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Commonwealth of Massachusetts

NO. BD-2005-035

IN RE: ROBERT A. MICKIEWICZ

S.J.C. Order of Indefinite Suspension entered by Justice Cordy on June 16, 2005.1

SUMMARY2

The respondent engaged in misconduct in two separate client matters. In addition, he failed to cooperate with Bar Counsel’s investigation, continued to practice after an administrative suspension and was defaulted for failure to respond to a petition for discipline.

The respondent was retained in early 2002 by two clients to prepare and file federal and state income tax returns for 2001. In each matter, the respondent was given various documents necessary to prepare the returns. The respondent did not file any of the tax returns and did not respond to communications from either client concerning the status of the returns. The respondent did not respond to requests from the clients for the return of their documents.

The respondent's lack of diligence in the two client matters and his failure to file the income tax returns was in violation of Mass. R. Prof. C. 1.1, 1.2(a), 1.3 and 8.4(h). His failure to respond to requests by the clients for information concerning the status of the tax return filings was in violation of Mass. R. Prof. C. 1.4(a). His failure to return the clients’ documents upon request was in violation of Mass. R. Prof. C. 1.16(d) and 1.16(e).

The respondent failed without good cause to cooperate with Bar Counsel’s investigation of the two tax matters. On October 8, 2002, the respondent was administratively suspended by order of the Supreme Judicial Court for Suffolk County for his failure to cooperate. The respondent has failed to comply with the order in any respect and has not been reinstated to the Massachusetts bar.

The respondent's failure to cooperate with Bar Counsel's investigation of the two client matters was in violation of Mass. R. Prof. C. 8.1(b), 8.4(d), 8.4(g) and 8.4(h), and S.J.C. Rule 4:01, § 3. His failure to comply with the order of administrative suspension was in violation of Mass. R. Prof. C. 8.4(d) and 8.4(h), and S.J.C. Rule 4:01, §§ 3 and 17.

From June through August of 2003, the respondent represented a buyer in connection with an unsuccessful attempt to purchase real estate in Boston. From December of 2003 through May of 2004, the respondent represented a different buyer in connection with the purchase of the same real estate and attended the closing on behalf of the purchaser. The respondent’s conduct in continuing to practice law after the entry of the order of administrative suspension was in violation of Mass. R. Prof. C. 5.5(a), 8.4(d) and 8.4(h), and S.J.C. Rule 4:01, §§ 3 and 17.

In aggravation, one of the clients was harmed by the respondent’s misconduct in that he incurred interest charges of $1,596 due to the respondent’s failure to file his federal and state tax returns in a timely manner.

In further aggravation, the respondent received a public reprimand in 2000 for neglect of a client matter in 1994 and failure to cooperate with Bar Counsel’s investigation of that and another matter. Matter of Mickiewicz, 16 Mass. Att'y Disc. R. 305 (2000). After failing to file a timely answer to the petition for discipline in that matter, the respondent agreed to the public reprimand with the probationary condition that he enter into a peer review agreement for two years. The misconduct in the current matter began shortly after the end of that two-year period.

Bar Counsel filed and served a Petition For Discipline on January 25, 2005. As a further matter in aggravation, the respondent failed to file an answer to the petition, was defaulted and failed to take any action for relief from the default.

On May 16, 2005, the Board of Bar Overseers voted to recommend that the respondent be suspended for two years for his misconduct, with one member preferring greater discipline. On June 15, 2005, a hearing was held before the Supreme Judicial Court for Suffolk County (Cordy, J.), at which the respondent failed to appear. On June 16, 2005, the Court entered an order indefinitely suspending the respondent from the practice of law, effective immediately.

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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