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Commonwealth of Massachusetts

No. BD-1999-060

IN RE: EDWARD L. RYAN

S.J.C. Order of Indefinite Suspension entered by Justice Ireland on July 11, 2000.1

SUMMARY2

On December 21, 1999, bar counsel filed a petition for discipline charging that the respondent had been convicted of the following offenses:

All of these offenses are misdemeanors. Bar counsel charged that the convictions were "serious crimes" as defined by S. J. C. Rule 4:01, § 12(3), because they involve "theft" and that they were criminal acts that reflected adversely on the respondent's fitness as a lawyer in violation of Canon One, DR 1-102(A)(4) and (6), and Mass. R. Prof. C. 8.4(b). In violation of his obligations under S. J. C. Rule 4:01, § 12(8), the respondent did not report any of these convictions to bar counsel and thereby violated Canon One, DR 1-102(A)(5), and Mass. R. Prof. C. 8.4 (d) (lawyer shall not engage in conduct that is prejudicial to the administration of justice).

The respondent did not filed an answer to these charges, thereby violating S. J. C. Rule 4:01, § 3(2). By letter dated April 20, 2000, the Board notified the parties that the charges in the petition for discipline had been deemed admitted and gave the parties until April 26, 2000, to file a memorandum on discipline.

On April 24, 2000, bar counsel filed a disposition memorandum. Bar counsel conceded that misdemeanor breaking and entering and malicious destruction did not fall within the strict definition of a "serious crime" but that commission of these crimes nevertheless reflected adversely on the respondent's fitness as a lawyer. Bar counsel asked the Board of Bar Overseers to recommend to the court that the respondent be indefinitely suspended effective October 15, 1999, the effective date of the respondent's temporary suspension from the practice of law.

By letter to the Board of Bar Overseers dated May 2, 2000, the respondent requested that the matter be deferred until the respondent had completed a long-term rehabilitation program for substance abuse, which he would then offer in mitigation, or until August 2000, when the respondent anticipated being transferred from the Hampden County House of Corrections to a halfway house. The respondent's letter advised the Board that he had violated the terms of his probation and, as a result, had been incarcerated on April 22, 2000. By letter dated May 3, 2000, bar counsel opposed the respondent's request for deferment.

On May 8, 2000, the Board of Bar Overseers voted unanimously to deny the respondent's request for deferral and to file an Information recommending that the respondent be indefinitely suspended from the practice of law. On May 26, 2000, the Board of Bar Overseers filed an Information with the Court. The respondent waived hearing and assented to the entry of the proposed sanction. On July 11, 2000, the Supreme Judicial Court for Suffolk County (Ireland, J.) entered an order suspending the respondent for an indefinite period retroactive to October 15, 1999.

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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