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Commonwealth of Massachusetts

NO. BD-2004-081


S.J.C. Order of Indefinite Suspension entered by Justice Sosman on February 14, 2006.1


The respondent was admitted to the bar of the commonwealth on June 20, 1995. On September 13, 2004, he pleaded guilty in the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts to violating 26 U. S. C. §§ 6050I(f)(1)(A) and 7203 by knowingly and willfully causing his law office to fail to file IRS Form 8300 with the Internal Revenue Service in connection with a transaction in excess of $10,000 for the purpose of evading 26 U. S. C. § 6050I(f)(1)(A) and regulations promulgated thereunder. The respondent did not report his guilty plea to the Office of Bar Counsel within ten days, thereby violating S. J. C. Rule 4:01, § 12(8). The respondent was sentenced in federal court on August 1, 2005, to time served and placed on supervised probation for one year with conditions that he participate in mental health and substance abuse treatment programs as directed by the United States Probation Office, including submitting to drug tests.

On November 8, 2004, the respondent was convicted in the Rockingham County Superior Court of the state of New Hampshire of misdemeanor possession of a controlled drug and fined $2,000. On January 11, 2005, the respondent was convicted in the Ipswich District Court of driving under the influence, second offense. The respondent was placed on probation for two years with conditions that he attend Alcoholics Anonymous meetings three times each week, consume no alcohol or drugs, and submit to random drug and alcohol screens.

On November 29, 2004, the respondent was temporarily suspended from the practice of law by the Supreme Judicial Court for Suffolk County. The order of suspension required the respondent to, among other things, close his IOLTA account and distribute the funds in the account to the persons entitled to receive the funds. The respondent had failed to maintain adequate records of his receipt and disbursement of client funds. Due to his inadequate record-keeping, the respondent was unable timely to disburse funds to his clients as required by the order of temporary suspension. The respondent did not fully comply with the order of suspension until December 14, 2005.

On December 14, 2005, bar counsel filed a petition for discipline setting forth these facts and alleging that the respondent’s criminal conduct in violation of 26 U. S. C. § 6050I and § 7203 constituted a violation of Mass. R. Prof. C. 1.2(d), 1.16(a)(1), and 8.4(b) and (h); the respondent’s failure to notify bar counsel of his conviction violated Mass. R. Prof. C. 8.4(d) and (h); the respondent’s other criminal convictions violated Mass. R. Prof. C. 8.4(b) and (h); and the respondent’s failure to maintain adequate records for client funds violated Mass. R. Prof. C. 1.15(a) for conduct prior to July 1, 2004, and 1.15(f) for conduct on and after July 1, 2004. The respondent filed an answer on December 14, 2005, admitting to the allegations of the petition.

On December 14, 2005, the parties filed a stipulation requesting a recommendation from the Board of Bar Overseers that the respondent be indefinitely suspended, with the entry date of the indefinite suspension order as the effective date. The parties agreed that, in mitigation, the respondent had a long-standing alcohol problem that was being addressed in treatment.

On January 9, 2006, the Board of Bar Overseers voted to accept the stipulation of the parties and file an information with the Supreme Judicial Court for Suffolk County recommending that an indefinite suspension be ordered to take effect on the entry date of the order. On February 14, 2006, the county court (Sosman, J.) entered an order of indefinite suspension effective immediately upon the date of entry.

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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