Wednesday, December 5, 2007
The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court upheld an order of disbarment and contempt of a single justice. Among the instances of misconduct:
"The respondent owns and maintains a Web site on which she posts information about allegations of child sexual abuse. In 2001, the respondent represented a father in a paternity and custody action in the Probate and Family Court who had been accused of sexually abusing his minor son. The son had also been the subject of a care and protection proceeding in the Juvenile Court. The respondent posted on her Web site information that had been impounded in the care and protection action, e.g., information identifying the son as having been allegedly sexually abused by his father, including the son's full name and photographs of him. The respondent also posted the full names of the son's mother and a half-brother (the product of the mother's partnership with a man whom she married and later divorced); pleadings from the mother's divorce action; and comments by the respondent characterizing the mother as a perjurer who had conceived both children out of wedlock and who had falsely accused both fathers of sexual abuse."
The court rejected a number of procedural objections concerning the disbarment and contempt. The contempt involved violation of the disbarment order. The attorney was jailed for four days until the contempt was purged.
The case is In The Matter of Johnson, decided December 5, 2007. (Mike Frisch)