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Commonwealth of Massachusetts

NO. BD-2009-065

IN RE: STEPHEN A.S. WHITE

S.J.C. Order of Term Suspension/Stayed entered by Justice Botsford on September 22, 2009.1

SUMMARY2

On May 29, 2009, the New Hampshire Supreme Court Professional Conduct Committee suspended the respondent, Stephen A.S. White, for six months, but stayed the suspension for two years, with the conditions that during the two-year period the respondent continue a previously ordered affiliation with a law office management specialist, provide quarterly reports to the New Hampshire Attorney Discipline office as to the implementation of the specialistís recommendations, and join and regularly attend meetings of a professional defense attorney organization.

The New Hampshire discipline resulted from the respondentís failure in late 2005 to file an appeal of a criminal conviction requested by a client and his failure to inform the client of potential grounds for appeal. In aggravation, the Professional Conduct Committee noted the respondentís substantial disciplinary history, including three Warnings, three Reprimands, one Admonition and two Public Censures. The disciplinary history ran from 1991 through 2008 and involved claims of lack of diligence and poor client communications. While the Professional Conduct Committee concluded that a suspension was required in the current proceeding, it stayed imposition of the suspension on the above conditions because the respondent had recently obtained an audit of his office management practices and begun the affiliation with the law office management specialist, in compliance with a mandatory diversion ordered in connection with his most recent public censure in 2008.

The respondent did not report the New Hampshire discipline to Massachusetts bar counsel, as required by S.J.C. Rule 4:01, ß 16(6).

On July 17, 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 22, 2009, the Court (Botsford, J.) issued an order of term suspension/stayed, suspending the respondent for six months, with the execution of the suspension stayed for two years from May 29, 2009, conditioned on the respondentís compliance with the conditions imposed by the Professional Conduct Committee of the New Hampshire Supreme Court in its order of May 29, 2009. The suspension shall not be imposed if the Respondent complies with said conditions of the Professional Conduct Committee.


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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