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Commonwealth of Massachusetts

NO. BD-2009-060


S.J.C. Order of Term Suspension entered by Justice Cordy on September 3, 2009, with an effective date of October 5, 2009.1


On June 12, 2009, the respondent, Paul B. McCarthy, was suspended by the Rhode Island Supreme Court for two months for the following misconduct.

In July of 2008, the respondent acted as settlement agent for a refinance of a loan on property located in Newport, Rhode Island. The property was owned by a mother and son, both of whom lived in New Jersey. On July 3, 2008, the respondent traveled to the motherís home in New Jersey to close the loan. The son was not there but the motherís husband was. Although the husband had no authority to sign on behalf of the son, the respondent had the husband sign the sonís name to the closing documents, which were also signed by the mother. The respondent then notarized the signatures of the mother and son on the mortgage, thereby falsely attesting that the son personally appeared before him, was known by the respondent to be the person signing the mortgage and acknowledged to the respondent that his signature was his free act and deed. The respondent also falsely stated in the notary clause that the mortgage was executed in Rhode Island on July 2, 2008. The respondent was not authorized to practice law in New Jersey and was not a notary public in that state.

The Rhode Island court acknowledged in mitigation that the respondent had practiced law for sixteen years with no disciplinary history, cooperated with the disciplinary investigation, was remorseful and obtained no financial gain other than his fee. The court also noted that the respondent engaged in multiple acts of misconduct and caused potential harm to the lender.

On July 9, 2009, bar counsel filed a petition for reciprocal discipline with the Supreme Judicial Court for Suffolk County. The parties waived hearing and assented to an order of reciprocal discipline. On September 3, 2009, the court (Cordy, J.) entered an order suspending the respondent for a period of two months, effective thirty days after entry.


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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