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Order (public reprimand) entered by the Board October 12, 2001.


The respondent represented the estate of an individual who died testate on February 19, 1996. The decedentís nephew was executor of the estate. The will made no specific bequests. There were six residuary beneficiaries, four individuals and two charities.

The respondent timely initiated the probate process. The real estate was sold in the fall of 1996. Distributions to beneficiaries had been made by March 1997. By July 1997 the estate account had a balance of less than $1,000.

The estate had total assets of $257,000. $210,000 went to the residuary beneficiaries, $9,700 was the loss in sale of stock, $4,500 was paid to the executorís brother for managing the real estate and preparing it for sale, approximately $14,000 was spent for miscellaneous expenses of last illness, funeral, maintenance and sale of real estate. The respondent received a fee of $10,500, and the executor received a fee of $8,500.

On July 2, 1998, one of the residuary beneficiaries filed a complaint with Bar Counsel, seeking the final account from the respondent and the executor with an itemization of disbursements. Despite repeated inquiries from Bar Counsel and from this beneficiary, the respondent did not file his first and final account until July 6, 2001, more than four years after distributions had been made. The respondentís conduct in these respects violated Canon Six, DR 6-101(A)(2) and (3) and Mass. R. Prof. C. 1.1 and 1.3.

In aggravation, the respondent in 1997 received an admonition for neglect of another estate in which he had delayed five years in preparing his first and final account.

This matter came before the Board on a stipulation of facts and disciplinary violations and a joint recommendation for discipline by public reprimand. On September 10, 2001 the Board of Bar Overseers voted to adopt the partiesí stipulation and proposed sanction. On October 12, 2001 the respondent received a public reprimand.

1 Compiled by the Board of Bar Overseers based on the record of proceedings before the Board.

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