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Commonwealth of Massachusetts

NO. BD-2005-012


S.J.C. Judgment of Disbarment entered by Justice Greaney on August 17, 2007.1


In April 2002, the guardian of an elderly ward issued a check in the amount of $10,000 to the wardís grandson by mailing the check to his last known address. The grandson knew that he had been sent a check, but he had moved from the address used by the guardian.

The respondent had an ongoing attorney-client relationship with the grandson. The grandson asked the respondent to contact the guardian on his behalf to inquire about the check.

The respondent agreed to do so, without requiring payment for the service. The respondent contacted the guardian and directed her to stop payment on the April 2002 check, and to issue a second check in the grandsonís name. On or about July 24, 2002, the respondent picked up the check from the guardian.

On or about July 25, 2002, the respondent, without permission or authorization, endorsed the grandsonís name to the check and deposited the check into his IOLTA account. The respondent did not promptly notify his client that he had received his funds from the guardian and, between July 25, and July 30, 2002, converted the funds to his own use. The respondent did so with the intent to deprive the grandson of the funds.

On February 2, 2004, the respondent paid the grandson $2,000 of the $10,000 that he had taken. The respondent told the grandson that he would repay the balance of $8,000, plus interest. The respondent made no further payments to the grandson.

On February 18, 2005, the respondent assented to an order temporarily suspending him from the practice of law in the Commonwealth. Matter of Kelly, 21 Mass. Attíy Disc. R. 365 (2005).

On July 9, 2007, the respondent submitted to the Board of Bar Overseers an affidavit of resignation admitting that he had failed promptly to notify the grandson of his receipt of funds and to turn them over, in violation of Mass. R. Prof. C. 1.4 and 1.15(b), as in effect prior to July 1, 2004; endorsed the check without authority in violation of Mass. R. Prof. C. 8.4(c) and (h); and commingled and converted his clientís funds in violation of Mass. R. Prof. C. 1.15(a)(1) as in effect prior to July 1, 2004, and 8.4(c) and (h). Bar counsel recommended to the Board of Bar Overseers that the affidavit of resignation be accepted and that a judgment of disbarment enter, retroactive to the effective date of the temporary suspension.

On August 13, 2007, the Board of Bar Overseers voted to recommend accepting the respondentís affidavit of resignation and entering a judgment of disbarment, effective the date of the temporary suspension order. On August 17, 2007, the single justice of the Supreme Judicial Court for Suffolk County entered a Judgment of Disbarment retroactive to February 18, 2005.


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 Supreme Judicial Court.

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