March 14, 2011
Crimes Lead To Suspension
A summary of a recent disciplinary sanction from the web page of the Massachusetts Board of Bar Overseers:
...the respondent, was admitted to the bar of the Commonwealth on January 11, 1994. On December 8, 2006, the respondent used a debit card from a stolen handbag to purchase an iPod hi-fi speaker system for $366.45 and various items at another store totaling $426.27. On December 19, 2008, the respondent admitted to sufficient facts to the crimes of forgery of a document in violation of G. L. c. 267; two counts of uttering a false writing in violation of G. L. c. 267, § 5; two counts of credit card fraud over $250 in violation of G. L. c. 266, § 37C(e); and larceny over $250 in violation of G. L. c. 266, § 30(1). The matters were continued without a finding.
On May 17, 2010, the respondent admitted to sufficient facts to negligent operation of a motor vehicle, and she was found in violation of probation. The respondent was continued on probation until May 18, 2011, with conditions requiring her to remain free of illicit drugs and alcohol and submit to testing.
On March 25, 2009, the Supreme Judicial Court for Suffolk County (Cowin, J.) entered an order temporarily suspending the respondent from the practice of law effective June 1, 2009. The respondent failed to comply with the order of temporary suspension, and bar counsel petitioned to hold the respondent in contempt. On December 16, 2009, the respondent fully complied with the order.
The respondent’s criminal conduct violated Mass. R. Prof. C. 8.4(b), (c), and (h). Her failure to comply with the order of temporary suspension and S. J. C. Rule 4:01, § 17, and her violation of probation violated Mass. R. Prof. C. 3.4(c) and 8.4(d).
On June 28, 2010, bar counsel filed a petition for discipline. On December 22, 2010, the respondent filed an amended answer to the petition admitting to the allegations. The parties stipulated to a sanction of suspension for three years retroactive to May 17, 2010, the date of the respondent’s last conviction. In mitigation, none of the respondent’s conduct was related to the representation of a client.
On January 10, 2011, the Board of Bar Overseers voted to accept the stipulation of the parties and recommend that the respondent be suspended from the practice of law for three years retroactive to May 17, 2010. On January 28, 2011, the county court entered an order suspending the respondent for three years retroactive to May 17, 2010, the date of the respondent’s last conviction.
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