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NO: BD 97-049


IN RE: PAUL E. MORTON
Last known address:
8 Tilestone Street
Hyde Park, MA 02137

ORDER OF INDEFINITE SUSPENSION

This matter came before the Court, Wilkins, C. J., on an Affidavit of Resignation and Recommendation and Vote of the Board of Bar Overseers filed by the Board on August 23, 1999. Upon consideration thereof, it is ORDERED that PAUL E. MORTON is hereby suspended from the practice of law in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts for an indefinite period retroactive to September 9, 1997 the effective date of his temporary suspension.

By the Court, (Wilkins, C.J.)

Entered: August 27, 1999

SUMMARY1

This matter came before the Court on the respondent's affidavit of resignation pursuant to Supreme Judicial Court Rule 4:01, Sect. 15, in which he acknowledged that there was sufficient evidence to establish the following facts as to two separate matters.

In the first matter, in May 1992 the respondent was appointed successor trustee of an irrevocable trust. At the time of his appointment trust assets consisted of a house in the South End of Boston valued at $400,000, and a Merrill Lynch cash management account containing assets valued at approximately $83,000. Through a series of transfers and withdrawals from the cash management account the respondent intentionally converted to his own use not less than $19,000 of the trust's funds. The funds in the cash management account were exhausted, through legitimate withdrawals as well as the conversions, by June 1995.

In December 1996 the respondent obtained a loan of $75,000 secured by a mortgage on the trust real estate. The respondent intentionally converted to his own use not less than $23,000 of the loan proceeds.

In May 1997 the mother of the trust' s beneficiary gave the respondent a check for $700, in partial repayment of a loan made from the trust to her. The respondent cashed the check and intentionally converted the proceeds to his own use.

The respondent resigned as trustee of the trust on or about May 22, 1997. At that time he had converted a total of $42,900 of trust funds.

In the second matter, the respondent represented a client in connection with a personal injury claim. The case was settled, and the insurer issued a check for $2,500 payable to the respondent and the client. The respondent forged the client's name on the check, deposited the check into his own account, and intentionally converted the funds to his own use.

The respondent's conduct in the above matters constituted fraud and deceit, as well as misappropriation of trust funds, all in violation to S.J.C. Rule 3:07. Canon One. DR 1-102(A)(4) and (6) and Canon Nine, DR 9-102(A) and (B).

The respondent was temporarily suspended on September 9, 1997. The respondent eventually made restitution in full.

On August 9, 1999, the Board of Bar Overseers voted to recommend to the Supreme Judicial Court that the respondent's affidavit of resignation be accepted and that an order of indefinite suspension be entered retroactive to September 9, 1997, the effective date of his temporary suspension. On August 27, 1999, the Court (Wilkins, C.J.) ordered that the respondent be indefinitely suspended retroactive to September 9, 1997.

1 Compiled by the Board of Bar Overseers based on the record submitted to the Supreme Judicial Court.



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