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Commonwealth of Massachusetts

NO. BD-2005-027

IN RE: JAMES M. ROCK

S.J.C. Order of Term Suspension entered by Justice Greaney on October 26, 2005.1
(S.J.C. Judgment of Reinstatement entered by Justice Greaney on January 13, 2006.)

SUMMARY2

On April 23, 2002, the respondent pleaded guilty in Utah state court to production of a controlled substance in violation of Title 58, Chapter 37, Section 8(1)(a)(i) of the Utah Code Annotated. The controlled substance was marijuana. Production of a controlled substance is a third- degree felony in Utah.

On December 20, 2002, the respondent was sentenced to an indeterminate term not to exceed five years in the Utah State Prison. The sentence was suspended, and the respondent was placed on probation for thirty-six months with conditions that he not use, consume, or possess alcohol or illegal drugs; submit to random drug testing; complete an inpatient program and all other treatment ordered; attend four AA meetings each week with results reported to the probation officer; and pay restitution.

On August 1, 2003, the respondent was found in violation of probation and his probation was revoked and reinstated for thirty-six months commencing August 1, 2003, with additional conditions. On October 1, 2003, the respondent was found in violation of probation and his probation was revoked. The respondent was committed to the Salt Lake City County sheriff for diagnostic evaluation.

On December 5, 2003, the respondentís probation was reinstated for thirty-six months commencing that day, with the same conditions of probation imposed. The respondent was required, however, to serve thirty days in the Salt Lake County jail.

On December 3, 2004, the court, pursuant to Section 76-3-402 of the Utah Criminal Code, reduced the respondentís conviction to misdemeanor possession with intent to manufacture or produce an illegal drug. The court terminated the respondentís probation.

S.J.C. Rule 4:01, ß 12(8), requires a lawyer who is convicted of a crime to report that conviction to bar counsel within ten days of the conviction. The respondent did not report his conviction on December 20, 2002, to bar counsel until February 22, 2005.

On May 2, 2005, bar counsel filed a petition for discipline charging that the respondent was convicted on December 20, 2002, of a felony and that his conduct violated Mass. R. Prof. C. 8.4(b) and (h). His failure timely to report his conviction to bar counsel and his violation of the terms of probation constituted violations of Mass. R. Prof. C. 8.4(d) and (h). The respondent filed an answer on May 15, 2005, in which he admitted to the allegations of the petition for discipline but noted that ďthe eventual reduction of his sentence to a misdemeanor was part of his original plea agreement.Ē The respondent asked to be heard in mitigation.

On August 15, 2005, the parties filed the respondentís amended answer and a stipulation. The respondent admitted to the charges and rule violations alleged in the petition for discipline. The parties agreed that, in mitigation of the respondentís conduct, the crime to which the respondent pleaded guilty is a misdemeanor in Massachusetts and that he grew marijuana solely for his own personal consumption. The parties asked the Board of Bar Overseers to recommend to the Supreme Judicial Court that the respondent be suspended for four months, effective on the date of the respondentís anticipated temporary suspension.

The respondent was temporarily suspended from the practice of law on August 31, 2005. On October 17, 2005, the Board of Bar Overseers voted to accept the stipulation of the parties and their joint recommendation for a four-month suspension. On October 26, 2005, the Supreme Judicial Court for Suffolk County (Greaney, J.) entered an order suspending the respondent for four months effective August 31, 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 Court.



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