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Commonwealth of Massachusetts

NO. BD-2003-060

IN RE: LORRAINE W. MORGAN

S.J.C. Order of Term Suspension entered by Justice Greaney on June 3, 2004.1

SUMMARY2

On June 4, 2003, the respondent admitted to sufficient facts in the Norfolk Superior Court to the felony crimes of kidnapping in violation of G. L. c. 265, § 26; assault and battery on a person sixty years of age or older in violation of G. L. c. 265, § 13K(b); assault by means of a dangerous weapon in violation of G. L. c. 265, § 15B(a); and intimidation of a witness in violation of G. L. c. 268, § 13B. These cases were continued without a finding for two years with supervised probation subject to specified conditions. An admission to sufficient facts constitutes a conviction for the purpose of S. J. C. Rule 4:01, § 12.

The victim of these crimes was the respondent’s eighty-six year old mother. The events giving rise to the convictions occurred on January 26, 2002. The respondent’s mother had driven the respondent home. The respondent forcibly prevented her mother from returning to her home. The respondent dragged her mother up stairs to the respondent’s third-floor apartment and, wielding a knife, forcibly prevented her mother from leaving. The respondent’s sister, who lived on the second floor, called the police at her mother’s request. When the police arrived at the respondent’s door, the respondent prevented her mother from opening the door. The police used a crowbar to gain entry.

On January 31, 2003, the respondent admitted to sufficient facts in the Quincy District Court to violating an abuse prevention order in violation of G. L. c. 209A, § 7. The case was continued without a finding for one year with supervised probation under specified conditions. This case arose from contact with the respondent’s mother on November 14, 2002. The respondent did not report this conviction to bar counsel, thereby violating S. J. C. Rule 4:01, § 12(8).

On October 8, 2003, bar counsel filed an amended petition for discipline charging that the respondent had been convicted of these offenses and that her conduct constituted violations of Mass. R. Prof. C. 8.4(b), (d), and (h). On April 30, 2004, the respondent filed an answer admitting to the factual allegations and the rule violations and stipulating to a term of suspension of four years.

In the stipulation signed by bar counsel and the respondent, the parties agreed that, in aggravation, the respondent had a history of discipline including a suspension for a year and a day in Matter of Morgan, S.J.C. No. BD-2000-045 (May 18, 2001); an admonition reported as Adm. No. 98-28, 14 Mass. Att’y Disc. R. 854 (1998); and an informal admonition administered on September 10, 1991. Moreover, the respondent had violated the terms of probation imposed both by the Norfolk Superior Court and the Quincy District Court. The parties also agreed that the respondent was an alcoholic and, as a result, suffered from mental instability that had contributed to the misconduct but that the respondent had failed to take effective steps to address her addiction. In mitigation, the respondent’s conviction of intimidating a witness did not involve attempting to influence a witness’s testimony in court proceedings.

On May 10, 2004, the Board of Bar Overseers voted to accept the stipulation and recommend to the court that the respondent be suspended from the practice of law for four years. An Information was filed with the Supreme Judicial Court for Suffolk County on May 25, 2004, and on June 3, 2004, the county court entered an order suspending the respondent from the practice of law for four years.

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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