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Commonwealth of Massachusetts

NO. BD-2005-070


S.J.C. Order of Term Suspension entered by Justice Ireland on October 27, 2005.1

(S.J.C. Judgment of Reinstatement entered by Justice Ireland on December 18, 2006.)


On August 12, 1992, the Supreme Court of California entered an order suspending the respondent from the practice of law for one year, with execution of the suspension stayed except for thirty days and with the requirement that the respondent pass the California Professional Responsibility Examination within one year of the order. The suspension was ordered based on the respondentís stipulation that he had violated several provisions of the Business and Professional Code and Rules of Professional Conduct in two cases. In the first case, the respondent failed diligently to pursue a medical malpractice case for a client, causing the case to be dismissed. The respondent then failed to pursue an appeal from the dismissal of the action. The respondent did not notify his client that her case had been dismissed until after the appeals court denied his appeal. In a separate matter, the respondent failed to review a motion for relief from default drafted by another lawyer working under the respondentís supervision. The motion provided an inaccurate date on which the respondent had first learned that his client had been served with an amended complaint.

On August 13, 1998, the California Supreme Court entered an order suspending the respondent from the practice of law for three years with execution stayed except for eighteen months. The respondent was required to take and pass the Multi-State Professional Responsibility Examination (MPRE) and otherwise demonstrate his fitness to be reinstated. The suspension was ordered based on the respondentís misconduct in seven different matters. In one case, the respondent signed under the penalty of perjury a declaration containing false representations that had been drafted by his secretary. The respondent did not notice the inaccuracies when he signed the declaration. In five other matters, the respondent failed to respond to the clientsí reasonable requests for information. In two of those matters, the respondent also failed to advise the clients that his representation of the clients had ended. In another matter, the respondent and his client were sanctioned for filing a frivolous appeal. The respondent violated the Califonia Business and Professions Code section 6068(o)(3) by failing to report the sanction to the State Bar, and he failed to pay the sanction ordered by the court.

On August 30, 2000, the California Supreme Court suspended the respondent for one year with execution stayed except for ninety days. The suspension was consecutive to the suspension ordered in 1998. This suspension was ordered based on the respondentís conduct in (1) entering into a settlement agreement with a client who had filed a complaint against him with the State Bar that required the client to obtain the respondentís written permission to disclose the terms of the settlement to any person, group, or entity; (2) prosecuting two frivolous appeals; and (3) filing a lawsuit in the wrong venue, failing to pay the sanction of $2,250 imposed by the superior court, and failing to report the sanction to the State Bar.

The respondent was admitted to the bar of Massachusetts on December 10, 1973. The respondent violated S. J. C. Rule 4:01, ß 16(6), by not reporting the orders of suspension to Massachusetts bar counsel.

The respondent was admitted to the California bar on June 19, 1979, and has resided there since that time. He has been administratively retired in Massachusetts since 1993. The respondent received reciprocal public reprimands in 1995 and 1996 arising from conduct in California. The respondent has not been reinstated to the California bar since his suspension in 1998.

On August 10, 2005, bar counsel filed a petition for reciprocal discipline seeking an eighteen-month suspension. On October 20, 2005, the respondent and bar counsel waived hearing on the petition for reciprocal discipline and jointly agreed that the respondent be suspended for one year in Massachusetts, effective the date of entry of the order. On October 27, 2005, the Supreme Judicial Court for Suffolk County (Ireland, J.) entered an order immediately suspending the respondent 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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