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Commonwealth of Massachusetts

NO. BD-2003-038

IN RE: THOMAS J. BLESSINGTON

S.J.C. Order of Term Suspension entered by Justice Greaney on July 28, 2003, with an effective date of August 27, 2003.1

(S.J.C. Judgment of Reinstatement entered by Justice Greaney on May 26, 2005.)

SUMMARY2

Pursuant to S.J.C. Rule 4:02(1), the respondent was required to register annually with the Board of Bar Overseers. On September 14, 1998, the registration division of the board sent the respondent an attorney registration statement. The respondent received the registration statement in due course. The respondent failed to return the attorney registration statement to the board and otherwise failed to register with the board in 1998.

Pursuant to S.J.C. Rule 4:03(1), the respondent was required to pay an annual registration fee to the board. The respondent did not pay the required fee to the board in 1998. Between November 13, 1998, and April 12, 1999, the board mailed to the respondent notices advising him that his failure to register and pay the annual fee would result in an administrative suspension of his license to practice law. The respondent received these notices in due course. The respondent did not respond to these notices and did not otherwise register with the board or pay his annual registration fee.

On June 11, 1999, the respondent was administratively suspended from the practice of law in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts for failing to register and pay his annual registration fee. The respondent was reinstated on August 1, 2002. Between June 11, 1999, and August 1, 2002, the respondent held himself out as a lawyer and continued to represent clients both in and outside court proceedings in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. After July 10, 1999, the respondent did not notify his clients, courts, or opposing counsel of his suspension or otherwise comply with the requirements of S.J.C. Rule 4:01, § 17.

The respondent's conduct in continuing to practice law while administratively suspended and his failure to notify his clients, opposing counsel, and the courts of his suspension and otherwise to comply with the S.J.C. Court Rules violated Mass. R. Prof. C. 5.5(a); Mass. R. Prof. C. 8.4(d) and (h); and S.J.C. Rule 4:01, § 3(1), and §17. The respondent's failure to file the annual registration statement, to pay the annual registration fee violated S.J.C. Rule 4:02 (1) and (3) and S.J.C. Rule 4:03.

On June 9, 2003, the Board of Bar Overseers voted to accept the parties’ stipulation and their recommendation that the respondent be suspended for six months and a day. On June 25, 2003, the Board of Bar Overseers filed an information with the county court recommending that the respondent be suspended for six months and a day. On July 28, 2003, the Supreme Judicial Court for Suffolk County (Greaney, J.) entered an order suspending the respondent for six months and a day, effective thirty days from the date of the order.

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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