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Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Public Reprimand No. 2009-27


Order (public reprimand) entered by the Board January 8, 2010.


On February 1, 2008, a husband filed through counsel a complaint for divorce in which he sought custody of the coupleís minor children and child support. After being served with a copy of the divorce complaint, the husbandís wife consulted with the respondent regarding representation in the divorce matter.

The respondent had in May 2007 represented the husband for a period of time in personal injury and workersí compensation claims arising from a work-related accident. In connection with that representation, the respondent had obtained medical and other treatment records for the husband.

On February 8, 2008, the respondent sent a fax to the husbandís divorce counsel stating that he would be representing the wife in the divorce matter. Later that same day, the respondent notified the husbandís lawyer that he would not be representing the wife due to his prior representation of the husband.

On February 12, 2008, the respondent met with wife and, without the husbandís permission, gave her the husbandís medical and treatment records as information relevant to the husbandís request for custody. The respondent violated Mass. R. Prof. C. 1.6(a) and 1.9 (c) by disclosing the medical and treatment records to the wife without the husbandís consent. The wifeís lawyer did not review the records or use them to the husbandís disadvantage, and the records were returned to the husbandís divorce lawyer.

The matter came before the Board of Bar Overseers on a stipulation of facts and a joint recommendation that the respondent receive a public reprimand. The Board of Bar Overseers accepted the partiesí recommendation and imposed a public reprimand on December 14, 2009.

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

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