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Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Public Reprimand No. 2009-28



ANNE E. GILLESPIE

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

SUMMARY1


The respondent was admitted to the bar on December 16, 1991.

The respondent failed to pay to the Board of Bar Overseers her annual registration fee that was due to be paid in June 2006. The Board of Bar Overseers sent the respondent notices on July 13, 2006, November 10, 2006 and January 4, 2007 concerning her failure to pay the fee. On February 5, 2007, the Board of Bar Overseers petitioned the Supreme Judicial Court to administratively suspend the respondent for failure to pay her annual registration fee. On February 9, 2007, the Court entered a judgment for the respondent’s immediate administrative suspension, pursuant to S. J. C. Rules 4:02(1) and 4:03(3). On February 12, 2007, the Board of Bar Overseers notified the respondent, by certified mail to her registered home address, that the Supreme Judicial Court had administratively suspended her from practice. It further notified her that if she sought reinstatement within thirty days of issuance of the order, she would not have to comply with Supreme Judicial Court Rule 4:01 §17 (1), (5) and (6).

The respondent did not seek reinstatement within thirty days of the entry of the order. Because she did not seek reinstatement within thirty days of the entry of the order, the respondent became subject to the notice and compliance provisions of Supreme Judicial Court Rule 4:01 §17 (1), (5) and (6). The respondent did not comply with Supreme Judicial Court Rule 4:01, § 17 (1), (5) and (6).

From February 2007 through August 2008, the respondent, while administratively suspended, continued to practice law at a non-profit provider of legal services to indigent clients. However, much of the work she performed was non-legal in nature. The respondent sought readmission to practice in September 2008 and was readmitted on September 23, 2008.

In mitigation, the respondent reasonably believed, based upon a previous understanding, that her then-partner had paid her registration fees. In aggravation, the respondent had been administratively suspended for failure to pay her registration fees on two separate occasions prior to 2007. Where the respondent did not in fact have actual knowledge of her administrative suspension, public reprimand is the appropriate discipline.

By failing to file a timely affidavit of compliance, the respondent violated Mass. R. Prof. C 8.4(d) and S. J. C. Rule 4:01 §17 (5) and (6).

By practicing law after her administrative suspension, the respondent violated Mass. R. Prof. C. 5.5(a).

The matter came before the Board of Bar Overseers on a stipulation of the parties, agreeing to recommend discipline in the form of a public reprimand. On December 14, 2009, the Board of Bar Overseers voted to administer a public reprimand to the respondent.


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



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