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Commonwealth of Massachusetts

NO. BD-2007-079

IN RE: DENNIS P. CRONIN

S.J.C. Order of Term Suspension entered by Justice Greaney on October 17, 2007.1

(S.J.C. Judgment of Reinstatement entered by Justice Greaney on March 7, 2008.)

SUMMARY2

On March 8, 2007, the Florida Supreme Court suspended the respondent from the practice of law for ninety-one days for the respondentís dishonest conduct in representing a client in a real estate transaction. The respondent discovered two title defects caused by a scrivernorís error in prior deeds in the chain of title to the property in question. The respondent was responsible for those errors. To clear title and permit the closing, the respondent prepared two deeds and caused them to be executed on behalf of the grantors without the grantorsí knowledge or authority. The respondent falsely notarized the grantorís signature on one of the deeds and had a notary falsely notarize the signature on the other deed. He then recorded the two deeds in the public records. The respondentís conduct violated Rule 4-8.4(c) (prohibiting dishonesty) of the Rules Regulating the Florida Bar.

The respondent failed to provide certified copies of the order of suspension to the Massachusetts Board of Bar Overseers and bar counsel, and thereby violated S. J. C. Rule 4:01, ß 16(6). Bar counsel learned of the suspension and filed a petition for reciprocal discipline in the Supreme Judicial Court for Suffolk County on September 13, 2007. The county court issued an order to show cause to the respondent on September 19, 2007.

On October 15, 2007, the respondent filed a response requesting that the county court stay proceedings until the Florida Supreme Court ruled on his petition for reinstatement. The respondent noted that he had been on inactive status and had not engaged in the practice of law in Massachusetts. Bar counsel opposed the respondentís request for a stay and asked that reciprocal discipline be imposed effective on the date the order of suspension entered in Massachusetts.

On October 17, 2007, the county court (Greaney, J.) entered an order suspending the respondent for a period of ninety-one days in the Commonwealth effective immediately.


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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