June 16, 2011
A Massachusetts attorney who made a false statement on a public document when entering into a bigamous marriage was suspended for one year with six months stayed. According to the summary on the web page of the Board of Bar Overseers:
In 2002, the respondent married his first wife. There were no children of the
marriage. Sometime in early 2005, the two were separated and the respondent left the
marital home. In the summer of 2007, the respondent approached his first wife about a
divorce but she was not cooperative.
In October of 2007, while still legally married, the respondent became engaged to
another woman. The respondent told her that he had never been married. On April 11, 2008,
the respondent and the other woman applied for a Notice of Intention of Marriage
(commonly referred to as a marriage license) at a local town hall. On the application, the
respondent falsely reported under the penalties of perjury that his contemplated marriage was
to be his first marriage and that there were no known impediments to the marriage.
On May 31, 2008, the respondent married his “second wife”, knowing that he was
still married to his first. The second wife was unaware that the respondent had been
On June 12, 2008, the respondent, for the first time, admitted to his second wife that
he had been married before and then falsely claimed that he believed his marriage to his first
wife had been annulled in 2002. Thereafter, the respondent was ultimately divorced from his
first wife and the marriage to his second wife was annulled.
In marrying and subsequently seeking an annulment from the respondent, the second
wife and her family incurred substantial expenses. The emotional distress caused by the
respondent’s deception resulted in the second wife is becoming depressed and receiving
professional counseling for over one one year.
An aggravating factor--experience in domestic relations law. (Mike Frisch)
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