NO. PR 99-01
IN RE: STUART F. GRAY
On January 21, 1993, the respondentís client requested that the respondent file real estate tax abatement applications concerning certain properties for which the client held a beneficial interest. The respondent promptly filed tax abatement applications with the City of Boston. The City did not act on the applications and as of April 20, 1993, each application was constructively denied. On July 20, 1993, the respondent timely filed appeals of three of the denied applications with the Massachusetts Appellate Tax Board. The respondent failed to actively pursue the appeals including not appearing at a hearing date and not responding to phone calls and correspondence from his client asking for updates on the status of the appeals.
On October 15, 1996, the client discharged the respondent and demanded return of his file. On October 18, 1996, the client complained to Bar Counsel. The respondent finally returned the clientís file to the client on April 28, 1997, and only after request of Bar Counsel. The client then successfully pursued two of the appeals himself.
The respondentís failure to promptly forward the file to his former client as requested was in violation of Canon Two, Disciplinary Rule 2-110(A)(4). The respondentís failure to pursue the appeals filed with the Appellate Tax Board, his failure to ascertain the status of the appeals upon written and oral request of his client and his failure to keep his client informed of the disposition of the cases constituted neglect of a legal matter entrusted to him in violation of Canon Six, Disciplinary Rule 6-101(A)(3) and failure to represent the client zealously in violation of Canon Seven, Disciplinary Rule 7-101(A)(1).
In aggravation, the respondent had previously received a private reprimand in December 1992 in part for failing to adequately communicate with a client and an admonition in June 1994 for failure to refund an unearned retainer.
The respondent received a public reprimand for the above violations.
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