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Commonwealth of Massachusetts

NO. BD-2008-095

IN RE: CRAIG THOR KIMMEL

S.J.C. Order of Term Suspension entered by Justice Cowin on November 5, 2008.1
(S.J.C. Judgment of Reinstatement entered by Justice Cowin on March 23, 2009.)

SUMMARY2

The respondent was admitted to practice law in Massachusetts and Pennsylvania. He was a partner in a firm that concentrated in handling in motor vehicle warranty and “lemon law” claims. The firm established an office in Maryland to handle cases arising in Maryland and staffed it with a young attorney admitted to practice in Maryland. Neither the respondent nor his partner was admitted to the Maryland bar.

The respondent, as well as his partner, failed to make a reasonable effort to have in place measures giving reasonable assurance that the conduct of the lawyer staffing the Maryland office conformed to the requirements of the Maryland Rules of Professional Conduct, and the respondent did not make a reasonable effort to assure that her conduct was compatible with his professional obligations. These failures violated Rule 5.1 of the Maryland Rules of Professional Conduct. The respondent and his partner also failed to communicate with a client who contacted the Pennsylvania office for information after the lawyer staffing the Maryland office left her employment. This conduct violated Rule 1.4.

On September 2, 2008, the Maryland Court of Appeals indefinitely suspended the respondent with leave to apply for reinstatement no sooner than 90 days after the effective date of the suspension. Attorney Grievance Commission of Maryland v. Kimmel, 405 Md. 647 (2008). Massachusetts bar counsel filed a petition for reciprocal discipline on September 23, 2008. The parties waived hearing and assented to an order of reciprocal discipline with reinstatement in Massachusetts contingent on the respondent’s reinstatement in Maryland.

On November 5, 2008, the Supreme Judicial Court for Suffolk County (Cowin, J.) entered an order suspending the respondent for ninety days effective on the date of entry. The respondent’s reinstatement was conditioned upon his reinstatement in Maryland.


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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