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Commonwealth of Massachusetts

No. 93-074BD


S.J.C. Order (18-month Suspension) entered by Justice Abrams on March 8, 2000, with an effective date of April 7, 2000


The respondent, Stephen O. McKenzie, was first complained of in 1993 and reached an agreement with Bar Counsel and the Board of Bar Overseers in 1994. At that time, the respondent was placed on probation for five years with special terms as to law office management and accounting practices. In October, 1999, a new petition for discipline and a new stipulation was entered. The new petition alleges violation of the terms of probation of the earlier public censure which lead to a claim of negligent misuse of client funds. Further, the respondent failed to maintain the records required by the terms of the probation. Therefore, there were further violations.

Bar counsel acknowledged that no one has complained to Bar Counsel concerning any transaction in which the respondent acted as counsel and to Bar Counsel's knowledge none of the respondent's clients has been harmed either financially or otherwise by the respondent's conduct. Bar Counsel notes that negligent misuse of client funds without intent to deprive and with no deprivation resulting ordinarily warrants a public reprimand. See Matter of the Discipline of an Attorney and two companion cases, 392 Mass. 827 (1984). However, because the respondent had a prior discipline for the same or similar offenses, Bar Counsel and the respondent agree that after due evaluation of all available evidence and on the merits that the appropriate discipline is an eighteen-month suspension from the practice of law is the appropriate level of discipline.

I accept the parties' recommendation and ORDER a suspension of eighteen months from the practice of law.

By the Court,

Associate Justice
Supreme Judicial Court

DATED: 8 March 2000

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