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Commonwealth of Massachusetts

NO. BD-2008-073

IN RE: CHARLES R. QUINN, III

S.J.C. Judgment of Disbarment entered by Justice Cowin on June 15, 2010.1

SUMMARY2

This was before the Court on a recommendation by the Board of Bar Overseers for the respondent’s disbarment based on his criminal convictions, neglect of cases and abandonment of his practice, intentional misrepresentations to conceal his misconduct, mishandling of trust funds and failure to refund unearned fees, and failure to comply with orders for his administrative and temporary suspension or participate in the proceedings.

Between 2004 and 2008, the respondent was convicted of numerous crimes in Massachusetts and Maine that included operating under the influence of alcohol, drug possession, possession of a firearm, operating a motor vehicle after license revocation, refusing to submit to arrest or detention, disorderly conduct, and violating the conditions of bail release. The respondent failed to report his convictions to bar counsel as required by S.J.C. Rule 4:01, § 12(8). The respondent’s criminal conduct violated Mass. R. Prof. C. 8.4(b) and (h). The respondent’s conduct in violating the conditions of release and his failure to notify bar counsel of his convictions violated Mass. R. Prof. C. 3.4(c) and 8.4(d) and (h).

During the same period, the respondent failed to provide competent and diligent representation in two estate cases and a personal injury case, ceased working or never performed any work of substance on the estate cases after being paid, failed to provide any services of substance in the personal injury case, failed to answer the clients’ repeated inquiries about the cases, and failed to respond to clients’ requests for the files and papers. The respondent’s failure to provide competent representation, seek the clients’ lawful objectives, and act with reasonable diligence and promptness violated Mass. R. Prof. C. 1.1, 1.2(a) and 1.3. His failure to keep the clients reasonably informed, disclose that he had ceased work on their cases, and return their files and papers violated Mass. R. Prof. C. 1.4(a) and (b) and 1.16 (a)(1), (d) and (e).

In addition, the respondent collected clearly excessive and unearned fees in the estate matters and failed promptly to refund the unearned fees in violation of Mass. R. Prof. C. 1.5(a) and 1.16(d). In one case, the respondent never repaid the unearned fee, and, in the other case, the respondent repaid the clients only after they secured a small claims judgment against him. The respondent also failed to obtain leave of the probate court to withdraw from representation in one of the estate cases, in violation of Mass. R. Prof. C. 1.16 (c).

In the personal injury case, the respondent failed to notify the client’s providers of his receipt of PIP checks paid to their order and failed to deliver the checks to the providers, in violation of Mass. R. Prof. C. 1.1, 1.3, and 1.15(c). The respondent failed to commence an action for the client before the expiration of the statute of limitations. In violation of Mass. R. Prof. C. 8.4(c), he intentionally misrepresented the status of the case to the client both before and after her claims were time-barred. Through new counsel, the client subsequently obtained a judgment against the respondent for over $104,000. That judgment remains unpaid to date.

During the fall of 2007, the respondent abandoned his law office and practice without giving notice to his clients or taking any steps to protect their interests. On July 15, 2008, the respondent was administratively suspended from practice in the Commonwealth under S.J.C. Rule 4:01, § 3(2), for his intentional failure without good cause to reply to bar counsel’s requests for information. The respondent was also temporarily suspended on December 10, 2009, after bar counsel learned of his convictions and filed a notice of conviction and petition for temporary suspension in the Supreme Judicial Court for Suffolk County. The respondent intentionally failed to comply with the orders of administrative and temporary suspension and S.J.C. Rule 4:01, § 17.

By abandoning his law office and practice without notice to his clients, the respondent violated Mass. R. Prof. C. 1.4(a) and (b) and 1.16(a), (d) and (e). By intentionally failing without good cause to respond to bar counsel’s requests for information, the respondent violated Mass. R. Prof. C. 3.4(c), 8.1(b), and 8.4(g). By intentionally failing without good cause to comply with the orders of administrative and temporary suspension, the respondent violated Mass. R. Prof. 3.4(c) and 8.4(d).

Bar counsel started disciplinary proceedings against the respondent by a petition for discipline filed and served in February 2010. The respondent failed to answer or appear in the proceedings. As a result, the allegations of the petition were deemed admitted under Section 3.15(e) of the Rules of the Board of Bar Overseers. On May 10, 2010, the board voted to recommend the respondent’s disbarment. On June 15, 2010, after a hearing at which the respondent failed to appear, the county court (Cowin, J.) entered a judgment by which the respondent was disbarred effective immediately upon entry of the judgment.


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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