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Commonwealth of Massachusetts

NO. BD-2005-091

IN RE: Brian E.F. Meade

S.J.C. Order of Term Suspension entered by Justice Cowin on December 16, 2005, with an effective date of January 16, 2006. 1

MEMORANDUM OF DECISION

I have reviewed the record, the memoranda submitted to me, and the oral arguments of counsel. Neither party disputes the hearing committee's findings of fact and conclusions of law, which were adopted by the board. The only issue before me is the appropriate sanction.

In that regard, the hearing committee recommended a five-month suspension with reinstatement conditioned on the respondent passing the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination. The board, however, rejected the hearing committee's recommendation as too lenient, and, by a close vote, recommended suspension for one year and one day. Bar counsel asks that I impose the board's recommendation. The respondent seeks the lesser discipline recommended by the hearing committee.

Because the respondent's actions seriously call into question his ethical principles, I conclude that a suspension of one year and one day is appropriate. See Matter of Neri, 17 Mass. Att'y Discipline R. 447 (2001). The board's reasons for recommending the more serious sanction reflect appropriate considerations. The board properly took into account the respondent's history of discipline for other misconduct (an admonition in 1996 for improperly obtaining an opposing party's credit report from a credit bureau); his lack of candor during' the disciplinary proceedings (the respondent's testimony was contradictory and inconsistent); and his willingness to create "a false trail of evidence for the benefit of another attorney when he knew the evidence would be used to mislead others."

The case of In the Matter of William H. Shaughnessy, 442 Mass. 1012 (2004), cited by the respondent as support for imposing the lesser sanction, is inapposite. That case was governed by sanctions which no longer apply. “Similar conduct today would merit a substantially more serious sanction." In the Matter of Shaughnessy, supra at 1014. See also Matter of Kane. 13 Mass. Att'y Discipline R. 321 (1997). In addition, the Shaughnessy case involved mitigating circumstances not present in this case: an office fire that impacted Shaughnessy's ability to handle his cases and tragic personal circumstances.

Judgment shall enter suspending the respondent from the practice of law for a period of one year and one day.

By the Court
Judith A. Cowin
Associate Justice

Entered: December 16, 2005

1 The complete Order of the Court is available by contacting the Clerk of the Supreme Judicial Court for Suffolk County.



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