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Commonwealth of Massachusetts

NO. BD-2003-051


S.J.C. Judgment of Suspension for one year with six months to be served and six months to be suspended for a period of two years entered by Justice Greaney on September 9, 2003.1



I have reviewed the pertinent papers in this case (including legal memoranda) and heard and considered the arguments of counsel. There is no dispute as to the facts which are summarized in the board’s memorandum of decision. There is no question that the respondent violated several Disciplinary Rules in several different ways as detailed on pp. 14-15 of the board’s memorandum. The violations in my opinion are serious. I do not agree that the violations are to be governed by standards existing prior to the decision in Matter of Kane, 13 Mass. Atty’s Discipline Rep. 321, 325-327 (1997), or that an appropriate sanction has to be limited to, or affected amelioratively by, that decision. Cf. Matter of Shaughnessy, BD 2002-06 pp. 11-12 (Sosman, J.) (entered on June 10, 2003). I have given due weight to the board’s assessments and to the contents of Attorney Perera’s guardian ad litem report. There was considerable neglect here and ascertainable harm was incurred by the ward.

The setting of a sanction is difficult, but I conclude that the sanction should be more than that recommended by the board and less than the suspension of one year and a day sought by bar counsel. In my view, a suspension is called for both by the facts, the existence of harm, and the established rule that “[t]he primary factor for consideration is the effect upon, and perception of, the public and the bar.” Matter of Concemi, 422 Mass. 326, 329 (1996).

Judgment is to be entered suspending the respondent for a period of one year with six months of the suspension to be served and the remaining six months of the suspension to be suspended for a period of two years, during which time, the respondent shall be on probation under the terms and conditions established by the board at pp. 21-22 of its memorandum. The respondent is also ordered to pay to the board within ninety days its costs in the amount of $4,969.31.

John M. Greaney
Associate Justice

Entered: September 9, 2003

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

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