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


Commonwealth of Massachusetts

NO. BD-2009-020

IN RE: BRUCE N. SACHAR

S.J.C. Judgment of Disbarment entered by Justice Spina on February 18, 2009.1

SUMMARY2

This matter came before the Supreme Judicial Court for Suffolk County on an affidavit of resignation submitted by the respondent and a recommendation of the Board of Bar Overseers that the affidavit of resignation be accepted and a judgment of disbarment be entered. In the affidavit of resignation, the respondent admitted that bar counsel could prove the following by a preponderance of the evidence and not to contest the following facts in any bar discipline, admission, or reinstatement proceeding.

On or about July 18, 2006, the respondent was retained by four clients to represent them in a case involving a dispute over entitlement to the assets of an estate. The parties agreed that the respondent would charge $300 per hour for legal work. The clients paid the respondent a retainer of $5,000 on July 17, 2006, and on about August 14, 2007, the respondent sent a bill for an additional $5,626 and requested an additional retainer of $2,500. The clients paid the respondent an additional $4,000 on or about September 18, 2007. On or about October 23, 2007, the respondent settled the clientsí case for a total of $100,000 with their consent.

On or about April 18, 2008, the respondent received by mail a check for $100,000 representing the entire settlement of the matter. The check was payable to the respondent and the clients. The respondent promptly deposited the check into his IOLTA account but did not notify the clients that he had received funds on their behalf. The respondent intentionally misused these funds, and by May 31, 2008, the respondent had converted all of the funds. The respondent intentionally misused these funds with the intent to deprive the clients of the funds and with actual deprivation resulting.

On or about July 18, 2008, the respondent sent a final bill to the clients in the amount of $3,211.50. The respondent told them that he would deduct his fee from the $100,000 settlement, leaving the clients with a remaining balance due to them of $96,788.50. The respondent did not disclose in this letter that he had received funds on their behalf and had converted those funds to his own use.

Between April 21, 2008 and August 2008, the clients attempted numerous times to contact the respondent by telephone to inquire about the funds. The respondent did not return all of the telephone calls. In August, the respondent met with the clients and explained that he had used the funds because of a pathological gambling problem. The respondent has not made restitution of these funds to date.

The respondentís conduct in not maintaining trust funds in a trust account violated Mass. R. Prof. C. 1.15(b)(1). His conduct in failing to respond to his clientsí requests for information regarding the funds violated Mass. R. Prof. C. 1.4 and 1.15(d). His failure to notify his clients of receipt of funds on their behalf and promptly to turn over to the clients the funds due them violated Mass. R. Prof. C. 1.4(a) and 1.15(c). The respondentís conduct in converting the funds violated Mass. R. Prof. C. 8.4(c) and (h). Finally, the respondentís conduct in making distributions from his IOLTA account that created a negative balance on behalf of a client violated Mass. R. Prof. C. 1.15(f)(1)(C).

On January 27, 2009, the respondent submitted an affidavit of resignation pursuant to S.J.C. Rule 4:01, ß 15. Bar counsel recommended that the affidavit of resignation be accepted and a judgment of disbarment be entered effective immediately. On February 9, 2009, the board voted to adopt bar counselís recommendation. The board forwarded the affidavit of resignation and the vote of the board to the Supreme Judicial Court for Suffolk County. On February 18, 2009, the Court entered a judgment accepting the affidavit of resignation and disbarring 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.



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