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


Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Public Reprimand No. 2009-2



EDWIN MEJIA

Order (public reprimand) entered by the Board March 25, 2009.

SUMMARY1


In December of 2005, a client retained the respondent to manage a construction project for her and make periodic payments to the contractor. The respondent received the clientís construction loan proceeds and deposited them into his IOLTA account.

The respondent maintained and disbursed the funds through his IOLTA account for the duration of the project, from December of 2005 through December of 2007 and, by agreement with the client, was paid $500 per month for his services. The respondent did not hold the funds in a separate individual account with interest payable to the client as required by Rule 1.15(e). From December of 2005 through December of 2007, the respondent failed to prepare and maintain the following account records required by Mass. R. Prof. C. 1.15(f):

  1. the respondentís failure to maintain a check register recording in chronological order the date and amount of each deposit; the date, amount and payee of each disbursement; the identity of the client matter to which each deposit and disbursement pertained; and the balance after each deposit and disbursement violated Mass. R. Prof. C. 1.15(f)(1)(B);
  2. the respondentís failure to maintain a chronological ledger for each client or third person for whom he received trust funds showing each related receipt and disbursement; the identity of the client matter for which each sum was deposited or disbursed; and the balance held for the client or third person violated Mass. R. Prof. C. 1.15(f)(1)(C);
  3. the respondentís failure to maintain a chronological ledger for his funds deposited to the account to accommodate reasonably expected bank charges showing each deposit and expenditure of his funds and the balance remaining violated Mass. R. Prof. C. 1.15(f)(1)(D);
  4. the respondentís failure to maintain reconciliation reports prepared at least every sixty days showing the required reconciliation of check register, individual ledgers, and bank statements violated Mass. R. Prof. C. 1.15(f)(1)(E);
  5. the respondentís failure to maintain account documentation including all bank statements, canceled checks and other transaction records returned by the bank, and records of all deposits separately listing each deposited item and the client or third person for whom the deposit was made violated Mass. R. Prof. C. 1.15(f)(1)(F).
By the summer of 2007, the relationship with the contractor began to break down and the respondent began to do legal work in anticipation of having to bring suit against the contractor on behalf of the client. From August through October of 2007, the respondent made eight separate withdrawals from the clientís funds in the IOLTA account, totaling $5,900 and constituting the balance of the clientís remaining funds, in payment for legal services in connection with anticipated litigation against the contractor. However, in violation of Rules 1.4(a) and 1.15(d) the respondent did not provide the client with an itemized bill or other accounting showing the services rendered, written notice of the date and amount of the withdrawal or a statement of the balance of the clientís funds after withdrawal for any of these fee payments.

The matter came before the Board of Bar Overseers on a stipulation of facts and a joint recommendation for discipline. On March 9, 2009, the Board voted to accept the partiesí stipulation and to 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.