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Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Public Reprimand No. 2005-12


Order (public reprimand) entered by the Board June 27, 2005.


In February of 2001, the client retained the respondent to file a complaint for divorce for which the client paid him $1,100. Between February and November of 2001, the respondent performed legal services for the client, including preparing a draft of a separation agreement, which he sent to the client for review, and a complaint for divorce. The respondent also obtained $2,750 in restitution from the clientís husband to repay debts that the husband had incurred in the wifeís name. The respondent received the last of these payments in July of 2001.

The respondent thereafter failed to finalize the separation agreement or to file the complaint for divorce. The respondent failed to take any action to file or prosecute his clientís divorce complaint between November of 2001 and February of 2004, but instead intentionally and repeatedly misrepresented to the client that he had filed the complaint for divorce with the court.

On February 13, 2004, the client filed a grievance with the Office of Bar Counsel. After receiving notice of the clientís complaint to the Board of Bar Overseers, the respondent offered to prosecute the divorce to conclusion for the $1,100 the client had paid him in 2001. In April of 2004, the respondent filed the clientís divorce complaint and pursued the divorce to completion.

The respondentí s failure to diligently pursue the clientís claims or to communicate adequately with the client, constituted a violation of Mass. R. Prof. C. 1.3 and 1.4(a).

The respondentís intentional misrepresentations to the client concerning the case status in order to conceal his neglect of the case, constituted a violation of Mass. R. Prof. C. 8.4(c) and (h).

The respondent received a public reprimand for the above violations.

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

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