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Commonwealth of Massachusetts

NO. BD-2008-022

IN RE: YIPING DU

S.J.C. Order of Indefinite Suspension entered by Justice Spina on October 27, 2008.1

SUMMARY2

The respondent engaged in misconduct in four separate client matters. In addition, he failed to comply with an order of disability inactive status and was defaulted for failure to respond to a petition for discipline.

In Count One of the petition, the respondent was retained by the client to represent him in the purchase of a restaurant. The respondent accepted a deposit check in the amount of $10,000, placed it in his operating account, thereby commingling those funds with his own, and intentionally misused those funds by converting them to his own personal and/or business use. The respondent subsequently made full restitution of the amount of the deposit.

In Counts Two, Three and Four, the respondent was hired to perform specific legal work for each of three separate clients for a flat fee. In all three of these matters, the respondent failed to perform the legal work and failed to respond to his clients’ inquiries. The respondent intentionally misrepresented the work he had performed and failed to return unearned fees to two of these clients. Additionally, the respondent failed to return one of the client’s files. Each of these clients suffered harm as a result of the conduct of the respondent.

The respondent’s intentional misuse of client funds, with intent to deprive the client of the funds, at least temporarily, and with actual deprivation resulting, commingling those funds with his own and failing to place the funds in a trust account, were in violation of Mass. R. Prof. C. 1.15(b), (c) and (d) and 8.4(c) and (h).

The respondent’s failure to provide competent representation, failure to seek the lawful objectives of his clients and failure to provide diligent representation were in violation of Mass. R. Prof. C. 1.1, 1.2(a) and 1.3. His failure to respond to his clients’ inquiries and his intentional misrepresentations to those clients were in violation of Mass. R. Prof. C. 1.4(a) and 8.4(c). His failure to return unearned fees to his clients and to return a client’s file was in violation of Mass. R. Prof. C. 1.16(d).

The respondent was placed on disability inactive status pursuant to S.J.C. Rule 4:01, § 13(2), and was required to comply with S.J.C. Rule 4:01, § 17. The respondent’s failure to comply with S.J.C. Rule 4:01, § 17, was in violation of Mass. R. Prof. C. 8.4(d) and 8.4(h).

Bar Counsel filed and served a petition for discipline on June 2, 2008. In aggravation, the respondent failed to file an answer to the petition, was defaulted and failed to take any action for relief from the default.

On September 8, 2008, the Board of Bar Overseers unanimously voted to recommend that the respondent be indefinitely suspended for his misconduct. On October 27, 2008, the Supreme Judicial Court for Suffolk County (Spina, J.) entered an order indefinitely suspending the respondent from the practice of law, 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 filed with the Supreme Judicial Court.



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