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Commonwealth of Massachusetts

PUBLIC REPRIMAND NO. 2001-23



IN RE: DAVID D. DISHMAN

Order (public reprimand) entered by the Board October 30, 2001.

SUMMARY1


From about October 1991 through June 1993, the respondent maintained a designated IOLTA account into which he deposited client or other trust funds and from which he disbursed those funds. During that period, the respondent failed to withdraw promptly all funds in the IOLTA account that were due him as earned fees and periodically deposited his own personal funds to the account. The respondent failed to make or maintain adequate records of all his deposits to and disbursements from the IOLTA account.

Between about October 1991 and June 1993, the respondent issued payments to clients from his IOLTA account as advances on the expected proceeds of the clients’ personal injury protection and personal injury claims. When he made those advance payments, the respondent intended to draw on his own business or personal funds on deposit in the IOLTA account. In fact, as a result of his inadequate record-keeping, the respondent on occasion negligently used other clients’ funds to pay the advances without depriving any clients of their funds.

The respondent’s commingling of client and personal funds in his IOLTA account, occasional negligent misuse of client funds, and failure to make and maintain adequate records reflecting his receipt, handling, maintenance and disposition of all funds in the account violated Canon One, DR 1-102(A)(6) [engaging in conduct adversely reflecting on fitness to practice law], and Canon Nine, DR 9-102(A) and (B)(3) [failing to safeguard and segregate client or fiduciary funds; failure to keep adequate records of funds]. His advance payments during the same period violated Canon Five, DR 5-103(B) [advancing or guaranteeing financial assistance to client in connection with contemplated or pending litigation].

The respondent was admitted to the Massachusetts bar in 1983. He has no history of prior discipline.

The matter came before the Board of Bar Overseers on a stipulation of facts and disciplinary violations and an agreed recommendation for discipline by public reprimand conditioned on his attendance at a continuing legal education course designated by bar counsel. The Board adopted the parties’ recommendation. On October 15, 2001, the Board voted to imposed a public reprimand subject to the stated condition.

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



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