Mass.gov
   
Mass.Gov home Mass.gov  home get things done agencies Search Mass.Gov


Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Public Reprimand No. 2007-14



NICOLAS A. GORDON

Order (public reprimand) entered by the Board June 29, 2007.

SUMMARY1


The respondent received a public reprimand for soliciting a prospective client in person for professional employment for a fee, and for sending the prospective client a letter implying an ability to influence improperly the district attorney’s office.

Between 2003 and 2005, the respondent served as an assistant district attorney. In 2006, after leaving the district attorney’s office, the respondent served as an associate at a local law firm.

In April 2006, a defendant was arraigned in district court on charges of driving while under the influence, possession of a class D substance, and negligent operation of a motor vehicle. At the arraignment, the defendant indicated that he would seek private counsel, and the matter was continued to a date in May 2006. This arraignment took place in the same court where the respondent had served as an assistant district attorney.

After the defendant’s arraignment, the respondent personally approached the defendant and his mother in the courthouse hallway outside the courtroom to solicit their business. The respondent informed the defendant and his mother that the firm for which he worked was located across the street from the courthouse. The respondent also informed the defendant and his mother that he was experienced in the handling of driving under the influence cases as a result of his past position as an assistant district attorney and that he has friends in the district attorney’s office. The respondent offered to charge the defendant less than the going rate for his representation. The defendant and his mother did not retain the services of the respondent.

By letter on the same date to the defendant, the respondent again sought to have the defendant retain him and improperly implied that he had contacts in the District Attorney’s Office and that he could use that influence to obtain a favorable result for him. The defendant never retained the respondent to represent him.

The respondent’s conduct in soliciting the defendant in person for professional employment for a fee violated Mass. R. Prof. C. 7.3(d) (lawyer shall not solicit professional employment for a fee in person). By sending the defendant a letter implying an ability to influence improperly the District Attorney’s Office, the respondent violated Mass. R. Prof. C. 8.4(d) (lawyer shall not engage in conduct that is prejudicial to the administration of justice) and (e) (lawyer shall not imply an ability to improperly influence a governmental agency).

The respondent was admitted to the Massachusetts bar in 2003. He has no history of discipline.

The matter came before the Board of Bar Overseers on the parties’ stipulation of facts and rule violations and an agreed recommendation for discipline by public reprimand. On June 11, 2007, the Board of Bar Overseers voted unanimously to accept the stipulation and impose a public reprimand.


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



BBO/OBC Privacy Policy. Please direct all questions to webmaster@massbbo.org.
© 2003. Board of Bar Overseers. Office of Bar Counsel. All rights reserved.