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Commonwealth of Massachusetts

NO. BD-2009-066

IN RE: TRACY N. TAVILLA

S.J.C. Order of Term Suspension entered by Justice Gants on June 10, 2010.1
(S.J.C. Judgment of Reinstatement entered by Justice Gants on June 18, 2010.)

SUMMARY2

The respondent Tracy N. Tavilla was admitted to the bar of the Commonwealth on June 23, 2005. On April 2, 2008, she was convicted in Cambridge District Court of operating under the influence, second offense, and given a suspended sentence of six months in the house of correction and placed on probation until April 2, 2010, with conditions that she attend inpatient treatment, refrain from consuming alcohol, and submit to random screens. The respondent did not report this conviction to bar counsel, in violation of S. J. C. Rule 4:01, § 12(8).

On May 9, 2009, the respondent was found in violation of probation for consuming alcohol. Her sentence was revoked and she was sentenced to serve six months in the house of correction.

On July 16, 2009, the respondent was convicted in Lynn District Court of operating a motor vehicle while her license was suspended and operating under the influence, third offense. She was sentenced to 2 ½ years in the house of correction with nine months to serve and the balance suspended until July 16, 2012, with conditions that she not consume alcohol, submit to random screens, attend three AA meetings each week, and comply with the program’s recommendations.

The respondent was temporarily suspended from the practice of law on July 30, 2009. She did not fully comply with the order of suspension until September 14, 2009.

On November 4, 2009, bar counsel filed a petition for discipline charging that the respondent’s conduct violated Mass. R. Prof. C. 3.4(c) and 8.4(b), (d), and (h). On April 7, 2010, the respondent filed an amended answer admitting to the misconduct and rule violations charged, and the parties filed a stipulation agreeing to a suspension of two years effective September 14, 2009. The parties further agreed that there would be nine months of actual suspension and the remaining term suspended on specified conditions, including that, as a condition of reinstatement, the respondent enter into a monitoring agreement with LCL and follow LCL’s recommendation for the remaining term of the suspension and that the respondent comply with the conditions of probation ordered by the Lynn District Court.

On April 12, 2010, the Board of Bar Overseers voted to accept the stipulation and the parties’ recommendation for discipline provided that the respondent follow all LCL recommendations until she was released from probation by the Lynn District Court and that the MPRE requirement be waived because her misconduct did not arise from a misunderstanding of the rules of professional conduct.

On April 30, 2010, the parties filed an amended stipulation adding provisions that the respondent would follow LCL’s recommendations until she was discharged from probation and that she would not have to take and pass the MPRE as a condition of reinstatement from the non-suspended portion of the suspension. The board voted on May 10, 2010, to accept the amended stipulation.

The Board of Bar Overseers filed an information with the Supreme Judicial Court for Suffolk County. On June 10, 2010, the county court (Gants, J.) entered an order suspending the respondent for two years effective retroactive to September 14, 2009; specifying the actual term of suspension as nine months; and requiring as a condition of the suspended portion of the suspension that the respondent comply with her probation conditions. The order further provided that, as a condition precedent to applying for reinstatement, the respondent would have entered into a monitoring agreement with LCL and given authority to LCL to report to bar counsel any failure by her to abide by LCL’s recommendations until she was released from probation by the Lynn District Court. The respondent’s reinstatement after the nine-month term of actual suspension was subject to the condition that she abide by her probation conditions and the recommendations of LCL until she was discharged from probation. The respondent was exempt from taking and passing the MPRE as a condition of reinstatement.


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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