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No. BD99-030

 

IN RE: ALAN F. DODD

Last known office address:
14 South St.
Westborough, MA 01581

MEMORANDUM

 

Bar counsel seeks the temporary suspension of the respondent, Alan Francis Dodd, for an insufficient funds check on which payment was delayed for approximately 45 days. Interest was paid on the insufficient funds check.1 SJC Rule 4:01, Sect. 12A. Bar counsel seeks the temporary suspension of the respondent. An order of temporary suspension requires that, if the facts "(1) established by a preponderance of the evidence show the lawyer violated a disciplinary rule of this court, and (2) a balance of harms and consideration of the public interest the lawyer poses a threat of substantial harm to present or future clients or in other respects." Matter of Ellis, 425 Mass. 332, 334 (1997). The facts clearly meet part one of this test.

The respondent asserts he has a "life endangering health situation" which limits his physical activity. The respondent seeks to restrict his practice to representation of the town where he is town counsel. A position in which he agrees not to receive funds on behalf of the town or on behalf of any person or as agent of the town or any person.

I conclude that, if the respondent withdraws from the private practice of law, a temporary suspension is not required. In those circumstances, bar counsel cannot show that, "on the balance of the harms and the consideration of the public interest, the respondent poses a threat of substantial harm to present or future clients or in other respects." See Matter of Ellis, supra.

By the Court, (Abrams, J.)

Dated: July, 7 1999

1 There were at least eleven overdraft notices all being overdrawn for a period of one to three days.

Order

This matter came before the court on a petition for temporary suspension by bar counsel. After hearing, it is ordered that the respondent restrict his practice to the representation of the Town of Westborough of which he is town counsel. In that capacity, he shall not undertake receipt of any funds on behalf of the town or on behalf of any person and shall not accept funds as agent in any manner.

Within fourteen (14) days of the entry of this Order, the respondent shall:

(1) have notified in writing all clients with respect to the restriction of his practice to that of town counsel of the Town of Westborough and shall have forwarded such notice to all such clients at their last known address;

(2) file a notice of withdrawal as of the date of such notice with every court, agency, or tribunal before which any matter is pending involving any such client;

(3) provide notice to all opposing counsel;

(4) make available to all private clients (other than the town of Westborough) any papers or other properties to which they are entitled;

(5) refund any fees paid in advance which had not been earned;

(6) confirm to office of bar counsel that every IOLTA client trust and other fiduciary account has been closed; and

(7) within twenty-one (21) days after the entry of this Order, the respondent shall file with the office of bar counsel an affidavit certifying his compliance with these provisions, furnishing copies of such communications and confirmations as may be requested by bar counsel.

The respondent shall cooperate with Jon Fudeman, CPA, of Worcester with respect to Mr. Fudeman's audit of funds held by the respondent on behalf of clients and others from January 1, 1996, to date and shall, at his expense, continue to arrange for Mr. Fudeman's access to such books and records as may be necessary in connection with such examination and shall authorize and direct Mr. Fudeman to prepare a report of his examination and findings, which shall be completed no later than July 31, 1999.

The respondent shall meet weekly with his counsel, Attorney Michael P. Angelini of Worcester, for the purpose of confirming his compliance with the terms of this Order. In the event that Mr. Angelini becomes aware of any noncompliance, he shall immediately report same to bar counsel and to this court.

The respondent shall cooperate with bar counsel with respect to bar counsel's request for information relating to this matter.

By the Court, (Abrams, J.)

Dated: July, 7 1999



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