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Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Public Reprimand No. 2010-30



ROBERT M. PAYTON

Order (public reprimand) entered by the Board September 23, 2010.

SUMMARY1


The respondent was admitted to practice in Massachusetts on December 17, 1974. From September 2005 until December 2008, the respondent was employed as an associate at a law firm in Brockton, Massachusetts. In March of 2007, he failed to register and pay his registration fee to the Board of Bar Overseers. He had given the check and registration materials to his wife, but they were not mailed. On October 25, 2007, the respondent was administratively suspended due to his failure to register.

The respondent was unaware of his administrative suspension. He did not seek reinstatement within thirty days of the entry of the order of administrative suspension. He therefore became subject to the notice and compliance provisions of S.J.C. Rule 4:01, § 17(1), (5) and (6). The respondent did not comply with these rules.

The respondent continued to practice law until December of 2008, when he learned of his administrative suspension and promptly ceased the practice of law.

On April 8, 2009, the respondent filed an affidavit of compliance with S.J.C. Rule 4:01. The respondent was reinstated to practice on April 10, 2009, and assumed voluntary retirement status on March 30, 2010.

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

In aggravation, the respondent received an admonition in 1994 for lack of diligence and failure to cooperate with bar counsel’s investigation. Admonition No. 94-54, 10 Mass. Att’y Disc. R. 424 (1994). In 2002, the respondent received a second admonition for failing to use written contingent fee agreements and lack of diligence. Admonition No. 02-39, 18 Mass. Att’y Disc. R. 705 (2002).

The matter came before the Board of Bar Overseers on a stipulation of facts and a joint recommendation for a public reprimand. On September 13, 2010, the board ordered a public reprimand.


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



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