar counsel filed a petition for reciprocal discipline on June 17, 2002. On August 19, 2002, the respondent filed a reply to the petition. On September 18, 2002, the Supreme Judicial Court for Suffolk County (Ireland, J.) conducted a hearing on the petition for reciprocal discipline. The respondent appeared at this hearing. On September 23, 2002, the county court entered an order suspending the respondent from the practice of law in the commonwealth for three months, effective immediately.

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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