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Commonwealth of Massachusetts

NO. BD-1994-014


S.J.C. Judgment of Disbarment entered by Justice Cowin on August 30, 2001.1


The respondent was disbarred in 1982 and readmitted in 1990. In 2001, he failed to file an answer to a multi-count petition for discipline. In conformity with B.B.O. rules, a default was entered and the respondent was notified of his right to be heard concerning the sanction appropriate to his misconduct. He did not respond to the notice. The Board recommended disbarment, and the court accepted the recommendation.

The petition which the respondent admitted by his failure to answer charged him with (1) conversion of client funds and misrepresentations to his clients, (2) failure to cooperate with Bar Counsel’s investigation, and (3) failure to cease practice upon the entry of an order of temporary suspension.

1. The respondent received a $2,000 PIP check on behalf of a client. Acting without authority from his client, he signed the client’s name and deposited the check in his client trust account. Thereafter, he misappropriated the funds and used them for purposes unconnected with his client. When the client asked about her funds, he falsely told her that they had been used to pay a medical provider. His conduct violated Disciplinary Rules 1-102(A)(4) and (6) and 9-102(A) and (B)

2. The respondent failed to reply to numerous inquiries sent to him by Bar Counsel. On two occasions prior to May, 1994, subpoenas had to be served on him to compel his compliance. Although the respondent appeared in response to the first subpoena, he did not acknowledge the second. Following his failure to appear, a petition for temporary suspension was filed with the Supreme Judicial Court and an order of notice served on the respondent. He did not appear in response to the notice. On May 12, 1994, he was temporarily suspended until further order of the court.

The respondent continued to ignore requests for information sent to him by Bar Counsel after the temporary suspension order. For more than five years, his whereabouts were unknown to Bar Counsel. When he was located in 2000, a subpoena from the Board of Bar Overseers was served on him. The respondent did not appear in response to the subpoena or provide any information to Bar Counsel.

The respondent's failure to cooperate constituted a violation of S.J.C. Rule 4:01, § 3; prior to January 1, 1998, it as a violation of Disciplinary Rules 1-102 (A)(5) and (6); thereafter, it violated Mass. R. Prof. C. 8.4(d) and (h).

4. The respondent did not terminate his practice upon the entry of the temporary suspension order in 1994 or notify his clients of the suspension. He continued to appear in court and to file pleadings on behalf of at least six different clients. His actions constituted a violation Disciplinary Rules 1-102(A)(5) and (6) and 2-110(B)(2); it was also a violation of S.J.C. Rule 4:01, § 17(1).

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 before the Court.

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