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No. BD99-043

IN RE: GEORGE L. SACCO, Jr.

MEMORANDUM


The parties have agreed on a suspension from the practice of law for the period of six months and one day. The respondent, George L. Sacco, Jr., has asked that it be made retroactive to June 1, 1999. Because bar counsel has not filed any document in support of the recommendation or when the term of suspension should begin, I have chosen the date. the case was filed with the Supreme Judicial Court for Suffolk County, July 1, 1999.

The respondent by letter has said that he ceased practicing on June 1, 1999, and requests that the matter be made retroactive to June 1,1999. I have affixed hereto a copy of the parties' stipulation.

Although the respondent has commingled funds, delayed payment of medical bills, and advanced funds during contemplated or pending litigation, all in violation of the rules governing lawyers, and has executed an illegal contingent fee agreement (in excess of that allowed by the Workers' Compensation Board);1 no client and no medical provider was deprived of any funds, although there were delays in payments. The respondent did not obtain any improper, unearned gain in any of the cases investigated by bar counsel. No client of the respondent complained to bar counsel. Although the contingent fee agreement was in excess of that allowed by the Workers' Compensation Board, the respondent collected only that amount allowed.

1Canon 2, DR 2-106 (A); Canon 5, DR 5-103 (B); Canon 9, DR 9-102 (A) (1) and (2), (B) (3) and (4), (C) (1) and (2) (a), (b), (c), (3), (4) (a), (b), (c), (d), (e), (f), (5), (6); SJC Rule 3:05 (1), (2), (3), (4) and (5).

The parties agree that this discipline is within the range ordered in similar cases. See Matter of Curran, SJC BD 97-060; Matter of Mirkin, 13 Mass. Atty. Disc. R. 555 (1997); and Matter of Murphy, 10 Mass. Atty. Disc. R. 197 (1994). Although I think the discipline recommended is too lenient, it is within the range of permissible disciplines. Assistant bar counsel has not provided either a memorandum or a statement of his position, or any reason in support of his agreement to the stipulation other than the usual cost and convenience.

I accept the recommendation of the parties. I order the suspension to be effective on July 1,1999, the date the case was filed with the Supreme Judicial Court for Suffolk County.

By the Court,

RUTH I. ABRAMS

Associate Justice
Supreme Judicial Court

DATED: 3 August 1999



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