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Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Public Reprimand No. 2003-17


Order (public reprimand) entered by the Board December 30, 2003.


On June 6, 2000, the respondent dined with a woman friend, after which they went to his home. An argument ensued, and the woman either got up to leave or the respondent insisted that she leave. The respondent forcibly pushed his friend to remove her from his home, and she went through a screen door and fell. The respondent may have fallen through the door with her. The woman sustained bruises and a small aspiration on her finger.

On April 23, 2001, the respondent admitted to sufficient facts in the Southern Berkshire District Court to two misdemeanor counts of assault and battery in violation of G. L. c. 265, ß 13A. The case was continued without a finding for one year with conditions that the respondent remain drug- and alcohol-free, submit to random screens, and obtain counseling addressing anger management. The respondentís conduct violated Mass. R. Prof. C. 8.4(b) and (h). In violation of S. J. C. Rule 4:01, ß 12(8), and Mass. R. Prof. C. 8.4(d), the respondent did not notify bar counsel of the convictions.

At the time of the events, the respondent was 65 years old. For several years prior to the incident, the respondentís wife suffered from a progressively debilitating illness, which culminated in her death in 2002. The respondent was responsible for much of his wifeís care during her illness. In addition, the respondentís sole surviving son was seriously ill, and, in 2000, the respondent often was obliged to care for both his wife and son at the same time. Their illnesses and his efforts to assist them caused emotional stress that contributed to the incident resulting in the conviction.

On July 25, 2003, bar counsel filed a petition for discipline, which the respondent answered on August 12, 2003. On November 10, 2003, the respondent filed an amended answer, and the parties filed a stipulation in which they agreed to the sanction of public reprimand. On December 8, 2003, the Board of Bar Overseers voted to sanction the respondent by a public reprimand.

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

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