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Commonwealth of Massachusetts

NO. NO. BD-2004-100

IN RE: DIANE M. WONG

S.J.C. Order of Term Suspension entered by Justice Spina on January 7, 2005, with an effective date of February 6, 2005.1

SUMMARY2

In July 1997, the respondent retained an attorney to prepare a Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition. At the time, the respondent had a gross monthly income of $3,125.00 derived from part-time consulting work.

On October 31, 1997, the respondent accepted a full-time position at a gross monthly salary of $6,250.00. The job was to begin on December 1, 1997.

On November 13, 1997, the respondent signed her Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition. Attached to the petition were ten schedules. The respondent knew that Schedule I identified her occupation as “Consultant” and listed her current monthly gross wages as $3,125.00. Schedule I required the respondent to identify “any increase or decrease of more than 10%” in her gross wages “anticipated to occur within the year following the filing” of the petition. The respondent knew that “None” was typed in response to this request for information. The same day, the bankruptcy petition and schedules were filed with the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Massachusetts (Boston).

On December 1, 1997, the respondent began full-time employment. The respondent did not inform the court or the Chapter 7 trustee that she had begun a job that was different from the one identified in her bankruptcy petition at a gross salary that was double the salary reported in her bankruptcy petition.

On December 18, 1997, the Chapter 7 trustee filed with the bankruptcy court a report of no distribution. On March 3, 1998, the Bankruptcy Court entered an order discharging the trustee and closing the respondent’s bankruptcy.

The respondent’s failure to inform the bankruptcy court and the Chapter 7 trustee that her income had increased substantially over that reported to the court and that her employment status had changed from that reported to the court violated Mass. R. Prof. C. 3.3(a)(1) and (4) (lawyer shall not a make false statement of material fact to a tribunal or offer evidence that the lawyer knows to be false), and Mass. R. Prof. C. 8.3 (c), (d), and (h) (lawyer shall not engage in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation; conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice; and conduct adversely reflecting on her fitness to practice law).

On November 4, 2004, the parties submitted a stipulation to the Board of Bar Overseers. The parties recommended that the respondent be suspended from the practice of law for one year. On December 13, 2004, the Board of Bar Overseers voted to accept the stipulation of the parties and recommend that the respondent be suspended from the practice of law for one year.

On January 7, 2005, the Supreme Judicial Court for Suffolk County ordered that the respondent be suspended from the practice of law for one year.

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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