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Commonwealth of Massachusetts

NO. BD-2005-100

IN RE: PETER HIRST

S.J.C. Order of Term Suspension (One year and one day) entered by Justice Ireland on January 17, 2006.1

SUMMARY2

This sanction was imposed upon the respondentís default.

In November, 2004, the respondent agreed to represent a client on a wrongful discharge claim and accepted a retainer. After accepting the retainer, he did nothing further. All efforts by the client to contact him were fruitless. In February, 2005, the client contacted Bar Counselís Attorney and Consumer Assistance Program (ACAP) for assistance in contacting the respondent. ACAP attempted to contact the respondent, but their calls were not returned. A grievance was opened in the Office of the Bar Counsel.

Bar Counselís efforts to contact the respondent were no more successful. Neither letters (regular mail and certified), nor a subpoena, nor a petition for administrative suspension produced a response. (Two orders of administrative suspension were entered during 2005 Ė the first for failure to respond to Bar Counselís inquiries and the second for failure to pay bar dues.) Bar Counsel filed a Petition for Discipline. When the respondent failed to answer the petition, his default was entered. The Board of Bar Overseers filed an Information with the Supreme Judicial Court recommending a suspension of a year and a day.

The respondent failed to appear for the hearing before the single justice.

The respondentís failure to pursue his clientís case and his withdrawal without notice was a violation of Mass. R. Prof. C. 1.1, 1.2(a), 1.3, 1.4(a), 1.16(d) and 8.4(h). His failure to refund unearned fees violated Mass. R. Prof. C. 1.16(d).

The respondentís failure to reply to Bar Counselís inquiries and to cooperate in Bar Counselís investigation violated Mass. R. Prof. C. 8.4(g) and Supreme Judicial Court Rule 4:01, ß 3.

The Supreme Judicial Court entered an order of suspension for a year and a day.

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 on the record submitted to the Supreme Judicial Court.



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