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Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Public Reprimand No. 2009-20


Order (public reprimand) entered by the Board August 27, 2009.


The respondent received a public reprimand for engaging in a business relationship with the father of minor client while representing the client in an ongoing legal proceeding.

The respondent represented a minor in a care and protection case in the juvenile court, by appointment through the Children and Family Law program of the Committee for Public Counsel Services. During the course of representation of the minor, the respondent entered into a business relationship with the father of the minor. The father was represented by separate counsel in the case, who consented to the respondentís direct contact with his client. The respondentís representation of the minor was or may have been materially limited by her business relationship with the father or by the respondentís own interests. Furthermore, the respondent did not obtain the consent of the minor, nor was the minor competent to give such consent, to enter into a business transaction with his father during the pendency of the care and protection case.

The respondentís conduct was investigated by the Committee for Public Counsel Services, which suspended the respondent from taking any new Children and Family Law cases for four months. The respondent was also required to take four CLE courses in ethics and required to self-report this incident to the Office of Bar Counsel, which she did.

The respondentís conduct in engaging in a business relationship with the father of the minor client during her representation of the minor in the care and protection case violated Mass. R. Prof. C. 1.7(b).

The respondent was admitted to the Massachusetts bar in 1988. She had no history of discipline.

The matter came before the Board of Bar Overseers on the partiesí stipulation of facts and rule violations and an agreed recommendation for discipline by public reprimand. On August 10, 2009, 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.

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