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Commonwealth of Massachusetts

No. BD-1995-017


S.J.C. Order (Disbarment) entered by Justice Abrams on September 1, 2000.


The respondent, David A. Jones, filed a petition for rehearing on the judgment of disbarment dated July 22,1999, imposing reciprocal discipline. The respondent alleges that he did not receive notice of the Pennsylvania proceedings and therefore that the Pennsylvania judgment was flawed. He argues that this court should not impose reciprocal discipline in such circumstances. A new hearing was scheduled and held on the issue of reciprocal discipline. The respondent, represented by counsel, attended the hearing on July 21, 2000.

In his memorandum submitted prior to the rehearing, the respondent argued that, because he "was not afforded a meaningful opportunity to defend himself [at the Pennsylvania hearing], it would be unjust to grant reciprocal discipline based upon such a flawed process." The respondent has not sought to seek redress in Pennsylvania. The respondent has not offered any rational or legal explanation as to why he has not sought relief in Pennsylvania. I therefore reject as not credible the respondent's claim that he was "not afforded a meaningful opportunity to defend himself."

"[In attorney disciplinary proceedings, as] in other matters, we repose confidence in and accord deference to the lawful procedures of our sister States. Accordingly, we generally give effect to the disciplinary decisions of another jurisdiction without undertaking the often difficult and protracted task of redoing the inquiry which has already been concluded there. But because the consequences for the attorney are grave and the responsibility of judgment is still ours, such deference does not automatically lead to reciprocity." In the Matter of Lebbos, 423 Mass. 753, 755 (1996) (internal citations omitted). The respondent has not put forth any reason for me to doubt the integrity of the proceedings in Pennsylvania. On the record before me, I do not have any reason not to grant the Pennsylvania judgment full faith and credit.

Bar counsel agreed with the respondent that the order of disbarment should be made retroactive to October 18,1995. A second judgment shall issue to reflect that change of date.

By the Court,

Ruth I. Abrams
Associate Justice
Supreme Judicial Court
DATED: 1 September 2000

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