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Commonwealth of Massachusetts

NO. BD-2003-052

IN RE: RICHARD J. RUBIN

S.J.C. Order of Suspended Term Suspension with Probation entered by Justice Cordy on September 16, 2003.1

SUMMARY2

On April 21, 2001, the respondent received a public reprimand with probationary conditions for neglect and other misconduct in three separate matters. (See Public Reprimand No. 2001-5.) The probationary conditions required the respondent to attend a continuing legal education course on law office management, obtain and maintain professional liability insurance coverage, and enter into and abide by the terms of a peer review agreement. The respondent failed to comply with the terms of his probation in a timely manner. He did not attend a law office management course until April 19, 2002. He did not obtain professional liability insurance until May 16, 2002. He did not enter into a peer monitoring agreement until December 28, 2001, and he did not attend any meetings with the peer monitor until April 29, 2002.

Bar counsel filed a petition for discipline charging that the respondent’s intentional failure to comply with the conditions of his probation constituted misconduct. After a hearing, a hearing committee of the Board of Bar Overseers found that the respondent’s failure to comply with the terms of his probation violated S.J.C. Rule 4:01, § 3(1)(d) (failure to comply with condition of probation shall constitute misconduct), and Mass. R. Prof. C. 8.4 (d) (conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice), (g) (failure to cooperate with bar counsel or Board of Bar Overseers), and (h) conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice). In mitigation, the committee found that the respondent suffered from a depressive disorder, that he felt remorse for his failure to comply with the conditions of probation, and that he ultimately complied with his probation. The committee recommended that the respondent be suspended from the practice of law for three months, with the suspension suspended for two years under terms of probation requiring the respondent to maintain professional liability insurance, enter into and comply with a peer monitoring agreement with a different peer monitor, and obtain psychological counseling with a therapist approved by bar counsel. If the respondent failed to comply with these new terms, the committee recommended that bar counsel should be authorized to petition the court for immediate imposition of the suspended suspension.

The parties filed a joint appeal of the hearing committee’s recommendation for discipline, recommending a six-month suspension from the practice of law, with the suspension suspended for two years on condition that the respondent comply with the new probationary terms recommended by the hearing committee. The Board of Bar Overseers accepted the hearing committee’s findings and conclusions, but adopted the parties’ recommendation for discipline.

On September 16, 2003, the Court (Cordy, J.) entered an order suspending the respondent from the practice of law for six months, with the suspension suspended for two years under the probationary terms recommended by the hearing committee.

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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