Mass.gov
   
Mass.Gov home Mass.gov  home get things done agencies Search Mass.Gov


Commonwealth of Massachusetts

NO. BD-2007-057

IN RE: DOUGLAS J. RAMSEY

S.J.C. Amended Order of Term Suspension entered by Justice Greaney on February 5, 2008.1

S.J.C. Judgment of Reinstatement entered by Justice Greaney on March 19, 2008.

SUMMARY2

On February 11, 2007, the respondent was living with a woman who had secured a restraining order that allowed the respondent to have contact with the woman but not to abuse her. The respondent had been drinking and became involved in an argument with the woman. He ordered her to leave the house and threatened to harm her. Given the respondentís level of intoxication, the woman feared that the respondent would carry out his threat.

On February 12, 2007, the respondent was arraigned in Westborough District Court on charges of violation of an abuse prevention order and two counts of threatening to commit a crime. The respondent was released subject to conditions that he attend AA seven times per week with proof of a sponsor, abstain from drugs and alcohol, submit to random breathalyzer tests, and obtain outpatient counseling from Spectrum House. In March 2007, the Westborough District Court added additional conditions of bail that required the respondent to enter Gosnold treatment facility and be subject to ELMO as well as a Sobrietor on his telephone to detect alcohol consumption.

The respondentís case was transferred to the Worcester District Court at the end of March 2007. On April 9, 2007, the respondent was found to have violated his bail conditions by consuming alcohol. The respondent was continued on bail subject to the same conditions. On April 12, the respondent intentionally failed to submit to a scheduled breathalyzer test. On April 13, bail was revoked and then reinstated so that the respondent could enter AdCare Hospital. On April 17, the respondentís bail conditions were modified to require the respondent to follow the treatment program prescribed by AdCare and submit to breathalyzer tests twice a day. On April 18, the respondent was found to have violated his bail conditions by consuming alcohol. The respondent was ordered to attend AdCareís patient substance abuse program. On April 27, the court further amended the respondentís conditions of probation by ordering him to pursue seven consecutive days of treatment, remain free of alcohol and drugs, submit to random screens, retain the Sobrietor on his telephone, and follow AdCareís treatment plan. The respondent violated his conditions of release and, on May 16, 2007, the respondent was ordered to attend AdCare detoxification that day.

On May 24, 2007, the respondent admitted to sufficient facts to one count of violation of an abuse prevention order in violation of G. L. c. 209A, ß 7, and one count of threatening to commit a crime in violation of G. L. c. 209A, ß 2. The case was continued without a finding for one year with conditions that the respondent be drug- and alcohol-free, submit to random testing, continue in an AdCare program and fulfill conditions recommended by AdCare, and attend AA.

The respondent violated the conditions of probation by consuming alcohol. He was found in violation of probation on July 26 and again on September 26, 2007. On September 26, 2007, the court amended the terms of probation by increasing the level of supervision and requiring the respondent to attend AA meetings daily, submit to testing three times each week, and obtain counseling and treatment. The respondent would be required to enter a 90-day treatment program if he tested positive for alcohol.

Bar counsel filed a petition for discipline on October 12, 2007, setting forth the matters summarized above and alleging that the respondentís conduct had violated Mass. R. Prof. C. 3.4(c) and 8.4(b), (d), and (h). On November 19, 2007, the respondent voluntarily admitted himself for inpatient treatment for alcoholism. The respondent consented to a temporary suspension from the practice of law on December 4, 2007, and an order of temporary suspension entered on December 6, 2007.

Also on December 4, 2007, the respondent entered into a stipulation with bar counsel in which he admitted to the matters and rule violations set forth above and further admitted that he had failed to comply with Mass. R. Prof. C. 1.15ís recordkeeping requirements for his IOLTA account. The respondent agreed to be suspended for a period of six months, effective December 6, 2007, with the execution of the last three months stayed for one year subject to terms of probation including attending and completing a trust account training program, demonstrating to bar counsel that his records for the IOLTA account had been brought into full compliance with Mass. R. Prof. C. 1.15, obtaining an evaluation from Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers (LCL), following all recommendations made by LCL and his probation officer for treatment, and entering into a supervision agreement with LCL permitting LCL to report to bar counsel any deviation from the terms of the disciplinary probation.

On December 10, 2007, the Board of Bar Overseers voted to adopt the recommendation of the parties. On December 21, 2007, an information was filed in the Supreme Judicial Court for Suffolk County. On February 5, 2008, the county court (Greaney, J.) entered an order suspending the respondent for six months, effective December 6, 2007, with three months stayed subject to the probation conditions stipulated by the parties and recommended by the Board of Bar Overseers.


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.



BBO/OBC Privacy Policy. Please direct all questions to webmaster@massbbo.org.
© 2005. Board of Bar Overseers. Office of Bar Counsel. All rights reserved.