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

Commonwealth of Massachusetts

NO. BD-2009-035


S.J.C. Judgment of Disbarment entered by Justice Cowin on December 10, 2010.1


In 1995, the respondent represented three co-executors of an estate that consisted primarily of real estate and stock of minimal value. For four years, the co-executors engaged in a dispute with the first spouse of the decedent over the ownership of the real estate. In 1999, the dispute was resolved, and one of the co-executors resigned.

The respondent continued to represent the remaining two co-executors. In 2006, one of the co-executors sued the other over management of the real estate assets in trust. The respondent represented one of the co-executors against the other, whom he still represented as a co-executor of the estate. The respondentís conduct in representing one client in a dispute against the other without obtaining consent violated Mass. R. Prof. C. 1.7(a) and (b).

In 2007 the co-executors resolved their dispute. The respondentís only remaining tasks were to distribute stock and file a final account. He took no action to accomplish either of these obligations. Between 2007 and 2009, one of the executors called and e-mailed the respondent repeatedly to obtain information about the estate and to request that the probate be completed. The respondent did not respond to these inquiries, and he did not turn over the stock or finalize the estate. The respondentís conduct violated Mass. R. Prof. C. 1.1, 1.2(a), 1.3, 1.4, 1.15(b) (for conduct prior to July 1, 2004), 1.15(c) (for conduct after July 1, 2004), and 8.4(d).

In February 2009, the co-executor who had attempted to reach the respondent filed a request for investigation into the respondentís conduct. The respondent intentionally failed without good cause to respond to bar counselís requests for information, and was administratively suspended for his failure to cooperate with bar counselís investigation. This conduct violated Mass. R. Prof. C. 3.4(c), 8.1(b), and 8.4(g).

In violation of the courtís order of his administrative suspension, the respondent continued to hold himself out as a lawyer and demanded and received a retainer of $1,000 for services he knew he was not authorized to provide. He also failed to notify all existing clients of his suspension and to return to them their files and property. The respondentís conduct in violating the order of suspension violated Mass. R. Prof. C. 3.4(c), constituted the unauthorized practice of law in violation of Mass. R. Prof. C. 5.5(a), was dishonest in violation of Mass. R. Prof. C. 8.4(c), and was prejudicial to the administration of justice in violation of Mass. R. Prof. C. 8.4(d). His conduct in taking a fee while suspended violated Mass. R. Prof. C. 1.5(a), 3.4(c), and 8.4(c) and (d). His conduct also violated Mass. R. Prof. C. 1.16(a), which requires withdrawal from representation when representation will result in the violation of a rule and 1.16(d), which requires a lawyer to return files and unearned fees to a client upon withdrawal for any reason.

The county court found the respondent in contempt of the courtís order of administrative suspension and ordered him to refund the retainer and return his clientsí files. The respondent failed to refund the retainer or return all client files. This conduct violated Mass. R. Prof. C. 3.4(c) and 8.4(d) and (h).

On April 9, 2009, bar counsel filed a petition for discipline alleging this misconduct. The respondent failed to participate in the disciplinary process and was defaulted. In further aggravation of his misconduct, the respondent had received in 1993 an admonition for failing to cooperate with bar counsel in the investigation of two matters, Admonition No. 93-14, 9 Mass. Attíy. Disc. R. 453 (1993), and in 1997, a public reprimand for his neglect of a matter and failing to cooperate with bar counselís investigation. Matter of Veysey, 13 Mass. Attíy. Disc. R. 817 (1997).

On July 12, 2010, the Board of Bar Overseers voted to recommend that the respondent be indefinitely suspended. On July 21, 2010, an information was filed in the county court. On December 7, 2010, after a hearing at which the respondent failed to appear and bar counsel recommended that the respondent be disbarred, the county court entered a judgment of disbarment.


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