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Commonwealth of Massachusetts

NO. BD-1999-056


S.J.C. Order of Term Suspension entered by Justice Sosman on August 14, 2001, with an effective date of September 13, 2001.1


The respondent was an Assistant Attorney General in the Appellate Division of the Criminal Bureau of the Office of the Attorney General. On November 4, 1998, the respondent, without any prior notice, did not appear for work at the office as scheduled. He was contacted by the Attorney General’s Office on November 6, 1998, and at that time notified the office, for the first time, that he quit his employment. When the respondent left his employment, there were thirty-eight open cases assigned to him pending in the appellate courts. Prior to his departure, the respondent took no steps to protect the Commonwealth’s interests. He did not inventory his open files, write a transition memorandum regarding matters that he was handling or otherwise arrange for transfer of the files to another Assistant Attorney General or for the appearance of substitute counsel and the filing of his notice of withdrawal.

The respondent’s conduct in withdrawing from his assigned cases without reasonable notice to the Commonwealth and without taking steps to the extent reasonably practicable to protect the Commonwealth’s interests was in violation of Mass. R. Prof. C. 1.16(d).

The Attorney General’s Office notified Bar Counsel on December 10, 1998. The respondent did thereafter reply to Bar Counsel’s inquiries concerning this matter. As a result, on August 12, 1999, Bar Counsel filed with the Supreme Judicial Court of Suffolk County a petition for the administrative suspension of the respondent based on his failure to cooperate. On August 23, 1999, the Supreme Judicial Court entered an order of administrative suspension of the respondent’s right to practice law.

On December 8, 2000, Bar Counsel received a phone call from the respondent. The respondent notified Bar Counsel of his current residential address in Washington, D.C. On December 8, 2000, Bar Counsel sent the respondent, a copy of the communication from the Attorney General and all subsequent correspondence, a copy of the order of administrative suspension and forms required for the respondent to comply with the order of the administrative suspension. Bar Counsel requested that the respondent answer the complaint and complete and return the compliance forms within twenty (20) days. Despite receipt of this correspondence, the respondent did not reply.

The respondent’s failure to cooperate in Bar Counsel’s investigation was conduct in violation of Mass. R. Prof. C. 8.4(g) and S.J.C. Rule 4:01, § 3.

On March 27, 2001, Bar Counsel filed a petition for discipline against the respondent. The respondent failed to file an answer to the petition or otherwise to cooperate in the disciplinary process and, pursuant to S.J.C. Rule 4:01,§ 8(3), the allegations were therefore deemed admitted. On June 13, 2001, the Board of Bar Overseers voted to recommend to the court that the respondent be suspended for one year and one day and on August 8, 2001, the Supreme Judicial Court for Suffolk County so ordered.

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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