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Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Public Reprimand No. 2005-21



CAROL A. GILBERT

Order (public reprimand) entered by the Board September 16, 2005.

SUMMARY1


In 2001, the respondent worked as a bar advocate in juvenile court. As a bar advocate representing juveniles, the respondent was authorized by G.L. c. 6, § 172, to request and obtain criminal offender record information (“CORI”) for individuals involved in her cases. The respondent was not authorized, however, to obtain CORI records about any person who was not involved in a proceeding in which she was either representing a party or serving as a guardian ad litem.

During 2001, the respondent was involved as a party in litigation in probate and family court brought by the father of her minor child concerning visitation and other rights involving the child. On June 6, 2001, the court appointed a guardian ad litem to investigate and report on the contested issues in the case.

Sometime between June 6, 2001, and July 10, 2001, the respondent submitted to the juvenile court probation office a list of names of individuals whose CORI records she wanted to obtain. The respondent intentionally included the name of the father of her child on that list. Shortly after the respondent submitted the list, the probation office gave the respondent CORI records on the father and the father’s nineteen year old son, who shared the same name as the father. In an effort to limit the father’s access to their minor child, the respondent turned over the CORI records on both the father and his son to the guardian ad litem in her probate and family court case.

The respondent’s conduct in this matter violated Mass. R. Prof. C. 4.4 (lawyer shall not use methods of obtaining evidence that violate the legal rights of a third person), 8.4(d) (lawyer shall not engage in conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice), and 8.4(h) (lawyer shall not engage in conduct adversely reflecting on fitness to practice law). By failing to disclose to the juvenile court probation office that the father was not connected to a juvenile matter for which she was legitimately entitled to obtain CORI information, the respondent also violated Mass. R. Prof. C. 8.4(c) (lawyer shall not engage in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation).

The respondent received a public reprimand for this misconduct.

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



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