Thursday, January 29, 2009
An attorney was disbarred by the New Hampshire Supreme Court for misconduct committed in conjunction with another now-disbarred lawyer. The two attorneys had initiated two actions on behalf of the clients concerning alleged construction defects in thier newly-built home. They ignored motions and failed to appear at a status conference. They concealed the dismissal of one case and moved to non-suit the remaining case. When the court directed the clients to pay the fees of opposing counsel and notice was served on the clients, the clients reviewed the court file: "[o]nly then did the [clients] learn the duration and extent of [the two lawyers' ] neglect and malfeasance." The clients filed a bar complaint.
The court here noted that the lawyer had voluntarily ceased his practice and will allow a petition for reinstatement to be filed three years after the date of cessation. The attorney had shown remorse and sought treatment for alcohol addiction. However, the lawyer's "deliberate deception of his clients over a substantial period can abide no less a sanction than disbarment." (Mike Frisch)