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Commonwealth of Massachusetts

NO. BD-2006-100

IN RE: BRENDAN LEE

S.J.C. Order of Term Suspension entered by Justice Cowin on March 26, 2008.1

SUMMARY2

The respondent was a longshoreman, and he was also a practicing attorney admitted to the practice of law in the Commonwealth on December 20, 1994. In July 2002, the respondent applied for and received unemployment compensation in connection with his employment as a longshoreman. Between July 27, 2002, and May 31, 2003, the respondent reported to the Division of Employment and Training (DET) that he either had partial earnings or no earnings. The respondent did not disclose to DET that he had been regularly employed since 1997 as a bar advocate and was being paid by CPCS throughout this period. As a result, the respondent received $2,573 in unemployment compensation benefits to which he was not entitled.

Another matter involved a change to the master contract affecting longshoremen to take effect on October 1, 2004. Those longshoremen who had worked on the dock before October 1, 2004, would lock in a higher rate of pay than longshoremen who began work on or after October 1, 2004. In September 2004, the respondent had his four-year-old son placed on the payroll by filling out a W-4 form for him and having his son’s name entered for working shifts on the docks. The respondent did this to lock his son in at the higher rate of pay.

On November 29, 2006, the respondent was temporarily suspended from the practice of law. Matter of Lee, 22 Mass. Att’y Disc. R. 468 (2006). On December 4, 2007, the respondent was convicted in Suffolk Superior Court of larceny over $250 in violation of G. L. c. 266, § 30A; seven counts of obstruction of the administration of unemployment compensation in violation of G. L. c. 151A, § 47; and fraud in the procurement in violation of G. L. c. 266, § 67A. The respondent was sentenced to two years of probation to run concurrently and, on the unemployment fraud offense, two months of home confinement to be served on weekends. The respondent was also required to make restitution of $3,310 to the Commonwealth as a condition of probation.

Bar counsel filed a petition for discipline on January 15, 2008, charging that the respondent’s criminal conduct violated Mass. R. Prof. C. 8.4(b), (c), and (d). On February 20, 2008, the respondent filed an answer admitted to the charges and the rule violations. The parties requested that the Board of Bar Overseers recommend to the court an indefinite suspension, effective as of the date of the respondent’s temporary suspension.

On March 10, 2008. the Board of Bar Overseers voted to recommend that the respondent be indefinitely suspended, effective November 29, 2006. An information was filed with the Supreme Judicial Court for Suffolk County. On March 26, 2008, the county court (Cowin, J.) entered an order indefinitely suspending the respondent, retroactive to November 29, 2006.


FOOTNOTES:

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 Supreme Judicial Court.



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